The NCWRC hoped to stock redfish a/k/a red drum, in Hyco Lake to help control the population of tilapia, but their studies determined redfish would not survive due to the quality of water hardness in the reservoir. […]
Water color varies greatly along the Carolinas’ coastal front, and the color of the water at the surface doesn’t always equate to unsavory conditions down below, especially when it has a blackish tint or is the color of Earl Grey tea. Tannic waters can offer exceptional conditions for speckled trout, and they often produce some whopper trout.
The Northeast Cape Fear joins the Cape Fear River beside the Battleship North Carolina near downtown Wilmington, and the Black River flows into it about 10 miles upstream. The rivers combine to drain much of central North Carolina. There is also the Brunswick River, but it is basically a thoroughfare that branches off the Cape Fear just upriver from Wilmington and rejoins it across from the N.C. State Ports facility.
The Cape Fear area was hit hard by Hurricane Florence this fall, and then the remnants of Hurricane Michael added plenty of runoff a few weeks later. The full assessment of the damage and how these storms will affect fishing is ongoing, but one positive was that redfish and specks were feeding within weeks. Another is that no fish-consumption advisories have been issued.
All cylinders fire in the Carolinas when offshore and inshore fisheries take off at the end of fall. Offshore waters are dominated by massive grouper, line-stretching tuna and reel-screaming wahoo; the inshore grounds teem with redfish and the Carolinas’ most-coveted species, the speckled trout.
As he pushed away from the boat ramp at the Dram Tree Park in Wilmington, N.C., Rennie Clark’s plan for a chilly, slightly cloudy fall day, was first to target stripers in the Northeast Cape Fear River, then head to the Cape Fear River for trout and red drum.
The fall weather is finally here, which in the Carolinas generally means cold mornings followed by pleasant afternoon weather. And it’s a great time to catch speckled trout and redfish. And with any luck, anglers can pick up a flounder or two and complete the inshore slam. […]