April 17, 2012

Outer Banks Angling: What a difference a couple weeks make


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.

March was packed full of unusual, beautiful weather -- one of the nicest on record with very warm weather and light winds.

Then April arrived, and we’ve seen what I consider to be the true Outer Banks spring weather -- cooler air and stronger winds.

The past couple of weeks have had a constantly spinning wind that averaged 10-20 mph.

One day it would be a strong northeast wind and the next it would be a hard west wind.

This is the norm around here at this time of the year.

Although the weather went from abnormally nice to a little more violent, the fishing has remained strong -- if not gotten stronger.

All along Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, the sea mullet and blow toad bites have been as good as anyone could ask for. Plenty of coolers have been filled recently with these highly sought after inshore fish.

Bluefish, albacore, and the occasional Spanish mackerel have been taken by the surf fishermen from Frisco to Ocracoke Inlet.

 Inshore boaters have absolutely blistered the false albacore and done very well with Spanish mackerel when they have been able to get out.

Reports the citation red drum have come in from both boats and surf fishermen.

The predominant bite for the boats has been around Ocracoke lately, with several inshore boats doing well with them.

I’ve heard of a few drum being taken by those surf fishermen willing to take a walk.

Cape Point’s only direct route in has been closed for about a 150 meters to all ORVs and pedestrians.

However, one can walk just below the low water line around this closure and come back onto land on the other side.

While this is not for everyone, it is a way for some to get out onto the Point and try their luck at a big fish.

Over the weekend, the south end of Ocracoke was closed to traffic, but the word is that you can still get to a lot of good fishing holes.

Puppy drum have started to make an appearance from Buxton to Ocracoke and it sounds as if the bite gets stronger with each passing day, as the water gets warmer.

Avon Pier reported a mix bag of small croakers and spot, along with some sea mullet and bluefish. They also reported a 67-degree water temp, which is prime for spring fishing.

Offshore fleets out of Hatteras and Ocracoke have done exceptionally well with wahoo. The wahoo bites are about as strong as it gets, and I recommend trying to go after one now if this is a fish you love or that eludes you.

The fleets have also had good catches of mahi-mahi, blackfin tuna and even a couple billfish.

The fleets going through Oregon Inlet continue to have excellent catches of yellowfin tuna, along with the occasional mahi-mahi.

I am excited to hear of so many fish being caught and so many people making a go of the fishing.

With the new ORV regulations and restrictions firmly in place now, it is nice to know that there are quite a few willing to try it out and go fishing.

Many do not share my view on this, and I understand why. But the health of the economies of Hatteras and Ocracoke depend on our visitors.

The Frisco pier is no longer open because of damage and the Rodanthe pier is currently closed because of financial issues.

With new rules on the beach, closed piers, and rising gas prices for boaters, the islands need people who are willing to try new things and who are willing to suck certain issues up in order to have a good time and spend their money in the area.

This doesn’t mean those individuals agree with what is transpiring, nor does it mean that they don’t care. It just means that they love these areas with a passion and are not willing to give up hope just yet that new avenues can be found and traditions maintained.

There are a lot of obstacles that face all the different forms of Outer Banks fishing and no one person or organization has a definitive answer on how to resolve them.

But, I am sure of one thing. The only way to preserve the fishing and combat the issues is for people to continue to fish however they can. If everyone just ups and quits fishing, then there will be nothing left to fight for or preserve.

The weather forecast for the next several days is interesting to say the least.

The air temps will be comfortable, but the winds will be either fair or very strong, so fishing could get a little tricky as the weekend approaches.

The nice thing about the islands is there is always somewhere you can go when the wind is blowing to put the wind at your back.

It doesn’t mean you’ll catch fish and it doesn’t mean you won’t--you can only try.

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)

 Comments are always welcomed!

     Subject :

     Name :  (required)

     Email :  (required, will not be published)

     City :   (required)    State :   (required)

     Your Comments:

May be posted on the Letters to the Editor page at the discretion of the editor.