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.
Badin Lake on the Yadkin River chain in North Carolina has long been known as an excellent lake for blue catfish in the winter, but about 20 miles upstream, High Rock Lake seems poised to become the next winter hotspot.
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.
Benelli Super Vinci Shotgun
The superbly balanced Super Vinci shotgun is the world’s most reliable, softest-kicking, fastest-shooting, lightweight, semi-auto 12-gauge that shoots 23/4-, 3- and 31/2-inch magnum shells.