- If you were to survey any given piece of hunting property, there are areas that cry out to be hunted. A majority of the times, these areas are soon saddled with a permanent hunting stand, be it a ladder, box or other permanent fixture. A hunter may even take one or more deer from that stand the next season, or it may be one of those rare stands that produces every season. But the reason that site was chosen is because it looked good to the hunter, not because it was conducive to the deer.
November along the North Carolina coast is a magical time to fish for spotted seatrout, aka speckled trout, because of one overriding factor: water temperature.
John Mallette’s love affair with grouper began when he was a teen on Topsail Island, where his family once owned Ocean City Pier. He took a trip with Joe Hifko, a noted fisherman, and was hooked right away.
Bass fishing is excellent year-round in the Carolinas, but any time the possibility exists to hook and land dozens of black bass in a day of fishing, it’s time to get the gear and go.
- Deer season is well underway across the Carolinas. By November, well over half the two state’s annual whitetail harvest is already satisfied with a mixture of does and bucks from yearlings to true wall hangers.
- November represents a transition for many saltwater species along the coasts of both Carolinas. While some migrate from shallow to deeper waters, other species migrate back to the ocean, even out to Gulf stream waters, not to be seen until next spring. Red drum represents a little of both when it comes to fall migrations.
- October was a big transition month for saltwater fishing in the Carolinas, and by November, the water and air temperatures have cooled off considerably, but those aren't the only changes.
- If you want to catch bass or redfish, you better get crackin'. Artificial lure manufacturer Zach Dubois, who specializes in soft plastics, has watched the fairly new Crackin' Craw & a crawfish imitation; take the bass fishing world by storm. And to his pleasant surprise, it's also become a go-to bait for redfish along the coast.
- Due to increasingly more liberal regulations and an aging population with accompanying physical limitations, crossbow use has increased dramatically almost nationwide.
- Veteran guide Dave Hilton from Ridgeville, S.C., has long cherished the opportunity to catch multiple species of fish at Santee Cooper. During November, the striper and catfish action is exceptional on Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie, so Hilton set out to learn how to double-dip.
- The odd weather that has been prevalent in the Carolinas this year has continued into the fall. After rain and heat through the summer, Hurricane Florence backed into the east coast and wreaked havoc from Cedar Island, N.C. to Cape Romain, S.C.
- If you are a member of one of the burgeoning kayak fishing clubs in the Carolinas, chances are pretty good that you've fished in a local, municipal lake.
- When you think of baits that bass fishermen turn to in the fall, you think of moving baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits. A lot of people overlook a hard jerkbait, because everybody thinks about fishing them in late winter and early spring. If you think about it, late October, November and December can fish a lot like late winter and early spring, with baitfish relatively shallow and the water relatively clear.
- Austin Neary developed a passion for bass fishing when he was four years old, fishing from a boat dock on Lake Wylie near Charlotte, N.C. — a passion fueled by his father’s love for bass fishing.
- Even though waterfowl hunters got a brief chance to bag a few ducks over the past two months, the meat of the season doesn't arrive until now.
- Jeremy Shealy of Pomaria and Chapin’s Hunter Neeley killed a giant alligator in the swamps of Santee on South Carolina’s opening day of 2018. The gator measured 13 feet, 2 inches in length, and weighed 1012 pounds.
- All in all, it’s been a great year for 23-year-old Hunter Harvey of Catawba, N.C. The son of retired major-league pitcher Bryan Harvey, he began the 2018 baseball season with the Baltimore Orioles before spending most of the season with the O’s Class AA farm club in Bowie, Md.
The summer of 2018 was one to remember for king mackerel, which dominated the nearshore and offshore waters off Georgetown, S.C. for most of the spring and summer, and with the water cooling, the bite certainly won’t end, even though numbers will be off slightly. The ones still around are on the hefty side, looking for an easy meal.
Speckled trout in North Carolina waters took a hit in September when Hurricane Florence arrived. The slow-moving storm wreaked havoc on much of the coast, especially from Cape Lookout into South Carolina.
November might be the most-consistent time of year to catch big blue catfish and big flatheads on Clarks Hill Lake, just as it is on other South Carolina lakes, according to Chris Simpson who previously guided on Lake Monticello, Lake Murray and Lake Greenwood before moving to McCormick, S.C., 18 months ago to guide on Clarks Hill.
Bass pro and guide Todd Goade of Suwanee, Ga., said November is one of the best times to catch spotted bass on South Carolina’s Lake Keowee — for numbers and size.
Guide Freddie Sinclair said Jordan Lake, south of the Raleigh-Durham area, is holding steady as a good lake for crappie in November.
When water temperatures drop, crappie go on the feed at Kerr Lake on the North Carolina-Virginia border.
Guide Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures said fishermen should take advantage of the resurgence of hybrid bass at Lake Norman, especially in November.
Red drum swim in skinny waters behind barrier islands, around inlets and in ocean surf “all-year long,” according to guide David Towler from Swansboro, N.C.
Murrells Inlet’s reputation as a great coastal fishery brings anglers to the area for a wide range of species, and in November, it’s the peak of speckled trout fishing that fills the overflow lot at the public boat ramp on a daily basis.
The November crappie bite is usually hot, and you’ll find no shortage of diehard anglers spider-rigging their way across lakes and reservoirs, but you’ll have little competition from anyone on South Carolina’s Wateree River.