March 19, 2013
Outer Banks Angling: Spring ahead

By ROB ALDERMAN



AThe clocks have been moved forward an hour and we are just days away from the official start of spring.

The ground hog told us we would get nice weather soon, but actually we have had the worst weather of the winter season since that prediction.

From one end of the Outer Banks to the other, the ocean has beaten the beach to pieces in recent weeks.

Huge swells, strong winds, and tidal flooding have caused a great deal of problems -- especially for those on Hatteras Island, where Highway 12 was once again hit by major overwash and the road was closed at times for several days.

With spring at our doorstep, we can only hope that the weather will ease up for a while.
Yet, realistically March and April can be horrible months for northeasters and just overall highly unpredictable weather.

However, I am going to keep my fingers crossed and hope for nicer weather to bring in the spring fish over the next few weeks.

During the winter months, there were sporadic days of decent puppy drum, speckled trout, and sea mullet fishing, but in the big picture, it wasn't much.

Prior to the last storm a few weeks ago, the yellowfin, blackfin and bluefin tuna were being found by the offshore fleets. I expect that the tuna fishing will be fair again as the seas calm down and the fleets return to fishing.

To really get the inshore spring fish moving and eating we need to see water temperatures begin to creep towards 60 degrees. This would help push sea mullet, blow toads, bluefish, flounder, and red drum into our inshore waters.

In order for the water temps to rise, we need our air temps to start to rise consistently around the mid- to upper-50s, along with sunny days and southerly winds.

In the immediate future, the forecast shows fair amounts of sunshine and decent air temps, but the wind appears to be spinning around in circles and packing a heck of a punch at times.

So this leaves me to wonder whether or not in the coming week or so we will see a sign of spring fishing.

Honestly. We could see a little action or we may stay par-for-the course right now, which isn't much.

I know many visitors are keeping a watchful eye on the weather and fishing reports, waiting for a little enticement and a good reason to shoot down to the islands.

If you begin to see reports of blow toads, sea mullet, or bluefish, then the drum are hot on their heels.

I also expect that with a little nicer weather, some big flounder should begin to be taken near the inlets – and perhaps some speckled trout.

All I can say is “Keep watching.”

Hopefully, the beating Mother Nature has thrown the Outer Banks off and on since the fall is now in our rearview mirror.

Local businesses are gearing up for yet another season. Motels are running specials and the tackle shops are all stocked up from winter trade shows.

I've got all my fishing gear ready to go and I hope you do too.

Now, it's just a waiting game.

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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