June 21, 2011

Outer Banks Angling: Summer is here


The weather is warm, the air is humid, the kids are out of school, and the highway is busy. Yep, summer is here.

The fishing the past couple of weeks has remained steady in a lot of cases. You cannot expect to absolutely destroy fish at this time of year, but there has been some decent action for those who have stayed diligent.

I’ve continued to hear of fair catches of sea mullet for those targeting them and fair catches of blues and Spanish mackerel from the surf and piers on Hatteras.

There has been some so-so pompano fishing the past couple of weeks on the prettier days and the random sheepshead has been caught from the beach.

The flounder bite has remained off and on, but there are still some keepers being caught.

There have been a few citation drum caught from the surf around Hatteras Inlet, which has been a welcomed surprise for those anglers.

A couple of keeper cobias have been taken from the Avon Pier by the dedicated live-baiters.

A mixture of small spot and croaker could be found all along Hatteras, and they are a great crowd pleaser for young children down on vacation.

On Ocracoke Island, nice, regular catches of 2-pound pompano are the main story. One pompano over 3 pounds was weighed in at Tradewinds Tackle.

Fair catches of sea mullet continued to be reported from the Ocracoke surf, along with good catches of Spanish mackerel.

A variety of different colored, metal lures have been the ticket for the Spanish mackerel from the surf in the early morning and late evening.

The inshore boats around Ocracoke Inlet have caught some cobias on bait and throwback flounders, along with good catches of Spanish mackerel.

Mahi-mahi and billfish have been relatively thick for the Hatteras offshore fleets.

Limits of mahi-mahi and citation white marlin and sailfish have kept anglers busy on their offshore adventures.

Anglers fishing from the catwalk on the Bonner Bridge have had good luck catching some nice sheepshead and  throwback flounder, with the occasional keeper mixed in.

Those wading and kayaking in the Oregon Inlet area have had some speckled trout, flounder, and sheepshead.

Big-eye tuna and mahi-mahi fishing has been excellent for the offshore boats out of Oregon Inlet.

To my surprise and joy, my doctor recently gave me the green light to get back into the water after severely damaging my Achilles tendon.

I launched my kayak last week on a very pretty day and headed straight to my home—Diamond Shoals.

The wind was non-existent and the water was gin clear up to 25 feet down, but the sun was not cooperative, so it was hard to see and take advantage of the clarity.

However on a few occasions I did have some nice-sized Spanish mackerel follow my lures all the way to the boat, but had no actual takers. I did not get onto the water until mid-day and it can be difficult to get these fish to bite in the heat of the day.

I prefer early morning and late evening hours at this time of the year from the kayak – times that almost always produce fish.

While making a long paddle back to the shore from the shoals, I came to find four cobias tailed in behind my kayak and following me.

I threw everything I had at them, but like so many others, I found that they weren’t interested in anything I had to offer.

After trying and trying to catch one of the brown bombers, two of them became annoyed and left, but two of them decided to follow me over a mile—all the way to the beach.

They decided to taunt me at times by zigzagging back and forth underneath me, so they left me no other choice but to take their photo.

It was the best I was going to get. 

Typical summer forecasts are calling for the small chance of rain each day, which means we probably will not get one drop. The winds will be from the southwest and at times may be a little strong, but overall the weather looks nice.

So, jump in your vehicle, buy a little fuel while the price is down, and head on to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. We’ll leave the light on for you. The lighthouses, that is.

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 www.FishMilitia.com)

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