January 20, 2012

Outer Banks Angling: Fishbook


I am constantly asked which website I like most for fishing information. You might think I would say my own, FishMilitia.com, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

Most fishing websites are great for reports and info, but will require some navigation to get most of what you are looking for.

Fishing reports are in one forum, beach access info and tackle questions in another, and so on. And, then, even a lot of the boat, pier, surf, and kayak fishing reports are broken down into different forums.

It’s not that big a deal, and most of us do navigate our way through them to find what we are looking for.

But, honestly, I love Facebook for my fishing reports.

I’ve got several hundred friends on Facebook. No, I am not bragging because I don’t know most of these people very well or at all.

But we share a common love, fishing.

I’ll befriend anyone or any business that shares my passion for fishing.

Pier, boat, surf, kayak, and even spear fishermen use and post on Facebook regularly.

This allows for a one-stop fishing report from all over the country for all different forms of fishing.

I do not have to go from one website to another or from one forum to another for the recent catches.

I simply start at the top of the page and start scrolling down to see what’s going on and where.

As I discussed in the last article, many reports are only minutes old.

Fishing-related businesses are quick to post the latest report in the hopes of encouraging more anglers to spend money.

The hardcore recreational angler is eager to show his or her friends that day’s accomplishments and/or even do a little friendly hassling.

A lot of the charter captains are posting a brief report and pictures while navigating their way home.

In many cases, the charter reports hit Facebook before the marinas have a chance to even take a photo or make a post.

So, now in a matter of a few minutes and scrolling down one page, I know if the stripers are chewing in New York or if the cobias are chasing bucktails in Florida.

No, I haven’t won the lottery, and I can’t necessarily jump in a car or on a plane and go chase those fish. But, I can gauge if the season is going well in a particular area for certain type fish, especially if those fish are known to migrate my way.

As an example, I’ve been watching stripers and bluefin tuna get hammered out of Rudee Inlet in Virginia for weeks. While there is no assurances that those fish will come this way, if  the weather, bait, moon and stars all come together and force those fish into North Carolina, then I can assume will have good fishing based on what I’ve seen.

Now, for those with a little more coin in their pockets, these types of reports can encourage an unplanned trip to chase a trophy fish four states away.

Let’s face it, most of the Outer Banks anglers are not local. They live elsewhere and are just waiting to be inspired to go fish.

Some anglers are bound by limited vacation time and have to hope the fishing is good, when they are here.

But a lot of our visiting anglers are willing to jump in a vehicle and take off to chase a fish at a moment’s notice.

There are a lot of hit and run anglers out there, and these types of reports means money to the area.

Instant reports--what more could an angler want?

I realize there are a lot of people who oppose this flow of information, and some have even said that the Internet doesn’t really matter.

Well, all I can say is that you are wrong.

The economic survival of the Outer Banks is based on constantly encouraging new people to come to this area, while maintaining as many repeat visitors as possible.

The baby boomers are getting older and that generation of visitor will decline in time.

The younger generations are technology maniacs, and they rely on their Internet and smart phones for everything.

Best to grab and retain their attention now in every manner we can to best ensure the economy of the Outer Banks.

I truly believe this is an adapt-or-die situation.

Outer Banks businesses can have a mom-and-pop atmosphere, while taking part in today’s technology to better advance or promote their product or services.

Even if a business doesn’t have a website, the owner can set-up a Facebook page for FREE. There is no charge to take part in the world’s largest website.

Even local supermarkets have daily posts about their lunch specials.

Maybe this only equates to three or four extra meals sold each day, or just a dozen over the week.

Well, that’s extra sales they made by utilizing a free tool and a couple minutes of time.

Technology is changing our world at a pace that gets more rapid each month.

My father lives more than 650 miles away in Florida. By using an iPod Touch on my end and an iPad 2 on his end, I can press two buttons and have a face-to-face conversation with him in real time.

I was able to watch my 5-year-old niece open her Christmas presents live.

If you are skeptical about Facebook’s power, then I suggest you just try it.

There is nothing to lose with few minutes of your time, and if it doesn’t work for you after a while, you have lost nothing.

No, I am not a paid to advertise Facebook, but I can’t help but write this article, when I know just how many of our visitors are using it multiple times a day.

Now, for a current Outer Banks fishing report.

The fleets on the Outer Banks are on the tuna.

Blackfin, yellowfin, and bluefin tuna are getting caught in good numbers when the weather allows the boats to go out.

No need to sit at home being cold and bored. You can book a trip and be cold and in meat heaven because the bite is strong.

In the surf on Hatteras to Ocracoke islands, scattered puppy drum and speckled trout are being reported..

Not a lot to the surf reports, but if you are down this way and are looking for something to do, then putting in some beach time may prove a little productive.

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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