It is that time of year. We are straddling the summer beach season and the beginning of the fishing season. Warm waters keep everyone but the inshore fishermen happy during the summer. Those of us hooked on fishing patiently await the arrival of fall’s cooler temperatures.
During August we sometimes get tastes of what might be. We catch drum and some flounder, but mostly we bid our time until the water cools and the fish come closer to shore and swim up the rivers. There is nothing wrong with warmth, we just get a little too much of it at times during August and part of September.
Being in North Carolina in mid-September is not like being in Maine or New Brunswick, Canada, where you know frost is just around the corner and you could see snow within four to six weeks. Here on the Southern Outer Banks sometimes we have very nice weather well into December. We actually count on plenty more days with temperatures in the lower eighties. The average high temperature for the area does not drop below eighty degrees until September 24.
As our temperatures are dropping, the air around us is also changing. The humidity that can sometime wrap us like a warm, wet blanket in summer is slipping away and being replaced with much more comfortable levels of moisture. Fall is absolutely a great time to visit our beaches. Most of us residents would argue that it is the best time to visit. The water can stay warm well into November and our crowds for the most part are long gone.
As the ocean water cools, we will get more and more of a variety of fish along our beaches. With the fish will come surf fishermen and their trucks. I am not a big fan of trucks on the beach, but I tolerate it. Like everything else in life, there are some very courteous drivers on the beach and there are a few that I could do without.
September 14, 2013 is the last vehicle free day on the beach for several months, so I hope to make it over to The Point for a hike and perhaps an opportunity to wet my line. I doubt the water has cooled any recently since temperatures approached ninety degrees last week. There is one advantage to warm water, there is no shock getting wet or standing in it while fishing. There are lots of times that just standing in warm salt water and watching the waves is pretty close to heaven. If you happen to catch a fish, that just makes the moment that much better.
When Saturday rolls around, things will change drastically. We are going to take a break from the almost hot temperatures. Our high temperature next week, the third week of September, will probably not quite make it to 80F. That brings about a situation which is ideal for those of us who enjoy kayaks. While the air might be cool early in the mornings the next several days, the kayak puts us close enough to the surface of the water, that it is easy to be comfortable out on the water even early in the morning or in the evening. You can actually feel the heat radiating from the water.
This time of year has some other things that make me love it. The sunsets are usually spectacular and we can generally count on fairly light winds. As a photographer and fisherman, it is easy to be happy in the fall. The blues in the sky are bluer. The air is clearer and more fish are available in the area.
It is one of those situations where it is hard to complain. With great fall weather, an abundance of water nearby, and a fish invasion on the horizon, there is very little not to like.