Red drum fishing
may never be
the same as it
was years ago.
... It continues
to support a
AUTO • HOME • LIFE • RETIREMENT • MOTORCYCLE • RENTERS
for the protection you need
and the service you want.
MORGAN SCHEIBEL AGENT/OWNER
3710 S College Rd, Ste 135
Wilmington, NC 28412
and Family Therapy
IF YOU WANT TO GO: A private boat, kayak or canoe is still
the only way to get to the island. Most boaters make the trip from
the Intracoastal Waterway either through Topsail Inlet, which is the
island’s north border, or Rich’s Inlet to the south. Both inlets offer
calm mooring in bays behind the island. Exploring the system of
tidal estuaries by canoe or kayak is always interesting. Surf fishing
is popular especially in the fall, and the backwater creeks and trib-utaries
offer excellent fly fishing for small drum year-round. Several
professional fishing guides serve the area. Clams, oysters and small
fish are plentiful, but licensing may be required and harvesting is
regulated by the state. Rules and regulations can be found at most
bait and tackle shops. From April through August, some marked
bird nesting areas may be closed to entry.
910-636-5100 • WendyLaursen.com
When Hurricane Floyd closed Elmore’s Inlet in 1999, Hutaff became contiguous with
Lea Island and now is known as Lea-Hutaff Island. Fishing remains excellent at times,
especially at Topsail Inlet to the north and Rich’s Inlet to the south.
Open expanses of bare sand from hurricanes and tidal overwash have compromised
the maritime forest, and only remnants of the massive primary dunes exist in a few loca-tions
along the island. But camping, hiking and shelling are still popular.
Red drum fishing may never be the same as it was years ago. Nevertheless, the peace-ful
barrier island still offers a sanctuary for migratory waterfowl, loggerhead turtles, and
nesting shorebirds. It continues to support a fascinating and complex marine ecosystem.
The National Audubon Society, the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, the State
of North Carolina, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are all working to protect
the island so that it remains a haven for wildlife. A 25-acre area on the northern end
was designated a North Carolina State Park named the Lea Island State Natural Area.