About the Author:
Captain Luke Tippett of TopWater Guide Co.
October is right around the corner, and with cooling water and air temperatures, it is my favorite month to fish! We can look forward to the fish schooling up in tighter groups around the Carolina Beach area, and this really makes for some good fishing. You can expect to have some of your best days of the year inshore in October with big numbers of fish brought to the boat.
October usually kicks off the consistent Speckled Trout bite around the Carolina Beach area. With the dropping water temperatures, the trout will start to move into larger schools and feed heavily. This time of year I like to target trout in 4-8 feet of water using anything from topwater plugs to soft plastics. One of my go to baits is the 17mr Mirrodine by Mirrolure. This lure is a suspending twitch-bait and tends to stay in the trout’s strike zone for a longer period of time. If you run in to a few trout this time of year, be sure to not catch a few and pass them by. Most of the time in October, if you find one or two trout, there will be more. The most exciting way to catch trout in October is on a topwater plug. When fishing a topwater I like to focus on marsh points and ledges in the water going from 4-5 feet up to 2-3 feet. Make sure you pause the plug from time to time because trout often like to hit it on the pause.
Redfish are another great target in October. This is a great time to catch them on the flats off of the ICW and in the Lower Cape Fear River. To successfully stalk schools of redfish this time of year, I like to pole the flats to be as quiet as possible. Running a trolling motor can be successful as well, but make sure not to spook the fish by scrubbing the bottom with the prop. Fish on the flats will take a variety of baits. We catch them on fly, topwaters, soft plastics and spoons in October. The inlet in October can also be a great way to score some nice redfish. Drifting the inlet with 1oz Carolina rig and circle hook with live mullet is hard to beat.
Flounder also feed well this time of year. For flounder, focus on ledges in 6-10 feet of water near current. Fishing with enough weight to keep the bait on the bottom is a must! I like to fish anywhere from 1/2oz to 1oz of weight depending on the water depth. A short leader Carolina rig with circle hook or weighted jig head does the trick on the flounder. Larger pogies or finger mullet is my bait of choice for the flatties in October!