June 4, 2014

Outer Banks Angling: Almost there


It will not be much longer before the official start of summer. The days are getting longer and the temps are getting warmer--finally.

We are currently caught in a front that has brought some spring-like temperatures, which is nice, considering we had gone from cold weather to 90 degrees almost overnight. Getting a little milder weather with low humidity and cooler temps has been welcomed with open arms.

The fishing has been solid overall.

The offshore fleets have done well catching mahi (dolphin). The fluorescent green, blue and yellow fish are a major draw for the area charter boats.

When these fish get thick, anglers want to chase them to fill coolers and freezers with  that great table fare. A marina's slips will be empty and its boat ramps filled with recreational fishermen, who are trying to catch these beautiful fish when the weather is nice and the fishing is hot.

With a mixture of tuna and billfish, the offshore reports have been consistently good.

Some offshore boats have done very well with bottom fish and have great catches of golden tile, grouper, and more.

The inshore boats have continued to pluck cobia off the surface, along with catching puppy drum, flounder, and a mixture of speckled and gray trout out of the sound waters.

The cobia fishing has slowed some, but they continue to be seen and caught in decent numbers, and I am curious to see what the cobia action looks like after this next front pushes by.

Surf fishing along Hatteras and Ocracoke has been fair.

Flounder, bluefish, blow toads, croaker and spot have all made the reports.

The farther south you travel to fish along the islands, you will find warmer water, and the warmer water has hosted some nice pompano and sea mullet lately.

I've seen some citation-sized fish make the reports and shown off on social media sites.

Typically, you can expect the pompano and sea mullet fishing to get better for the next few weeks if the weather is consistent.

Puppy drum have still been caught from the surf in a variety of ways and given the overall surplus of these fish, I can only assume that they will be picked at all year to some degree.

The occasional cobia has also been landed from the surf.

A variety of flounder, sea mullet, bluefish, gray trout, speckled trout, and puppy drum have all made the reports from Rodanthe and Avon piers.

In the sound waters, I've managed to stay on the puppy drum from my kayak, and some days have definitely been better than others.

I've also managed some small flounder, speckled trout and gray trout in the sound.

The fishing has been fair in the backwaters for the kayakers and waders.

I also managed to mother-ship my kayaks out to the Gulf Stream with a group of friends on Memorial Day.

I constantly get asked why anyone would want to sit on a small piece of plastic in the middle of the Gulf Stream.

The answer is simple--for the extreme adventure of it.

Having caught tuna, dolphin, amberjack and a variety of other pelagic fish from my kayak offshore, I can tell you that the dynamics are considerably different from the kayak versus a boat.

On this most recent trip, my buddy, Dan Smullen, put down a gaffer dolphin while using a bass rod and reel. This was a very small and light tackle setup. Actually, I don't think the rod and reel could have gotten any smaller.

Overall, the catching for us was slow, but we did have a great time onboard the Reel Nauti chasing fish offshore. Trolling or stalking fish down a weed line 20 miles offshore in a kayak is always thrilling no matter how much you catch.

It's a game changer and you will realize very quickly just how small you are when you are sitting in the Gulf Stream in a 13-foot piece of plastic. If you can manage to get into some tunas or amberjacks, then you will get towed around on a true sleigh ride.

When sitting on our kayaks out there we can always hear other boaters saying things like "That is stupid" or "Those guys are dumb."

But are we?

To us, using a 50 wide reel and a rod so stiff you could hit a major league pitch with it to catch a 20-pound fish is dumb.

We are catching some spectacular fish while they are flipping through the air just feet from us and at times flipping over the bow of the boat.

There is a lot of danger involved and none of us are oblivious to that. We just put that as far back into our heads as possible.

This form of offshore fishing will not be overtaking traditional offshore fishing anytime in the near future. You need some very nice weather and a group of hardened kayak anglers to even come close to doing this.

The full cost of an offshore charter does apply and there are only a handful of local captains willing to do this, but if you ever get a chance to try this, it will change you forever.

At this time of the year it doesn't matter if you catch fish or not. The weather is becoming more conducive for all types of water-related activities. All the area businesses are in full swing and ready to serve.

Come on down to our little slice of paradise and leave your worries behind.

As always, I suggest stopping by one of our many fine tackle shops for up-to-the-minute reports and info on how to catch what you are looking for.

Go fishing and play hard!

(Rob Alderman has lived on the Outer Banks for more than 13 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, Release Reels, Yakattack and is an ambassador for Ugly Stik. You can follow his adventures at www.FishMilitia.com or OuterBanksKayakFishing.com.)

comments powered by Disqus