Captain's Log

Rails & Tails: September brings the return of the Cast and Blast


Fall is fast approaching the Cape Fear Coast of NC and with the arrival of September one of my favorite outdoor pursuits begins; the cast and blast. With the opening of hunting season we have the unique opportunity of hunting Clapper Rails or "marsh hens" as they are commonly known and on the right days and tides, fishing for tailing redfish in the spartina marshes.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to get out with my favorite blond, Jesabel, at 24" tall, 46" long and 60 lbs she's proof that good things come in small packages, especially when they're man's best friend. It's kind of a tradition of ours to get afield together for some wing shooting on the water before the height of the season. I think she enjoys the water and being on the boat as much as the occasional blind retrieve. Needless to say I had a great time with my gal and favorite hunt companion as we worked a few birds with the 20 ga double gun, marveled at the early September marsh and how the light this time of year just makes everything look more ethereal. Oh and we bagged a few rail in the process. After all we are hunting our supper, just not rying to shoot out the marsh in the process...

Rail season will run in NC from Sept 1 through Nov. 9. There are specific considerations to be made regarding tides and the bird migration so don't delay in getting your dates secure on the calendar via email or my Spotted Tail RMS service as soon as possible.

Redfishing is superb this time of year and will get even better as water temps cool and days get shorter. Combined those two conditions really trigger the fish to put on the feed bag! As fall sets in we will also see the spotted sea trout bite turn on providing us with a lot of fishing action throughout the tide phases. Between redfish schools getting larger, tailing tides, clapper rails and trout fishing the real question is how to find the time to fit it all in this season. Just this week the reds were tearing up the fiddler crabs and shrimp and giving my anglers and I a sight none of us will soon forget, tails happily waving in the grass...

There's plenty of adventure waiting for you on the Cape Fear Coast this season and I invite you to come test your skills on the Rails and Tailst!

For more information on Rails and Tails see our article in Gray's Sporting Journal:

Rail photos Courtesy of Walker Golder

Till Next Tide,
Capt. Seth Vernon~