The puppy drum continue to charge the beaches. Without a doubt, they are the talk of the town.
puppy drum bite has been epic and those taking the time to pier, surf,
or boat fish for them have been rewarded in a big way. These fish have
been caught on bait and lures alike and at times--I've seen two pups on
one bottom rig or double trout rig.
What more could an angler ask for in November?
are not that impressed by these fish, because there is a one fish per
person limit, but most anglers have had no issue with this and have
spent many a day recently chasing them.
It was also an epic season in the sound and backwaters for the puppy drum.
personally punished them from May to October in my kayak and with guide
clients. The inshore boaters, kayakers, and waders hammered them all
season long, and they were an excellent class of slot-limit fish.
cooler fall temps have forced those fish out of the sound and
backwaters and into the surf zone from Kitty Hawk to Ocracoke.
weather has been funky as of late. I've seen it referred to best online
by a friend, who said he had worn both insulated boots and flip flops
in the same week. While the weather has leaned more towards a cold and
blustery status most of the month, we are still seeing days top out in
This weather has really helped to do what I had hoped for and kept these fish close and biting hard.
Rodanthe Pier, Avon Pier, and Cape Point have seen some fair runs of the larger drum this month.
water and air temps cooled down and triggered excellent bites. It took
a little while this year, but it's a welcome change for the anglers.
had a friend ask me how I really know the bite is that good. He said,
"You can't be everywhere at once to witness it and how can you trust
Actually, I do witness it all day long from one end of the Outer Banks to the other.
pictures hit Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as fast as they are taken
all day and night. I've seen videos of a fish fight from only moments
before hit the net, while the angler was still hooking other fish.
I've done it myself.
And, I can watch live action using local webcams. I've seen fish fought and landed from the piers in real time.
of those cams pan, and I can see people in the surf or near the
shoreline on the pier hauling in pups and specs as fast as they can
I can view all these updates from home or on the go from my iPhone around the clock.
people hate this type of media and are quick to speak out about it. I
understand this. This type of real-time fishing info can put a lot of
people on your spot real quick.
But, for local people who rely
so much on the visitor, this is great. The person monitoring at home
doesn't have to question if the report is accurate. They can see it for
themselves, and they can make a move to head this way.
As damaging as this can be for a bite, it's a necessary evil.
know this is working because I know people who have packed their gear
and headed this way because of the flow of pictures and videos hitting
Love it or hate it, this is good for us, and I hope the
fish bite continues to produce lots of pictures and videos that draw
anglers this way for the remainder of the year.
As I always
suggest, you can get the best up-to-date and how-to info from the local
tackle shops. A little money spent in a shop can go a long way in
gaining some info.
Thanksgiving is a week away and the overall
forecasts between now and then aren't too bad, but that changes next
Wednesday and Thursday.
Forecasts show a strong storm system
heading this way that may produce a lot of rain and strong winds
hitting 40-50 mph. It is still a little early to tell what will happen
next week, so don't let this allow you to change your plans if you have
And know this--as of late when the weather has been horrible, the fish have still bit pretty hard from the surf and piers.
scattered mixture of bottom fish also makes the reports from pier and
surf, but the puppy drum bite definitely takes the trophy.
boats have struggled a little with strong winds, but have managed some
king mackerel, small mahi-mahi, and a variety of scattered tuna during
Offshore wreck fishing has produced excellent catches of triggerfish and snappers.
Inshore boats have been chasing small and large drum and are finding some speckled trout and flounder.
the bridges in the area have had sporadic reports of “schoolie”
stripers. A striper is generally referred to as a schoolie when it's
less then 28 inches long.
These fish have been hitting live eels and lures alike, but it's far from a consistent bite.
lot of winter anglers love to chase stripers, and with each approaching
season these anglers, myself included, hope that these fish will make a
strong showing in our area.
But, it's way too early in the season to know if this will happen.
One can hope.
there are fish to be caught and good times to be had. All you have to
do is grab your gear and pick your flavor-- you can't catch them
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.)