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Curious about whether or not fishing totally shuts down in the Winter in NC. I know when I was in the tackle industry, that my salesman who covered NC, his business slowed dramatically from Nov through March or so. My guess is winter winds and cold weather keep most from fishing from boats. But does the fishing shut off? Since I moved back to NC in January, all my trips have been back to Florida.....just timing issues mainly. So what I would like to know, do I have to wait till spring to get in any NC kayak fishing (either salt or fresh). And anyone know about trout fishing in the mountains during the winter? Thanks for any information.
 

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The textbook answer is that your presentations need to be LOTS slower -- but that's certainly not an area I've got much expertise in.

The big thing for yak-fishing in the wintertime is attire. Whether at the coast or inland, the water will be cold even when the air is warm, so you need to be prepared for a dunk.

Personally, I'm expecting my fishing to turn a bit more toward day-trips to the coast rather than trying to do a dawn-to-lunch trip to the lake. It'll be more comfortable in the air down there -- the bigger risk I think will be too much wind.

So don't quit on my account -- give me a shout and lets paddle!!
Lefty
 

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As Lefty says you have to change your presentation a bit. I fish all winter here in the mountains and there are plenty of fish to be had. There are a couple of plusses going on. #1 alot less fishing pressure to contend with.#2 the delayed harvest program is in effect so there are plenty of fish in the DH streams. Plan on doing alot of nymphing and working slow but on occasion you catch a great sunny warm day with a winter hatch and then it's some of the finest dry fishing in the US.
 

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It definitely slows down. You need to pick & choose the good days to be on the water on a kayak. In the piedmont the crappie fishing picks up in the wintertime. Its a little more sedate than stalking redfish or trolling, but it breaks the monotony of winter. There's also stripers - we need a few of the kayakers to figure out how to find them this winter.

For cold-water protection, the most popular solution seems to be breathable chest waders and a dry or semi-dry top. Others go with the wetsuit. I went with the wetsuit since it was a cheaper solution and I didn't really need the waders for anything else. Not sure it was the best solution nor that it will be the final solution but it worked for me on a few trips early this year. I think the choice mostly depends on how wet you intend to get. I'm fishing flat water, not getting out to wade, not sitting side saddle, not taking waves, etc... so i only use it as insurance against accidents.
 

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actual fishing techniques require slower bait presentations and movement.. but winter fishin' can be "HOT"!!! especially when striper fishin, crappie fishin, migratory bluefin, groupah's in closer.... lot's of good fishin (if you can take the weather) to be had during the winter.

I know for a fact at the begining of this year,, it was "frigid", but folks where hookin' 'em up! (like Junkie did the one day we cancelled offshore and went to Jordan for striper).

Remember these pix guys???? pretty dang cold!! We didnt do so well, but Junkie and Hotspot slayed 'em!





Then the one time Mike and I went out,,, the pic looks deceiving... but it was very windy and bone rattlin cold this day and the weather shut us out... but it wasnt for lack of tryin'! ;)



Anytime is a "good" time to be out fishin!! :) ** note - yup, that is the infamous Gulp oyster catch! ;)
 

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I fish year round. February is a tough month for catching but even then sometimes I manage a fish or two - if the seas are calm enough to get out into the ocean. I just adjust the how and where to fit the season - it is definitely slower inshore in Jan - Mar though.

As mentioned in the previous posts, slow down on the retrieve and concentrate on the deeper pockets of water right after a cold snap.

Another trend I have noticed over the years is when we have some sunny mild days then a cold snap, the first day or two of the cold snap the fish don't bite as well - sort of like shock but by the third day or so they start biting again - in fact that can be the best bite for that time of year - the fish are hungry.



Hum...Dave did you catch any oyster rocks that day? Anything? LOL - we had fun anyway!
 

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Do you go all the way to dry suit or waders or what is needed?
I started with a wetsuit -- used a 20% coupon at Provision Co -- but picked up a pair of breathable waders (sale at Dick's) and a dry top (20% coupon at REI) since then. The TKAA guys in Va Beach strongly recommend the wader/drytop combo over the wetsuit, mostly because you can keep fishing after you dunk, instead of the outing turning into a rescue mission at that point. (After you dunk in a wetsuit, now you're wet in the cold air -- not as much trouble as being in cold water, but still not a good thing.)

There are of course those who swear that a drysuit is the only option -- get rid of any seam that's not absolutely necessary. I just haven't been willing to stay off the water until I can afford that... (They're only $400-$500, unless you can find a gem on eBay...)
 
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An Extrasport... don't remember the particular model...
 

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An Extrasport... don't remember the particular model...
Full Dry with the blood-constricting rubber gaskets or semi-dry with a little more comfort on the edges?

I know its there to save your life, but I tried several of them on and thought I'd rather stay home and not fish than have to wear the full dry tops. The wet suit won out (in a very close race)...
 

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Don't know about winter yakking, but the striper fishing on Kerr is best in the cold, and the lack of competition and joy riders makes trolling up there pretty peaceful. It does tend to be a lot windier though and white caps are common up by the dam, but I think that helps give the lures more action. It also seems that a heck of a lot of the best crappie reports come out in winter and early spring, you might try fishing around the bridge pilings on Falls later on.
 

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Full Dry with the blood-constricting rubber gaskets or semi-dry with a little more comfort on the edges?
All the cuffs are velcro-closed, so I guess that puts it into the semi-dry category. I paddled it early October with Moseyak (last time I had the boat out, grrrrrr) and it felt fine... Have not dunk-drilled it.
 
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