October 2019 began with 100 degree temperatures and water that was 80 in Surf City, NC. The temps rapidly dropped and by the time November arrived it felt like it was going to snow out.
I don’t have an exact record of the water temperatures but I do know that they reached 68 around the middle of November and the water was 59 at the beginning of December.
November 2019 was all about the Speckled Trout if you ask me. I took a charter into the rivers behind the island and only landed 15. It was an odd trip – the week before that the trout was ON FIRE. Literally people going out for 4 hours and landing 160+ trout per trip.
There’s a limit of 4 speckled trout per day per person.
During the middle of the month the trout were all hanging out together and by the end of the month they were a bit more scattered.
A few casts the trout were just bumping the lure.
The jig of choice was a dark plastic grab with a wiggly tail.
The dolphins have been active off of the coast and feeding near the pier. they are pretty cool to watch.
A manatee was spotted in November at the pier!
In early December whales made an appearance!
King fishermen caught some kingish.
The spots were biting good up until the second week of November. Some pompano were biting as well.
There have been some trout caught on the pier although they behave differently out in the surf than they do in the river. The trout caught on the pier have been smaller. Don’t forget, the trout need to be 14″ to keep. As far as I know, the trout at the pier have been mostly caught on an incoming high tide and in the morning. I fished one day here from 3:30AM – 8AM and caught only one 12″ long trout. It was 40 degrees out!
Other fish caught at the pier in November included:
- Black Drum
- Red Drum
- The occasional Sea Bass
I did better surf fishing than I did anywhere else by simply casting a a little 2oz weight as far out as I could (not very far). There are black drum, mullet, puffers and more in the surf.
The guides are still going out and getting 50+ trout per trip. It has slowed down but it is good this year.
Feel free to comment below with what you’ve caught!
As always, go here for the latest Topsail Island Fishing Report.