This time of year we have a lot to be thankful for but keeping us safe is up there at the top of my list of things this season. With all the madness going on in the world the last thing we need is an unnecessary accident while fishing, so lets talk safety for a minute.
Whether we are out on a boat or just fishing the banks of a pond we have to take some precautions this time of year. The water temps are dropping so getting in the water could be a huge problem even if you simply slip of the bank and fall into the water. Hypothermia is the problem here and it only takes a few minutes before setting in. So if you end up wet get back home as soon as possible and don’t think it’s okay to stay and fish for a bit longer because before you know it you can be to the point where you can’t make it back to the truck or dock to get dry. When I am kayak fishing or even out on my boat I always have a dry set of clothes in the truck just in case I fall in.
Life jackets are a must this time of year as they should be all year but especially now. A float plan is always a good idea, which could be as simple as telling your spouse where you are fishing and when you should be off the water. If you can have a cell phone on you then do it just in case and let them know the minute you get off the water. A good marine radio is a plus if you are out on a boat or there are portable radios that can transmit for miles if you are on the yak or a smaller boat like a jon boat. These are just a few things to keep in mind to let you enjoy this time of year on the water and let your family know you will be safe.
The fishing reports for the offshore guys is a little slim this week for the simple fact that the wind has held them in the creeks but they got out one day and had a good mix of tuna, mahi and even some bill fish released so it may be November but the fish don’t know it yet.
Closer to shore the beaches got hammered by northeast winds all week which slowed the fishing some. The guys that did get out caught some puppy drum as well as some scattered blues and some mullet. The dogfish and skate are beginning to show up which means the change is about to happen. The water temperature is falling for now so they will be stealing your bait more often in the next few weeks.
Here locally we have some diehard striper guys who got out this week and did pretty good with keepers mixed in with the small ones. The sound bridge is paying of with stretch lures and Rattle Traps while the other anglers on the Chowan are looking for bait fish and reading there electronics to find the fish. Local expert David Buchanan who happens to be the son of legendary angler Buck Buchanan did just that while moving up the river and watching his electronics he found a school of fish and stayed on top of them jigging baits till he limited out. It takes some practice but if you have the skill set like David it can be done. We have also started to see some crappie action in the creeks and around the mouth of the creeks with live shiners paying off here. If anyone gets out send me a report and some pictures to email@example.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.
Mike Sweeney is a local fishing coach and he writes about his fishing adventures in the Daily Advance, Albemarle Times and for the Elizabeth City Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Click here to book light tackle guide trips for the Albemarle region and Chesapeake Bay for stripers, trout, flounder, spanish mackerel and blues.