North Carolina’s Cape Fear River….Fisherman’s Utopia
We often imagine a great fishing areas being a somewhat desolate area like an uninhabited coastal island or an isolated creek that beautiful water and loaded with fish. While that can many times be the case, there are a number of great spots that many be under your nose that you may be overlooking. They’re hiding in plan sight.
North Carolina’s Lower Cape Fear River just might be one of those magic places. The river starts to widen as approaches Wilmington, North Carolina. This is about the time that anglers can find Stripers in the winter months with impressive sizes. The river proceeds through Wilmington with is historic downtown and then passes by the city’s growing port. About a mile down river from the port the Cape Fear intersects with it’s sister, the Brunswick River. The Brunswick is known for the great speckled trout fishing, especially during dryer weather conditions that push the Speckled Trout up river seeking water with less salinity. The best location is near causeway bridge at Point Gentry. You’ll know it when you get there thanks to American flag that flies near the bridge in an island marsh island. It’s been there for over a decade and over the years the flag has been mysteriously replaced with a new flag when the old flag becomes tattered due the elements. It’s thought that the unknown keeper of this flag is the ghost of Private Gentry Singleton, a North Carolina soldier that was killed at the Normandy Invasion during WWII. The namesake for the place where it continues to fly. It’s also a place where Redfish and Stripers are in good numbers. The water is deep and the river has a number of feeder creeks that make great areas for moving baits and fish habitats.
Working on down the river, you’ll come to the massive electrical power lines that provide power to Wilmington and neighboring Carolina. This where the Cape Fear become rich with its small islands that provide oyster beds and marsh grass that attracts fish like not only Redfish, Speckled Trout and Flounder, but also Black Drum and even Triple Tails and of course Stripers. It’s a perfect environment for topwater fishing and site casting. Your far enough away from the river’s shipping to channel to enjoy come and go to sea without a safety risk. It’s a quiet setting that both beautiful and uncrowded. Recreational boat traffic is minimal and sometimes never seen.
As you continue to head south down the river you come to the intersection of Snow’s cut which is where the Intracoastal Waterway meets the Cape Fear as the river moves behind Carolina and Kure Beaches. The surrounding low-lying landscape acts as a continuous for source of these nutrients. The combination numerous creeks, rivers like the Brunswick as well as ICW continue to provide rich nutrients for the river that only serves to attract a growing number of fish. This, joined with the various structures such as the rock walls near the Civil War facility at Fort Fisher that make great fish habitats. It’s a place known for its history and beauty t’s the home of battleships, forts, plantations, and countless fishing species. It’s truly is a fisherman’s utopia.