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  #1  
Old 11-21-2006, 10:15 AM
pschwart00 pschwart00 is offline
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Cape Lookout Report Nov 10-18

Here is a quick & honest overview of the fishing around Cape Lookout for the week of Nov. 10-18th. This was our first trip down to the area. We stayed in Atlantic Beach, all fishing was done on the east side of the shoals, primarily 3 miles or so north of the Light. Running the shoals is dicey but not suicidal, assuming conditions are decent. We were fishing out of an 18’ Sea Pro bay boat. There were two of us fishing.

We arrived on Friday, Nov. 9th.

Saturday – first day out – weather was perfect. We found some fish just off the beach north of the lighthouse but no luck. Later that afternoon we found a bait ball in about 60’ of water – we were a little late to the party and didn’t score – however talked to some guys who caught about 15 fish or so off this bait ball. No fish, but overall a very good “learning” day.

Sunday – lay day – blew like crazy

Monday – The west side was snotty, but once you crossed the shoals the east side was calm with clean water. Hardly anything showing. We ran up and down the beaches until we finally decided to just start fishing where we had seen fish on Saturday. It worked! We caught 4 nice sized albies. We were marking lots of bait on the graph. Fish came on size 1 white / chartruse clousers on sinking lines (300-350 grains). We really only fished a half day b/c we piddled around all morning looking for “signs” to no avail.

Tuesday – Fished in pretty much the same area. Birds were working better, fishing showing a bit more. Same strategy – find birds, see some fish, start blind casting. We also fished right up on the beach a bit as some albies were chasing bait in the surf (it makes for a great fight when you hook one in 5 feet of water). We started using bigger deceiver patters (like 1/0 & 2/0) and found better success. Chartreuse & white again seemed to work best. Total catch for the day 7 fish.

Wednesday – More birds, more fish showing – the game plan was repeated. Total catch for the day 10 fish.

Thursday – blow day

Friday – blow day – caught one redfish, one weakfish

Saturday – got out – went to the east side. Water was dirty. No signs or birds. Saw a couple fish pop up once. Skunk.

General observations:
Guides were bitchin’ how terrible the fishing was. They consider a good day 20+ fish. Personally, any day two anglers put 7 or more albies in the boat on the fly rod I consider it a good day. I guess expectations are different if you are used to fishing for this fish up in the Cape.

Staying in Atlantic Beach has its plusses. We rented a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house for dirt cheap. Access to grocery stores, bait shops, pizza joints etc. is way better than Harkers. On the downside if all fishing is done on the east side you will be putting a lot of mileage on your boat. We averaged about 70-80 miles per day according to the GPS. You can run (without too much headache) the ICW behind Shackelford Banks, past Harkers, and out through the hook if it is rough on the West side. It adds about 4 or 5 miles, but you can go faster and not take a pounding.

If you ever have trailer issues (we did) while down there I highly recommend OuterBanks Boat Harbor on the Harkers Island Road. They had exceptional turn around time & very reasonable rates.

If you can work with one or two other boats it can greatly increase your fish catching and should save you running all over the ocean. We worked with fellow reel-timer Roger StG. It definitely helped. (Cell phone coverage is surprisingly good)

Overall I would give the trip a B-. Although, (I'm guessing by local standards) it was more like a D-.
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2006, 12:14 PM
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saxatilis saxatilis is offline
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Hope your experience showed you the tip of the iceberg that is Cape Lookout. Yep on everything except Atlantic Beach. It is really a great place to stay in my opinion, because in a normal year you can usually find fish somewhere along the banks outside of Atlantic Beach, in the shipping channel, between the shipping channel and the hook, or worst case on the west or east side of the shoals. The East Side is really only a few miles closers to Harkers (considering a straight run from Beaufort Inlet) so it really dosen't hurt too much. Gas in your 18 shouldn't hurt too bad anyway.

BTW, I was there with two other guys between Nov. 1 and Nov 6 and has decent show a few days on the west side. The East Side was not an option for us as the North wind blew the entire time we were there making a mess out of the shoals. Our show for our time was about 40 albies, 1 redfish, and one flounder for our efforts. Compared to other visits I've made this year was a C+, but it definately beats working!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:48 PM
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RogerStg RogerStg is offline
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It was good to meet up with pshwart and his dad on the water. Comparing notes with another RTer is definitely a big plus. We stayed at Harkers, and like Rick wrote, there is not much difference in mileage to the east. On Wednesday when we both stayed on the east side all day, my final mileage was 70 miles.

Having been there two years, we are learning something about the other fishing venues in the area. We spent some down time checking out areas to fish in the marshes for drum and trout. Next year we will be better prepared for this. We also spoke with several fishermen about techniques for locating and catching big drum in the channels. There are lots of opportunities for other things if the albies don’t pan out.
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:58 PM
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Anyone have any pictures? it's been years since I've been down and would like to live vicariously...please post!

Thanks,
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2006, 04:46 PM
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RogerStg RogerStg is offline
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Pictures:
A couple moods of Cape Lookout, a nice albie, and a shark snack.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2006, 07:55 PM
pschwart00 pschwart00 is offline
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Want some more pics... here ya' go...
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2006, 07:44 AM
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vineyard fisher vineyard fisher is offline
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Location: On a good day, Chappy, Lobsterville, or any other island beach.
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Great pics, all you guys. Beautiful fish, especially for those of us who have only caught them up north where a 10-pounder is something to write home about.

Anyone else, keep the pictures coming - can't get enough.

John
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:26 PM
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riptide riptide is offline
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The fish are really nice, but I'm more jealous of the short sleave shirts in Nov!
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2006, 10:02 AM
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RogerStg RogerStg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riptide
The fish are really nice, but I'm more jealous of the short sleave shirts in Nov!
Yea that was a nice day. Of course it was offset by a few days of polarfleece and gortex up against the beach inside the hook waiting for the squall to pass and the wind to lay down. It's all good though.
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