March 28, 2012

Outer Banks Angling: And the beautiful weather continues

By ROB ALDERMAN


The incredible March weather has continued and it appears that it will push over into the beginning of April.

The extended forecasts show warm weather for the next week or so.

Over the weekend, the area saw some much needed rain and temps have been a little cooler the past couple of days, but we are rebounding fast.

Today’s forecast is calling for temps in the 70s and weather touching 80 degrees by the weekend.

Person after person, local after local, no one can remember such consistently beautiful weather in March. But we’ll take it.

The weather has continued to help the fishing with the reports being fair and the fish getting caught farther and farther up the beach.

A mixture of blow toads and bluefish has been reported as far north as the Avalon pier.

There have been scattered reports of sightings of cobia in the southern waters – and some captures -- but I wouldn’t get excited about them just yet.

These cobia are resident fish that find a nice wreck to call home and will hang there all year.

This is nothing new and is seen just about every year, but it is a sign that the water and air temps continue to warm-up.

The red drum are still mighty thick and the inshore boaters have been doing quite well with them regularly.

The drum continue to be picked at by the surf fishermen from Cape Point, Hatteras Inlet and the south end of Ocracoke.

I would have thought that a recent mildly strong southwest wind would’ve yielded a good catch of drum from the beach, but it didn’t produce much.

There is no guarantee in fishing, and we are all regularly reminded of this.

The blow toad fishing has been steady and area anglers have been pleased most days with their catch. Fair bites of these unique and definitely ugly fish have stretched from Cape Point to Hatteras and all along Ocracoke Island.

A mixture of sea mullet and bluefish ranging from 1 to 10 pounds has also been reported.

Speckled trout seem to be out and moving around.

I’ve heard reports from recreational anglers and commercial fishermen alike about a fair population of these sought-after fish.
 
I’ve already been stalking them myself in the Oregon Inlet area. I’ve seen quite a few keepers and a good deal of throwback specks.

In years past when we had a harsh winter, anglers would hear stories of dead speckled trout floating on the surface from being cold stunned.

I’m not a scientist, so I can only assume that a mild winter like the one we had this year would only help these sensitive fish.

Hopefully, the speckled trout can rebound a little this year and help to draw a few extra anglers this way.

Speckled trout do not yield the same amount of economic stimulation as say the stripers, but can help some.

Many a person makes a fair winter living when striper fishing is good and the recreational angler is stalking them regularly, but that season never even got started this year because of our almost non-existent winter.

Should the speckled trout season be decent it could help to offset this slightly, as many anglers do enjoy chasing these fish.

The offshore reports from the area’s fleets continue to be very good.

Great reports of yellowfin tuna continue to appear on the Internet.

Mahi-mahi, wahoo, blackfin tuna and even a blue marlin have also been reported taken from our offshore waters.

It sounds as if the warm weather has begun to chase the bluefin tuna back to the north, but that is okay, considering that it was a another good season for the monsters of the sea.

North of Oregon Inlet, gas prices are just below $4.00 a gallon and below Oregon Inlet the prices have exceeded $4 a gallon.

I am curious how this will affect the cost of offshore charters and the overall health of the fleets.

It’s a little too soon to speculate, but at the current rate that gas prices are going up, I am sure I’ll be writing an article on that one sooner, rather than later.

Although the weather has been awesome and looks to be that way for the immediate future--we are barely a week into spring and spring around here has been known to be brutal.

Take the pleasant weather while you can get it.

Don’t sit on the couch. 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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