May 9, 2011

Outer Banks Angling:  Anglers continue to be happy


The fishing for surf and pier anglers on Hatteras Island continues to be consistent. The blow toad, sea mullet, and bluefish reports continue to pour in for most of Hatteras. Obviously, being in the right place at the right time helps, but, overall, most anglers have been happy with their efforts.

The large, spring bluefish have made a showing from Hatteras Inlet to areas north of Avon. These fish can be a little tricky to catch on lures, but can generally be caught on large "fire-ball" rigs or drum rigs, while using cut bait. They can be a formidable opponent and are good table fare. I do recommend cleaning these fish immediately after catching to get the best tasting meat out of them as possible.

The bluefish sound relatively thick from the piers in the early morning and late evenings. A variety of Gotcha plugs will be the best producers for these fish.

Keeper flounder have been reported from the beaches of Hatteras up to Avon, and it seems those who persistently fish for the flatties are doing well.

Tradewinds Tackle reported some nice bluefish down on Ocracoke, along with a few scattered Spanish mackerel making an appearance. Some black drum and a few sheepshead were also taken from the sand.

It sounded as if the Ocracoke Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament was a little slow last week, with fewer fish being caught. But it did sound like all the participants had a great time.

The inshore boats out of Ocracoke running south have managed some cobia and found some schools of big, red drum on the shoals.

I spoke with Kenny Koce on the Big Tahuna out of Teach's Lair and he reported blackfin tuna and scattered yellowfin tuna still being captured from the fleets. He also spoke of really good mako fishing and mentioned the gaffer dolphin fishing was steadily picking up. At least one blue marlin was released in recent days.

The Hatteras inshore boats seem to be doing well with bluefish and albacore, along with some nice red drum fishing from the shoals on the prettier days.

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center reported fair catches of mahi-mahi and yellowfin tuna for offshore boats, while the inshore boats have been catching sea mullet and bluefish.

I spoke to a few friends who have been wading in the water in the Oregon Inlet area, off Park Service land, to fish, and they report catching some small flounder and fair catches of small speckled trout.

A few die-hard drumheads continue to make the trek through the water to catch red rum from Cape Point – and, yes, they are catching some nice citations. But, be warned. If you make this walk you must, and I repeat must, stay in the water at all times or you will be cited. My friends informed me of a gentleman who was ticketed the other night for placing his bag on dry ground.

This is neither an easy or difficult walk, but I advise you think twice before doing it, and you should have at least one other person with you.

While I find these closures appalling and unfair to the public, I do applaud those who continue to make this walk and try to catch fish. My hat is off to you, and if I wasn't still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, then I would join you.

So, the fishing continues to pick up a little, and I still expect the cobia and Spanish mackerel to make an appearance along Hatteras Island any day now.

The extended forecasts look pleasant with the occasional small chance of rain and light winds, but, overall, there should be good beach days through the weekend. So, if you have a little time on your hands, head on down and wet a line.

Go fishing.

(Rob Alderman is the owner of the Hatteras Island Fishing Militia website and is a kayak fishing guide. Rob has 10 years of fishing experience on the Outer Banks, and is host of the “Outer Banks Angler” television show. You can follow more of his extreme adventures or contact him at

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