Banks Angling: The Grand Finale
By ROB ALDERMAN
will be over soon, and the year’s fishing season will end.
I’ve scanned a lot of websites and talked with many friends to get
their views of the overall fishing season this past year.
Most felt the season was slow, but also was hampered by other factors
Beach fishermen seem to think that the weather and closures had a lot
to do with a poor catch this year.
great deal of prime beach closed early this past spring to protect
nesting birds and turtles and that made it hard to get in on the early
run of bottom fish and red drum.
However, I felt like there was
a fair fall beach season for bottom fish and red drum, once the island
became accessible again after Hurricane Irene.
Yes, the beach
fishermen lost another prime shot at fish for six weeks because of the
storm, but there was nothing anyone could do about that.
of beach fishermen were hoping for a better speckled trout season, and
while there hasn’t been a whole lot to write about in that arena, there
have been some nice specks caught.
Many of my pier fishing buddies thought the overall fishing was
scattered this year.
The fall red drum from the piers wasn’t spectacular, but there were
fish caught. And it could have been worse.
The bottom fishing for bluefish and Spanish mackerel was fair.
Most of the plankers were just happy Rodanthe and Avon Pier survived
The boaters have different reviews.
Some of the inshore guys feel as if the season was overall good, but
wished for a better cobia season.
Most of the offshore captains were happy about their year.
All the boaters also lost a great deal of good fishing and prime season
because of Irene.
personally didn’t get to fish all that much because of an injury.
Actually, it was the least amount of fishing I have done in 10 years on
the Outer Banks.
when I did get back onto the water in the fall, I managed to catch some
nice fish here and there, and, overall, I am happy about this year.
think if you ask any long-time angler about year to year fishing, he or
she will tell you that fishing comes in cycles and all years can’t be
When the moon phases, tides, weather, bait, stars, and
general, overall luck come together, then we’ll all have a stellar
There hasn’t been much to report from the surf
for the past few weeks, and it’s easily summed up for Hatteras and
Ocracoke islands by saying scattered speckled trout and puppy drum have
Winter shark season is in full swing and can provide some entertainment
for those with the gear.
rod, reel, and rigging are required for shark fishing, and I highly
recommend visiting a local tackle shop for more info on this or visit
one of the many local websites and ask the people who do this often.
island offshore fleets have being doing well with the blackfin and
yellowfin tuna, when the weather has allowed them to fish.
Some of the dedicated inshore boats around Oregon Inlet have done well
catching stripers on eels around the bridge.
The inshore striped bass fishing hasn’t amounted to much in recent
years, so it’s always nice to hear of some being caught.
was lucky enough to enjoy some fresh, local striper recently, when my
fiancée’s son managed to catch a 28-incher from the Bonner Bridge
catwalk on an eel last week.
The next day his uncle caught a 30-inch fish.
were the only two fish they saw over two days of fishing, so they are
scattered. But there are a few around, and it may be worth spending
some free time trying to catch one.
You can purchase some eels from either the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center
or from TW’s Bait and Tackle.
I also recommend having a pier net to help hoist the fish up.
than this, there is not much to report right now, but with the start of
the new year I believe there is always hope of some more speckled trout
from the surf, along with bluefin tuna and the chance of stripers from
Reports out of Virginia give the impression that a lot
of their striper population is still holding tight to the Chesapeake
Bay and this could lead to those fish pushing south in our direction,
when they do start to push out hard -- weather permitting.
We can only hope that 2012 will be more productive for local and
visiting anglers on the Outer Banks.
the ORV angler on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, the fishing will
become more limited and more arduous with the implementation of vehicle
permits and the final ORV plan.
I am not eager, but I am curious to see how this works out for
the local fishing and economy.
I do know that no one will be happy.
been doing some serious physical rehabilitation and training to get
myself ready for a new year, and I am feeling good and strong.
I look forward to chasing fish again from the pier, boat, kayak, and
even the surf.
will not be easy adjusting to the new rules or limitations brought on
by the National Park Service’s new ORV plan, but I plan to make the
best of it.
I will not allow injury or government regulations to take the fun out
of my fishing.
I love fishing, and I live for it.
I will fish by any means necessary until the day I can no longer stand
I wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope everyone has a great 2012
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)