Angling: A case of
big news for surf fisherman on Hatteras Island is the large bluefish
that are being taken regularly from Hatteras Inlet up to Rodanthe.
A few citations have been caught, which is not a normal thing in the
spring months, as these fish will generally have a large head and
slender bodies. The same fish caught in late fall will generally be a
few pounds heavier after feeding well during the summer months.
Nevertheless, these fish have provided countless anglers a good story
for the past week. I personally did very well with these bluefish last
year during May and June from the Cape Point shoals, but they were
extremely scattered from the surf. I am no fish biologist and do not
have the answers about why they are so predominate this year, but I am
glad they are biting for the anglers.
These fish can be very finicky when it comes to most lures and are best
caught on cut bait using a bluefish rig, fireball rig, or a
rig. I was able to catch a few last year on gator spoons, but time and
time again, top-water poppers produced these hard fighters, and on
light tackle you will have a formidable opponent on your hands.
Sea mullet and the smaller size bluefish continue to be caught on and
off along all of Hatteras Island, along with some decent flounder
fishing from Hatteras to Avon. The flounder catch seems to be thinning
out a little in comparison to previous weeks, but these fish still have
produced well for those targeting them.
Small spot and croaker have also been seen from pier and surf.
I was talking with some kayakers and a couple surf fishermen, and a few
Spanish mackerel have also been caught, which is always a good sign for
Alan Sutton of Tradewinds Tackle on Ocracoke had a mirrored report to
that on Hatteras. Alan reported large bluefish scattered along the
island that were caught from surf, kayak, and inshore boat. Scattered
sea mullet and pompano weighing more than 2 pounds were also beached.
Alan reported that cobia have been scarce in the area, and he hoped the
inshore boats would have a decent catch of them with today's nice
I must admit I am shocked the cobias haven't pushed a little farther
north by now, considering the conditions have been right for them to
shove. But, I've learned with most fish, that at times their migration
has no rhyme or reason.
The Hatteras offshore fleets have done very well with gaffer dolphin,
blackfin tuna, and scattered yellowfin tuna. Numerous billfish were
caught during last week's Hatteras Village Offshore Open. Scattered
wahoo and king mackerel have been boated.
Inshore boats around Hatteras Inlet have done very well with limits of
flounder and bluefish, along with some cobias for the boats running
farther south. Large red drum continue to be caught by sight
casters on prettier days.
The Fleets out of Oregon Inlet have landed white and blue marlin, along
with some gaffer dolphin and even a spearfish.
Inshore boats in the area produced a mixed bag of flounder, sea mullet,
Speckled trout and flounder continue to be caught by those wading in
the Oregon Inlet flats.
Now, this is the part that goes from article to editorial. I am talking
about those that have continued to wade through the water to Cape
Point. This has become a touchy subject on many fronts and you can read
Irene Nolan's latest blog "Getting to the Point" for more info on the
Several very die-hard anglers have continued to walk over a mile to get
to the action that awaits at Cape Point. This walk takes more than 40
minutes through the surf and requires the anglers to remain in the
water at all times or face a ticket. These dedicated individuals care
only about one species of fish from the surf on the Outer Banks--red
drum. They fish for nothing else. And, time and time again, for weeks
now, their efforts have been well worth it.
These anglers at times have been persecuted by both fellow
anglers and the National Park Service for their actions. And, recently,
the NPS has announced that if its biologists feel the birds that are no
where near these anglers are disturbed, then they will shut down more
beach to all users in the hopes of making this walk too difficult. I
find this appalling and an abuse of power by the NPS. They could not
stop boaters or kayakers from coming within feet of the sand, so why
try and stop those legally wading?
I have nothing but respect and support for my friends who continue to
pursue happiness by chasing the fish they love, against all adversity.
They have assured me that no additional closure will prevent them from
continuing to make this walk. I know that further unprecedented
closures by the NPS under this guise will only further infuriate the
beach going community. I hope the biologists and their superiors will
use better judgment than they are currently threatening.
So, the fishing is about as good as it gets, and if I had a little free
time on my hands, I would make a run on down to try your luck. The
extended forecasts for the weekend look great, with fair wind and
skies, so you have no excuse there.
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 www.FishMilitia.com)