November 1, 2013


Outer Banks Angling: Outstanding… WITH VIDEO

By ROB ALDERMAN



We are now at the start of November and the weather has been absolutely outstanding.  

Actually, it has been one of the best fall seasons in the weather department I can remember.

With the area being plagued by hurricanes the past two years that left the Banks trying to scrape together a fall tourist season, it was nice to see such great weather this year.

The water temps are even abnormally high for this time of year.

I've been kayak fishing Cape Point the past few days, and I was ready to go swimming. The water felt so good.

The average water temp along the Outer Banks is still in the high 60s, if not the low 70s.

But as fate would have it, the current extended forecasts leave a lot to be desired.

The wind field will be quite interesting in the week to come.

It appears that we will have a couple days of hard southwest wind, followed by a hard northwest wind, and then a hard northeast wind -- only to be followed by a hard east and then hard south. It's going to be like turning on a giant oscillating fan to its highest setting.

How will this affect what has overall been really good fishing?

That’s a good question, and it’s a hard call.

Different winds have different effects all along our coastal waters.

I believe it's plausible that the water temps may drop a few degrees here and there, but overall, we stand a chance of it holding up if the ever-changing hard wind doesn't last much longer than currently forecast. I think the constant change will help to keep warm water from the Gulf Stream pushed in to counter any negative effects.

But, it is truly hard to say and only time will tell. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

The current weather has made puppy drum fishing insane from Kitty Hawk to Ocracoke.

If you have been in the area for a few days and have targeted these fish and have not caught one, then you need to go to a local tackle shop and have them evaluate what you are doing.

Now that might sound harsh, but those fish are that thick, and I don't know a single person who has chased them and not scored in a big way.

The puppy drum have been caught almost around the clock from pier, surf, boat, and kayak and by every technique known. Bottom fishing with bait, trout lures, and metal lures have all produced these fish.

Interestingly enough, the big drum fishing has left a little to be desired.

Cape Point has done well overall with these fish at night. Although the drum have consisted of a lot of yearlings, there has still been a good number of citation-sized fish released.

The south end of Ocracoke has also had some make an appearance.

The Rodanthe and Avon piers have barely had a showing of the larger drum, nor have  the beaches from Rodanthe to south Avon, which typically do very well with them in October. Some have been caught in these areas -- just not what you would expect.

I am sure this can be attributed in some degree to the warm water temps we have had.

If the weather doesn't mistreat us too badly in the coming weeks, we may see ( I stress the word “may”) a good showing of large drum in November.

Bottom fishing in the surf and from the piers has been solid on Hatteras and Ocracoke.

Keeper flounder, spot, sea mullet, bluefish and some nice pompano have all made the reports regularly. And, like all the other species, they should continue to make the reports if the weather and water temps continue.

There are still citation pompano and sea mullet making the reports.

Offshore fleets running through Hatteras and Ocracoke inlets have done well in the recent past with wahoo and king mackerel, along with a mixture of tuna and mahi-mahi.

As of late, the king mackerel bite has been excellent for the offshore and commercial guys.

The wreck fishing boats have slain large triggerfish and an assortment of other wreck dwellers.

Hatteras and Ocracoke inshore fleets have had excellent puppy drum and trout fishing, with some nice flounder and large drum mixed in.

The offshore boats running through Oregon Inlet have had great fishing with a mixed bag of tuna, sailfish, mahi-mahi, and wahoo.

The inshore boats in that area continue to catch puppy drum and trout, although a lot of those fish are pushing out into the ocean and being caught by the pier and surf anglers.

Another crowd pleaser has made its way into our area in a big way -- false albacore.

The false albacore (albies) usually make a strong showing around late August or early September.

These fish are in the tuna family, but are not like the true albacore you might find in the market or more specifically in the can.

These fish are very bloody and are best used for bait and cat food.

The albies can run from a small football size up to 3 feet, though most will be in the 20-30-inch range inshore.

These fish are highly explosive and will make a reel scream. They can be caught from pier, boat, kayak or the surf.

But, they are hardest caught from the surf and few manage that one in this area.

Metal lures or Gotcha plugs are the best for catching these fish, though some use a top-water plug, which can be highly effective.

I stalked these fish for three days straight out of my kayak off of Cape Point and did exceptionally well with them.

I prefer to hunt these fish there because they can get very concentrated near the shoals and all along the Hook area.

These fish can move at speeds most boats would have a hard time keeping up with, so I had to move in my kayak. And concentration helps my odds greatly.

There was no lack of these fish there.

One of their favorite food sources, silverside minnows, were everywhere.

At times, I had to do some serious paddling and a lot of reeling to stay on the fish and after three days, I was exhausted, but it was well worth it.

Albies have incredible eyesight and can be very hesitant to bite a lure. So even though I use a reel with a high speed retrieve, I am still cranking the reel at break-wrist speeds.

This helps trigger an instinctual, aggressive bite, which leads to hooking and catching more albies. But, this will leave you physically drained, especially when you throw in the paddling aspect.

The explosive power of these fish will lead to the kayak being dragged and spun around throughout the course of the fight, which is just another reason why this type of fishing is so addictive for kayakers.

I recommend a kayaker have some type of ocean experience before attempting to launch near Cape Point. While the water may appear flat and calm at times, the current can be your worst enemy.

The first two days I paddled, the current was trying to pull me out from deep in the hook towards the shoals, while the third day the current was pushing me away – which is preferred.

There is a link at the bottom of this article to a short video I shot with a GoPro camera mounted to my kayak. You will see just how the kayak is constantly being pulled and turned by the albie.

So, the fishing is good, but the immediate weather leaves a little to be desired. Nevertheless, with the layout of the islands, you can find a place to get out of the wind and fish.

Now all you need to do is get here.

Go fishing.

Click here to watch the video

(Rob 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.)



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