August 8, 2011 Facebook TwitterMore...

Outer Banks Angling: Spanish, Spanish and more Spanish mackerel


Surf fishermen all along Hatteras Island have found much entertainment here of late.

Lots and lots of bluefish and Spanish mackerel have been caught from shore. Some of the Spanish are very large and range from 3 to 5 pounds at times, which is a decent fish from shore.

Hatteras Inlet and Cape Point have been the best producers of these large Spanish in the early morning and late evening hours

Anglers have been catching these fish on various forms of metal lures and it’s best to stop by one of the local tackle shops to inquire what the hot color and lure is at the time. The colors and types of lures that work best can change from one day to the next or even from the morning to evening bite, so make sure you get a little variety and a few back-ups of each to boot. You will lose lures during these bites.

Fair amounts of fair-sized pompano have been caught along Hatteras Island beaches. Some of these fish have been large and citation material.

Sea mullet fishing has also been good and quite a few citation fish have been caught from shore.

The pompano and sea mullet generally need to be targeted in order to be caught in good numbers during the warmer summer months.

I would concentrate on using live sand fleas (mole crabs), which you’ll need to catch on your own.

This is not difficult and you can obtain a special rake for collecting them from a local tackle shop.

The tackle shop can also instruct you on its use and where to catch the fleas.

Small spot, croaker, and other small bottom fish have been reported all along the surf zone, so taking a kid fishing should be entertaining and fun.

There have been some nice flounder and keeper puppy drum, along with some oversized puppy drum taken around Ramp 43 to Hatteras inlet.

Always remember—this is fishing and not catching. Some days will be better than others, but the real point is to get outside and have a good time with family and friends or even in solitude.

Anglers fishing Rodanthe and Avon piers have put spot, croaker, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, spadefish, and triggerfish on the planks.

Look for an onshore wind for the best luck with the Spanish mackerel, triggerfish, and spadefish.

Hatteras offshore fleets had a reasonable amount of sails and wahoo, with scattered mahi-mahi bites. There are not huge numbers of fish in the blue water right now, but it does sound like the boats are having some luck and clients are enjoying themselves.

Inshore boats out of Hatteras have been doing well, with good catches of speckled trout, flounder, and gray trout.

The occasional school of big, red drum has been stumbled upon and citation fish have been released.

Reports from the fleets out of Oregon Inlet consisted of fair and steady bites of white marlin, yellowfin tuna, mahi-mahi, and some sailfish.

Inshore reports around Oregon Inlet were comprised of flounder, some large bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and a couple cobia.

Some friends who have been consistently wading into the Oregon Inlet area have caught some speckled trout, flounder, and a few puppy drum.

There were few boat reports from Ocracoke Island and the surf report was a little thin. Only a few sea mullet, small blues, and a few puppy drum were reported recently.

I made only my second kayak launch this year around Cape Point in recent weeks, as I am still recovering from a couple major injuries.

While on the water, I saw lots and lots of Spanish mackerel, but I saw even more sharks.

I witnessed a plethora of spinner, black tip, dusky, and sandbar sharks, to name a few. This mirrored reports from all the inshore boat captains.

These sharks are highly aggressive, and some are as large as 8 feet long and weigh more than 150 pounds.

I highly recommend being on your guard while wading near the Point or any inlet, along with being highly alert while fishing from a kayak in the ocean.

I lost 95 percent of my catch to the sharks within feet of my kayak.

I’d leave your nets on the beach and bring your catch into the boat using the leader and lure. This will allow the sharks to take your catch with ease if they want it, without threat of pulling you in the water if you are using a net.

Also, whether you are fishing from pier, boat, surf, or kayak I recommend you keep your catches in a cooler with ice or in a bucket of water. The ice is preferable -- anything rather than just leaving fish on a hot deck or in the hot sand, which will dry the fish out.

It defeats the purpose to spend so much time, money, and effort chasing fish, if you do not properly store them, once they are caught.

Extended forecasts look hot and humid, with a slight chance of rain each day for the coming week. The winds look tolerable and fishable, so one should be able to fish most days and at least have a chance at catching a fish.

I hope you can make the drive down and try your luck at some area fishing.

Always remember to visit one of the many local tackle shops to get your gear and current reports, so you’ll be ready to go and catch a fish.

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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