July 30, 2013
Outer Banks Angling: Up and Down
By ROB ALDERMAN
latter half of July saw some up and down weather. While for about seven
to eight days, we saw the hottest temperatures of the year thus far,
the end of the month cooled down considerably.
The heat spell
consisted of light, easterly winds and that drove our temps through the
roof. Brutally hot and humid days prevailed and, in many cases, slowed
the inshore fishing considerably.
When the weather finally made
a change, it made a huge change. The wind went northeast and brought
much cooler days and evenings with it.
If you factored in the heat index, there was a 20 degree difference between the two weeks.
The cooler temps helped out the inshore fishing slightly.
people definitely consider the hot summer months to be a slow fishing
time, and I would agree. Most folks find it hard to eat in high heat
and so do the fish.
There were times during the super hot days
that I was seeing schools of puppy drum and speckled trout, and I
couldn't get them to bite anything. And, believe me, my clients and I
threw everything at them but dynamite.
I believe if I had been
able to find these fish in the dark, wee hours of the morning when the
surface temps were cooler, I think we would have had a better chance of
catching a few.
When the weather cooled down, the fishing got a
little better for me. It wasn't record breaking, but it was a
Professional, inshore captains and even
recreational boats were able to do a little better the past couple
weeks overall as opposed to the surf fisherman, waders, and kayak
fishermen because they could reach deeper, cooler water.
fish are looking for relief from the oppressive heat and will tend to
move into deeper water if they can. If there is no deep water for them
to move into, they just hang in the shallows and torment the fisherman,
by being seen but not biting.
For the immediate future, the
forecasts show our high temps in the low- to mid-80s and not-so-bad
humidity levels. While there seems to be a chance of thunderstorms
almost daily, that is nothing new for summer on the Outer Banks.
of small spot and croaker up and down the islands have made the surf
reports almost daily and are a standard-issue fish in the summer months.
sea mullet, puppy drum, and pompano also made the surf reports
frequently, but they are more sensitive to the weather. Each species
prefers different conditions.
The conditions that each like
takse a fair amount of time to learn and even longer to understand how
the conditions may not be right for a species on one part of the
islands, but great on a different part.
can bypass some of this learning curve by visiting a local tackle shop.
The tackle shops can help point you in a direction based on the current
weather and what's biting.
The reports of citation drum from Hatteras Inlet by surf fishermen have slowed some.
However, the recreational and professional boaters have been doing well with them around Ocracoke and Hatteras inlets.
The inshore boats have also seen fair catches of Spanish mackerel, puppy drum, speckled trout, and bluefish.
boats out of Hatteras and Ocracoke have done very well with wahoo of
late and have had scattered billfish and mahi-mahi biting.
and Avon piers both continue to produce small spot and croaker, along
with bluefish, sea mullet, and pompano during the day. Bluefish and
Spanish mackerel bites have not been uncommon in the early mornings and
The water temps at the piers have averaged between 75-80 degrees.
and kayakers can still find puppy drum, speckled
trout, and flounder in the sound waters, no matter the weather --
although some days will assuredly be better than others.
there is a lot of real estate to cover out there, and I once again
recommend visiting a tackle shop and getting an opinion on the hot
Big-eye and yellowfin tuna fishing remain good for the
fleets running out of Oregon inlet, while billfish, wahoo, and
mahi-mahi add to the entertainment factor for those fleets as well.
Inshore boats in the Oregon Inlet area continue to pick at a few cobias and even some citation drum.
Speckled trout and puppy have also remained solid for the charters and recreational boats that can find cooler water.
Sheepshead fishing continues to be good for those in boats and those fishing from the catwalk on the Bonner Bridge
We are now entering August, and I would expect the fishing to remain the same over the next few weeks.
also expect that we will see the gradual lifting of some of the
seasonal beach closures to pedestrians and ORVs, which will open up
some more fishing grounds for the surf fishermen.
do not care if you fish or not. The weather is great for the beach
right now. Even if it's blistering hot, there is a large body of water
for you to cool down in.
So if you don’t have plans right now to come on down, just think about the fun and sun you are missing.
Get your butts down here and have a good time.
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.)