The real fishermen that might catch this post know that fishing on the coast often is at its peak in the fall. I've been dreaming of a fall fishing trip to the North Carolina coast for years. Work has always gotten in the way. This year there seemed to be a little break in pace of things towards the end of October.
I sent a note to Captain Tom Roller of Waterdog Guide Service in Beaufort, NC. He said he could take me out either Friday morning or afternoon, October 28. Knowing that my wife and oldest daughter would likely enjoy sleeping in the first day of our trip, I picked the morning. The weather even looked good when I picked it. Of course weather never stays the same.
Captain Roller agreed to pick me up on the dock at the Beaufort Inn at 6:30 am. I always get excited before a trip like this. The knowledge that it might be one of those unforgettable days catching fish makes it hard to sleep. I was up by 5:20 am and had a hearty breakfast of nabs and a coke. There's actually not a lot of choice at that time of the morning when you're in a hotel room. As soon as I had rolled out of bed I stuck my nose out to check the weather, and it didn't look good. There was a steady rain and gusty winds.
About 6:15 am I made my way out to the car and grabbed my rain parka. Unfortunately I had neglected to bring any rain pants. As I was sitting on a dry bench watching the dock for Captain Roller's Jones Brothers Skiff, I started wondering if I was absolutely crazy. It was about fifty degrees and the wind was gusting over 20 mph. Before I had time to come to my senses, Captain Roller slid up to dock, and the adventure began.
We made a short trip out into the marshes and starting fishing. It wasn't long before we started catching some serious fish. The speckled trout came first. There were three beautiful ones just under four pounds each and a number of smaller ones. Then a few really nice flounder started mixing in with the trout. Finally the puppy red drum starting hitting. They were absolutely gorgeous, some with an iridescent blue on the ends of their tails. I caught so many puppy drum that I lost count and returned all of them safely back to the waters so they could fight again. We kept a few trout and some flounder for eating.
It only stopped raining and blowing long enough for us to take a few pictures before heading back to the dock, but as far as I was concerned the sun was shining the whole time, and things couldn't have been better. Of course I have to admit to spending a long time in a hot shower once I got back. My jeans and tennis shoes were soaked, but I'll never forget what a great time I had.
When I told my wife, what a fantastic trip she had missed, I suggested that she might want to consider joining us the next outing. She looked at me like I had lost all my marbles. Then she said that fishing in the rain and wind at fifty degrees Fahrenheit would not be her first choice even if she didn't have to get up before six to do it.
Apparently my wife and our daughter had slept until 8:30 am, had a leisurely breakfast which included the Beaufort Inn's famous Katie's Breakfast Pie and then had wandered through the shops in Beaufort. They had even driven the car the short distance to the shops so they wouldn't get wet.
Some people just don't know how to have fun. However, she did seem to enjoy the fresh trout that I cooked Sunday night and the fresh flounder we had for lunch today.
That certainly won't be my last fall trip for fishing in Beaufort. I hope the weather is just as good the next time.
For a fishing report of my trip and others from Captain Tom Roller's Waterdog Guide Service, click this link.