July 16, 2013
Outer Banks Angling: Halfway there
By ROB ALDERMAN
some would say that the Outer Bank's primary tourist season runs from
Memorial Day to Labor Day, the truth is the busiest weeks for visitors
are from June 15 to August 15.
The reason for this is simple --
school. There is no set nationwide date for colleges or any other
school to return. Some schools return prior to Labor Day and some
No matter what one considers to be the start and end of the busy season, one fact remains -- we are halfway there.
Thus far, the summer season has been good for businesses and fishing alike, and we can hope the same for the latter half.
July pushes on, we should see the gradual opening of some of the
seasonal beach closures, as nesting birds wrap up their breeding
season. This will mean a little more access to some prime fishing
spots, and hopefully this will result in more fish being caught by the
As of late, sea mullet and pompano have dominated the beach scene on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
places such as Cape Point closed, anglers who would have been focusing
their efforts from the beach on bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and
albacore have adjusted and are targeting sea mullet and pompano very
This would definitely have a lot to do with so many reports of these fish being caught.
Also, over the past couple of years the "River Rig" has been introduced to the public.
specialty sea mullet and pompano rig has been around for quite sometime
now and was usually used by local fishermen and/or those who mainly targeted these species.
Now it is tied commercially and offered
to the public and has helped many a person catch more of these fish in
the summer months. You can find them at most local tackle shops.
Citation red drum have made a good showing this summer at Ramp 55 along Hatteras Inlet. This is almost solely a night time bite.
means one would have to park off the beach and walk to the fishing
grounds in order to comply with current night-time beach driving
regulations, which require you to be off the sand with your vehicle by
Visiting one of the local tackle shops can be very
helpful if this piques your interest and you have never done it before.
They can help you scale down to the bare minimum to make a night-time
walk and have what you need to catch fish.
My suggestion is to
bring a back pack. Consolidate your drum fishing tackle down to extra
rigs, leaders, and weights to easily fit in a pack on your shoulders.
Pre-cut your bait and stick it into zippered plastic bags. Then you can
use a small, soft cooler that fits into your back pack or over your
I'd take two rods. Mishaps with rods and reels are a
given when drum fishing. Take two sand spikes to hold your rods and to
help with any rigging.
you take two plastic sand spikes and drill a hole in either the top or
bottom of them, they can then be tied together with a little piece of
string and also thrown over your shoulder or neck.
This may sound like a lot to be carrying, but if done properly and with the bare minimum, it will be less than you think.
with a fair sea mullet and pompano bite, the small spot, croaker, and
flounder have helped to keep surf fishermen busy on Hatteras and
Ocracoke. Occasionally, puppy drum and speckled trout have been found
from the surf.
The piers on Hatteras Island have been managing some spot, croaker, sea mullet, and occasional pompano.
Water temps have averaged between the low to mid 70s
Bluefish and Spanish mackerel have been few and far between on the planks due to a dominant southwest wind.
Pier recently had a couple of small cobia caught, and it's plausible
with a wind shift that the big fish for pin-riggers could heat up on
Rodanthe Pier recently celebrated a grand opening of
a new end on the pier. It has been several years since the end of the
pier was torn down by a Thanksgiving storm. A new end is a welcomed
addition by the avid pier fishermen.
Offshore fishing out of
Hatteras has had its ups and downs because of weather but has been
solid overall. Mahi-mahi, wahoo, billfish and king mackerels are making
the reports frequently.
The inshore boats continue to do well
with slot-limit puppy drum and have managed scattered citation drum and
the occasional cobia.
Fleets and recreational boats running out
of Oregon Inlet have found big-eye and yellowfin tuna, along with
billfish, wahoo, mahi-mahi, and scattered king mackerel.
The inshore boats have done well with speckled trout and puppy drum.
Flounder fishing has been a little slow, but the occasional nice fish makes the reports.
fishing around the Bonner Bridge has been excellent for professional
and recreational boats and those fishing from the catwalk. Many a nice
size sheepshead has made the dinner table.
So even though we are
half way through the summer season, there is plenty to do and fish to
be caught. Although finding accommodations can be a little more
involved in the busy summer months, one can still find a roof if you do
not currently have plans.
You can still get the best and
up-to-date fishing info by walking through the door of a local tackle
shop. The knowledgeable and eager owners and employees will assist you
in catching your target species. They know the where and how at any
One thing is for sure -- you can't catch a fish while sitting at home.
Alderman has lived on the Outer Banks for more than 12 years and has
worked in the recreational fishing industry the entire time. A former
variety fishing TV show host, beach fishing guide, tackle shop and pier
employee, Rob currently owns and operates Outer Banks Kayak Fishing. He
is on the Pro-Staff of Bending Branches LLC, Wilderness Systems Kayaks
and Release Reels. You can follow his adventures at www.FishMilitia.com or OuterBanksKayakFishing.com.)