This first picture of the surf was snapped on November 3, 2013, near the Point at Emerald Isle, North Carolina.
You can see larger versions of any of these pictures by clicking on them. That will take you to Pinterest. Once you are on my Pinterest board if you click one more time, you will get to see the original full-size image, and you can easily share the image.
Wading in the surf is mostly a memory by the time we get to December, but I did spent a little more time fishing the surf this year than is my usual custom. There are some very nice people who fish the surf. It is hard to beat standing in warm water casting for fish especially when you get to see something neat like a mullet blow.
Still I will admit that my surf fishing luck was not great, but that has more to do with the convenience of getting in my kayak and going fishing on the oyster rocks in the river where I am pretty good at catching fish. It is a fifteen minute drive from my house to the parking lot for the beach and then if you are a walker like me, it takes another fifteen to twenty minutes to get to one of the fishing spots.
I love hiking the beach and getting away from everything, but when time is short for me, it is a lot easier to slide the kayak into the water behind our house and start paddling. I also enjoy the different view of the river that I get from my kayak. It puts a new perspective on the world.
This next picture was taken looking almost north up the White Oak River one evening in November.
There were several evenings that I managed to get off work and spend a hour or so fishing. It only takes ten minutes of paddling to be at the first set of oyster rocks in the river.
Sometimes I catch drum before I even make it to the river. Realistically the convenience of fishing in the river is more to blame for the few fish that I caught in the surf than anything.
My favorite time to fish the river is when the tide is dropping and the oyster rocks are exposed. Some of the cuts in the rocks are great places to fish.
I am a fairly dedicated artificial lure fisherman. It adds a little extra challenge to fishing and it takes almost no preparation or planning to go fishing when I use metal or plastic lures.
Catching fish takes some effort in our area because there is a fair amount of competition for fish between recreational fishermen and commercial fishermen. In the end it is like fishing anywhere. You have to be out on the water when the fish are there and biting.
The river was good to me this year. I brought home some nice drum, trout, and flounder. I felt that I was justly rewarded for my efforts. However, the best day of fishing I had all year was a Saturday afternoon in early November.
I managed to bring home a 21” drum, a 20” trout, and another 19” trout. That same trip I caught and released another 17” drum. It was a wonderful experience and I actually caught the fish near where I caught some similarly sized drum earlier in the fall. The day before I brought home a 17” trout caught in the same area.
The trip home when you catch some fish is always a wonderful treat. Coming back into our inlet as the sun gets low in the sky and colors warm up seems to automatically relax me. It is a great feeling.
One of the nice things about catching fish just ten minutes from your home dock is that you can have them cleaned and ready to eat in almost no time. We really enjoyed the fish I caught this year and I am already looking forward to next year.
I did paddle out in the river and spend an hour fishing just before the middle of December. I could find no fish even though the water had warmed back up from the cold spell and taste of snow that convinced most of us that winter is truly on the way.
Even in winter this area can be so beautiful that it almost takes away your breath. I am reminded of that every time I drive over Bogue Sound on my way to Emerald Isle.
As I am writing this, there are a couple more weeks before we finish out December. It looks like we will end the year with some very good weather.
That is good news for those of us who garden along the Crystal Coast during the winter. We have already enjoyed lettuce and broccoli from our winter garden. We even have some peas blooming and might get a few of those to add the finishing touch to a very successful gardening year.
It has been a beautiful fall here on the Crystal Coast. We have enjoyed everything from fog on the river to some quiet time out by the breakers in Bogue Inlet near Bear Island. We did have a strong storm and rain around Thanksgiving, but that is just a memory at this point. Now our winter visitors to the marsh, the large shore birds including the relatively friendly great egrets, are with us most days of the week and watching them is a great way to connect with nature.
Our area waters tend to get very peaceful as the holidays approach. Of course it is not just the waters that seem to get quiet as the year winds down. Our whole area is a great place to escape the holiday madness and reflect on the true meaning of the season.
If all the information on this page has perked your interest, please check out our new book, “A Week At the Beach - The 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide.”
It is a really special guide to the area and only $3.99 for the Kindle version. Emerald Isle, Nags Head, Ocracoke, and Myrtle Beach all have great but very different beaches.
If you do not know what you want in a beach, it can be hard to find the right one. Those people looking for something like Myrtle Beach will not find it on the Crystal Coast.
There are some very special beaches here. Some require a little planning and work to reach, but those of us who enjoy their beaches in their natural state find that they are worth every bit of the effort.
One of my favorite beaches is Hammocks Beach which is accessible only by boat. It is truly a special beach to love. You have already heard about the Point at Emerald Isle which I sometimes call the “End of the Sand.” To get to that favorite spot requires either a boat, a 4WD with a beach driving permit, or a hike of over two miles if you do go to the end of the sand.
If heading to the beaches during the last days of summer does not excite you, perhaps visiting the Canadian Maritimes in the heat of an American summer might. If you need a little Maritime travel advice to get your wheels turning, you will find it in our A Taste for the Wild book.
Nova Scotia is a paradise of blue and green and as long as you are not planning a dip in the water, you will find little to complain about in a place where Americans, even those of us from the South, are most welcome.
I like to say the book is worth the $2.99 just for the story about our honeymoon on the barrens of Newfoundland where my wife was convinced that we were close to being lost forever.
All of our books are now available in print from Amazon.
A Taste for the Wild, Canada's Maritimes
The Road to my Country
A Week At The Beach, The 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide
The Pomme Company
If you are interested in more information about me, check out the about me section of my main website.
It has links to many other places where my writing is posted. You can also visit this site to see what I have recently published, or if you are interested in the technology side of the world, visit this list of articles that I have written for ReadWrite Web.
More general information about the mainland where I live is available at this link to my Swansboro to Cape Carteret area page.
You will find some helpful area details that might make folks think you are a local, but for the real local experience and information head for our travel guide.
Why we love it here?
It is hard to say that any place is perfect. However, for those who think a walk on the beach is better than a trip to the mall, the Crystal Coast is hard to beat.
While living by the water is not for everyone, it has worked out well for us. If you are considering living on the water, you might want to read my post, Life By Coastal Waters.
For thoughts on where we have chosen to live, I would steer you to my articles, In the Wildness of our surroundings there is peace, Community, America the not so overfull, and Why I love living in Carteret County
My Crystal Coast, Salt Water on Your Feet site also has a number of articles for people considering a move to the Crystal Coast.
To make life even better we have found a wonderful church home at Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church.
Our quiet spot sheltered by Bogue Banks, Croatan National Forest, and the Cape Lookout National Seashore is a friendly area with a great future. Right now it is the spot for us.
This is a link to a simple map of the area. There are more detailed ones in our Emerald Isle Travel Guide.
You can find an introduction to the area and links to most of my other blogs at this link or visit this page for the basics.