The Real Beach Season

While this was written back in 2014, it is good to remember when July is gone and an August back to school has snared many of our visitors, the best time of the year is still to come on the Crystal Coast.

While many areas consider Labor Day the last gasp for boating, here in Eastern North Carolina, we expect to enjoy summer waters for another two to three months. Summer still has a grip on us.

The waters in our big rivers like the White Oak will take a long time to cool down from their mid-eighty temperatures. Just to make sure the cool waters do not come quickly, it is normal for get some serious warmth with high temperatures in the mid to upper eighties as summer is trying to hang on for dear life. There is nothing like going into fall with a blast of summer weather.

Most summers it can be so warm that midday boating can actually be almost too hot unless you get out into the ocean. Of course if you love the water, a little heat is not going to slow you down.

Even with above normal warmth, I managed to kayak on the river three times the last week of August 2014. I also had our skiff out a couple of times as well. The main difference between late summer and midsummer is that usually by late summer, the fish have started biting in earnest. I have caught three keeper flounders this week, one at 1.5 pounds, one at 1.75 pounds, and another at 2.25 pounds. At market price of nearly seven dollars a pound, that is over $38 of flounder.

With bright blue skies and warm waters, it is a perfect time to enjoy our beaches. The wet weather that sometimes plagues us in mid-summer disappeared in August. Even those surf fishing often find action as fall approaches.

Labor Day weekend does mark the last of the crowds for us. The grocery stores will be less crowded and we will likely to get to try any new restaurants that we have been avoiding. A hike over at the Point will definitely be in my plans. Likely I will not have to worry about Coast Guard Road parking lot not having an empty space for me.

The first two weeks of September are one of my favorite times to hike the beach. The beaches are still vehicle free for a while so I try to make the most of that. There is nothing to match the pleasure of sloshing through the surf on a warm evening and doing a little fishing with a few like-minded souls spread across the beach.

If you have the flexibility to do a fall vacation at the beach, you will not regret coming. Fall brings warm days with less humidity and not even the hint of a crowd on the beach or the waters. Even the skies seem to get a deeper shade of blue.

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