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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have a report for the oregon inlet or the outer banks? We're thinking about heading out there for the labor day weekend. I have yet to take my truck out on the north side of the inlet to fish from the beach. I have read that schools of puppy drum and blues are beginning to move through.

I would also like to get some opinions about fishing in that area in the fall. I've heard that the best time is September - October, but recently was told that Thanksgiving is the best. I didn't know if the fish stayed around that long?
 

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It really depends on what you want to catch and where the wind is coming from. It's been awhile since I've been there. I can tell you one thing for sure though. I always caught more fish when I wasn't loyal to one spot. If there are schools of fish moving about it pays to seek them out and stay with them until you or the fish decide that they have had enough. Oregon Inlet is a good place to start looking and there is usually something going on somewhere in the vicinity. That being said it may or may not be the kind of fishing you want to do. I used to just plan on driving until I found fish. With gas at $3/gal you might want to get a last minute report from someone in the area near where you will be hanging your hat for the weekend and forming a plan based on that. Always remember that the Islanders will tell you what and where the fish have been but they won't volunteer how many were caught usually. If you just look for a place to park and fish for what ever will bite, you are not likely to do as well as the person who hunts the fish and then fishes according to what he finds. By the same token you won't do as well by going to the same place and targeting the same species each time. That said everybody has their own way that they would rather fish and it is hard to help someone if you don't know how they intend to go about their fishing. Sometimes a fisherman is not geared up to take advantage of certain situations. In that case it is usually best to keep looking until you can find fish you are prepared to catch. If you clue me in as to how you intend to fish and where you plan to stay I will help you with tides temps thursdays reports and weather forecast etc. AL
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks AL

Like you said, with gas prices so high, I probably won't be driving up and down the island too far to search. I have tide charts and a general plan with some tips I've seen on here. I've always had good luck at the Oregon inlet and to offset gas prices I am going to camp at the campground that is there. I was just wondering if anyone was doing any good out there. I'm not picky as to the species, I am just looking to wet a line. Blues, flounder or puppy drum (or anything else) will be fine with me. I just need a little Fishing on the long weekend.

What is your opinion on fall fishing? Does water temperature, rather than time of year, dictate when the fish move, or are there other factors? I have heard stories of the great fall fishing in North Carolina and I want to sort through all the fish tales.
 

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ketchunanee said:
What is your opinion on fall fishing? Does water temperature, rather than time of year, dictate when the fish move, or are there other factors? I have heard stories of the great fall fishing in North Carolina and I want to sort through all the fish tales.
Ketchunanee - as you can well imagine, the answer to your question is a complicated subject with many variables and opinions. I'll share my thoughts on the subject and hopefully some others with more fishing wisdom than I will also pipe in.

The fall season (my favorite) as well as spring offer some of the best NC saltwater fishing and here is why:

Many of the species we fish for are migratory, spending their winters off the coast of Florida and the Caribbean and their summers off the coast of New England and Canada. NC's coast being in between those destinations, the migrating fish visit us in the spring and the fall on their way to and fro.

As to the particular time of fall (or spring), I think the water temp. has a lot to do with it - course the time of year has a lot to do with the water temp - generally temp. variations from year to year occur but are measured in days and weeks not months. The wind direction has an effect too. A big blow from the NE can cool the waters more quickly in Sept and Oct. than a previous year for instance.

The temp. preferences vary for different species - so different parts of the fall (or spring) are better for certain species. So which is better - Sept or Nov - a lot of times it comes down to what fish you like to target. For instances - Pompano prefer 70's so as the water cools up north they come south sooner - the best times in NC are from Sept through the first 2 weeks of Oct. On the other hand, the stripers like it a little cooler so they come later in the fall - Oct & early Nov is the best for them here. And so forth. Also - the temp varies quite a bit from the inland coastal waters to the offshore water - so some of the differences in opinion can be traced to how the fisherman fishes (big boat, little boat, surf, pier, etc). Another variable in the timing is the bait fish - where are they and in what quantities.

Now with that said, understand not all the fish read the same book I did :rolleyes:, so you can find them here at other times too - I'm speaking in general terms about peak fishing periods.

Hope that helps some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks hampstead

I realize this is a complicated matter and your post is very insightful. I am slowly learning more and more about saltwater fishing. Growing up in Ohio, with only a few freshwater species to target was a lot easier. The ocean is such a large system with so many variables and diverse species, I guess you really have to target certain species and key on them at different times to be very successful. It's a little overwhelming at first; and it's easy to lose your focus with all of the options and possibilities that come in saltwater and resort to just throwing live bait and hoping for the best. I will probably buy a good book, as this helped me greatly in trout fishing. Understanding a fish's behavior and needs and being able to read the water have always helped me catch more fish. With that said, I hope I catch some fish and do not over-analyze things. After all, this is supposedly how I relax.
 

