• Inshore Fishing

    More changes are on the horizon for the cobia fishery across both Carolinas.

    More changes coming to cobia fishery in both Carolinas

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has approved new, more restrictive regulations for cobia in 2017, hoping to prevent an early closure of the season as took place this year. 

    September 20 at 12:14pm
    A variety of lead weights can be used for drifting or bottom-fishing. When paired with a weight trolley, the line will slide, reducing the resistance felt by the fish.

    Heavy weights for bottom-fishing

    The type of weights used for fishing around inlets where the tidal flow often reaches near-warp speeds, varies depending upon the area being fished as well as who is at the other end of the line. Some weights are better for holding in sand, while others are more adapt at not rolling in the current, alleviating the pesky line twist that comes when using a piece of cut bait. 

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Bull redfish hold on hardbottom areas, like shells or rocks, while they migrate out of sounds toward the ocean in the fall.

    For big drum with live or chunk bait, go with a Lupton rig. Here’s how to tie one.

    Regulations between states vary, but according to guide Dan Utley, South Carolina anglers have taken the lead from the North Carolina requirement when fishing for bull redfish in the inlets around Hilton Head.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Speckled trout are caught along Masonboro Inlet’s rock jetties when the falling tide pulls baitfish and shrimp toward the ocean.

    Seine Masonboro Inlet’s jetties for specks

    The jetties at Masonboro Inlet are oddities along the North Carolina coast, where most inlets aren’t lined with the stone structures.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Speckled trout can tolerate waters with a wide range of salinities as long as food is readily available.

    Speckled trout biology

    Spotted seatrout, aka speckled trout, are members of the sciaenidae family, which includes drums, croakers and weakfish. They are prized as gamefish by recreational anglers throughout their range, from the Chesapeake Bay to Laguna Madre in south Texas, and have been occasionally caught as far north as New York and as far south as Mexico.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Many charter captains participate in the NCDMF red drum tagging program. The information helps biologists understand red drum growth rates and movement patterns.

    Tag, You’re it!

    Catch a tagged fish in North Carolina’s coastal waters and you may reel in a cash award. The NCDMF’s fish tagging program randomly selects tag numbers; anglers who have turned them in win $100. Of 1,020 fish tags anglers returned in 2015, the program drew three tag numbers for each of four species in the tagging program. 

    September 15 at 7:00am
    A chum slinger helps fishermen toss chunks of croaker or other fish overboard to set up a chum slick.

    Chum slingers

    Croakers make great bait for red drum, and they also make good chum. The Longer Life Bait Slinger was a great tool for tossing chunks of fish far out into the water to attract big red drum.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    September seasons for marsh hens and rails are set with the highest tides in mind to help hunters flush more birds.

    Paddles down, guns up

    So far in 2016, this column has discussed ways to target specific fish species from a paddle boat, including rigging, gear, equipment and places to fish.

    Put your fishing gear away and grab your shotgun, because as good a month as September can be for fishing, it’s also a great time to chase some early season migratory waterfowl.

    September 14 at 9:00am
    Capt. Rod Thomas with Capt. Ponytail Guide Service shows off a bull red drum that he recently caught in Pamlico Sound.

    Catch your fish of a lifetime in the Pamlico Sound

    If you want to catch the fish of a lifetime, you just have to go where they are, when they are there. It’s as simple as that. And while a lot of anglers will continue to fish the water that is closest to their home, hoping that one day the big one will bite, other anglers broaden their range, and go where the big fish are, and when the big fish are there.

    September 07 at 12:09pm
    In North Carolina, anglers do the daylight drum dance.

    Day or dusk drum: North Carolina’s big September fishing treat

    Once upon a time, anglers headed out of Oriental, taking a pounding from afternoon waves on the expansive waters of the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound in search of the sundown bite that characterized the huge adult red drum of summer.

    September 01 at 7:00am
    As many species of baitfish head out of the marshes, it’s a good time for the bull reds to stock up on groceries they’ll need for the winter.

    South Carolina anglers need to line up some mullet-run reds

    Justin Carter he likes to fish the Santee-Cooper lakes for largemouth bass, but he’s never done much targeting of catfish. That made the sight of his boat drifting sideways while dragging cut baits across the bottom of the ocean look even more out of place. 

    September 01 at 7:00am
    For the best North Carolina speckled trout fishing, make sure you’re tied to the tide.

    Tide to fall specks - Run the tide for North Carolina speckled trout

    As he slowly motored away from the dock, guide Jot Owens laid out his game plan. Speckled trout are affected greatly by the tide, he said, and he wanted to work with it at several locations, explaining that shrimp and baitfish move up small creeks into the marsh when the tide is high, then move back out to larger creeks as it falls.

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Speckled trout in northern Pamlico Sound make a big move toward Hatteras Inlet in September.

    Tips for catching more Hatteras trout

    Guide Ken Dempsey of Hatteras is expecting a great fall for speckled trout, in part because of good fishing last fall, a good summer and the promise that September holds.

    August 30 at 8:51am
    Flounder guru Jimmy Price prefers to throw artificials at fish in the Cape Fear area during the fall.

    Cape Fear is flatfish capital this month

    It isn’t a secret that North Carolina’s lower Cape Fear River is a good place to catch flounder. The area produces great numbers of flounder and plenty of big fish; the 20-pound, 8-ounce state-record was caught there in 1980. 

    August 30 at 8:41am
    September is the best month to target tarpon in the waters around Georgetown.

    Georgetown tarpon are on the prowl

    Tarpon are about the only migrating fish that make an annual round-trip of 3,000 miles along the eastern seaboard and can be caught inshore or nearshore with a small skiff. They are highly sought-after and a pinnacle catch for well-seasoned anglers. While South Carolina may not widely known for tarpon — they lack the recognition they receive in Key West and other places in orange juice territory ­— these silver beasts are more than a once-in-a-lifetime catch in the state’s bait-filled waters, and multiple daily hookups are not unusual in September.

    August 29 at 3:40pm
    Guide Ricky Kellum catches plenty of big fall speckled trout in the New River.

    September is great time for New River trout

    If it’s September on the New River in Onslow County, N.C., the speckled trout bite often will be sizzling during the coolest part of the day.

    August 29 at 3:30pm