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Well no matter what, just enjoy fishing. Hey that is why we call it fishing instead of CATCHING. Like you, I want to understand how to best catch the fish but at the end of the day being out on the water and relaxing is what is it's all about for me.

Tight lines and good luck out on the water this week-end. I'll be there too, only a 100 miles or so further south, so save some of those south migrating fish for me :D
 

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Lately it's been spanish(a few) bluefish (more) flounder, spots,croakers and whiting (VA/sea mullet) with a chance for grey or speckled trout. Water temp on the outside is around 76 and the inside around 82 with some mixing in the vicinity of the inlet. Supposedly a few cobia have been caught from surf at ramps 22, 27 and 34. Ramp 30 was not mentioned. Spadefish and sheephead around Bonner bridge pilings. Tides should be fairly strong....new moon. Winds should be light out of the NE. Good luck on the fishing and finding affordable gas. AL
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info Al.Is the Bonner bridge the bridge over the inlet? I am planning on driving out on the beach on the north side of the inlet and fishing from shore. I am very interested in fishing back near the bridge. I don't have a boat, but I have been searching for a cheap kayak so I can explore a little more. I'll let you guys know how it goes. At the very least, I'll be on the water. Maybe, with some luck, the gas will run out and I will be stranded at the beach, preventing me from returning to work.:D

Hampstead,
100 miles south? Where do you fish? Our original plan was to head down to Topsail-Sneads Ferry area, but we couldn't find a (cheap) place to stay (wife says I'm a tight-wad). I've heard the fishing is excellent in that area. I know some people with places in the Emerald Isle and Atlantic area, just not well enough to invite myself along with them.
 

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I live on Mill Creek (a small tidal creek off the sound) in Hampstead - which is right across the waterway from Topsail Beach. In fact, from my house if you go out the creek and up the waterway about 4 miles you are at New Topsail Inlet. Or go out the creek and then 2 miles south on the waterway and you are at Rich Inlet. Fly like a bird about 1/2 mile from my backyard and you are on the ocean beach of Lea Island (uninhabited Island just south of Topsail Island).

The fishing is excellent. :p but don't tell anyone......;)
 

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Yes Bonner bridge is the one over Oregon Inlet. DON'T KNOW ABOUT DRIVING BACK TO THE BRIDGE. You used to could on the south side but I have no idea what it is like right now. Conditions change fast in the inlet area. The flounder are in the inlet but they are small. Ocracoke beacheas would be the best fishing this weekend if you have a change in plans. About everything is being caught there. I also heard that a tarpon was hooked up from the beach near Avon. didn't give the ramp no: probably 23 or 27. That could happen anywhere though. There used to be a campground on north Topsail Island. If you like to pier fish Topsail Island is a pretty good place to go. Cleaner deeper water than the average piers. Surf fishing there is ok. Offshore is pretty good for kings and grouper but not as good for sails, tuna, false albacore, marlin,wahoo and amberjack as further north. For those species Beaufort inlet to Oregon inlet is much better. AL
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I didn't have much luck over the weekend. We got to the Oregon inlet Saturday, let the air out of the tires, put it in 4-wheel and headed out on the beach. Immediately gears started grinding, my wife started screaming and it sounded like I dropped my transmission. I hadn't used 4WD in so long that I couldn't get it in gear. After some work however, I managed to get it working. We made it out to the surf and found many, many people. The waves were large with a strong current and no one was having much luck. On Sunday we drove down the beach near the bridge to try to escape the crowds and waves. I tried to fish when the water wasn't full of swimmers. I only caught one little blue and the guy next to us caught the same. I did hook into something decent that jumped once and spit out the hook. Most people I talked to said that fishing was slow and crabs were stealing everyone's bait. The wind was very strong--I'm surprised I still have paint on my truck and I was up most of the night re-staking my tent. Monday I managed one croaker before we left. Not much of a fishing trip but at least I was at the beach.
 

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I had a feeling that things were going to be slow fishingwise. You gotta go when you get the chance and hope for the best. If you could have fished south of cape point it may have been a little better but usually when the wind stays locked in out of the same direction for more than a few days fishing suffers dramatically. You can bet the sight feeders like spanish, speckled trout, and pompano will move offshore a ways. The blues will hang around a little longer and some of the bottom feeders will stick around but fishing for them is usually slower. Better days are just a week or two away, hopefully. AL
 
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