August 7, 2014

Outer Banks Angling: Where has it gone?

I am relatively positive that I have started most of my columns this year talking about the weather. It's been hard not too. It's been difficult to circumvent this wild year of meteorological events when you're discussing fishing.

Lately, we've had a lot of hard rain and thunderstorms -- not to mention Tropical Storm Bertha skirting us and stirring up the seas.

Weather like that can hamper beach and pier fishing, along with wading and kayaking.
Boats can generally outrun severe storms.

However, as usual, we all have managed to make the best of it.

One thing that is hard to ignore for everyone is that we are already well into August and the big tourist season is almost over.

The largest changes in the local populace generally take place between June 15 and August 15. This is when most schools are out throughout the country.

As September approaches and kids of all ages prepare to return to school, the visiting population drops dramatically.

This mark also means that we are getting closer to the fall fish migrations and, hopefully, the gradual reopening of the seasonal beach closures.

So, in theory, the fishing should start to get better in the coming weeks and we should have a little more ground to target the fish.

But with everything nowadays, we are going to have to wait and see if the fishing heats up and if the beaches open up.

Surf fishing at this time is just what it should be in the dead of summer-- a mixed bag of nothing hot and heavy.

Bluefish, sea mullet, pompano, small flounder, small spot, small croaker and puppy drum could be landed at any moment from the suds. You can definitely catch fish at this time of year from the surf, but don't expect to do it hand over fist.

During a couple days on the beach last week in Frisco, what I saw was a better bite in the early morning and late evening, which makes perfect sense.

I don't expect that to change a whole lot for a few more weeks. However, pompano and sea mullet can be taken in the right holes throughout the course of the day.

The inshore boaters around Hatteras and Ocracoke have been finding some nice schools of puppy drum and citation drum.

Speckled trout, gray trout and flounder have all made their way onto the decks in the sound, along with blues and Spanish on the oceanside.

The wahoo bite has been really good for the south end's offshore fleet and scattered tuna, mahi and billfish have all been caught also.

To the north, around Oregon Inlet, the inshore boats have been finding a scattered school of large drum, along with schools of albacore, blues and Spanish on the oceanside.

Speckled trout and puppy drum remain the primary target in the sound.

Now that we are officially into August, the northern fleets will begin to regularly seek  white marlin.

Some of the boats have already begun to do this and have been rewarded, but not with the huge numbers of fish that can happen at this time of year. It's still a touch early.

Some nice big-eye tunas have been tossed on the docks, along with some yellowfin and blackfin tuna. Scattered sailfish and blue marlin have also been caught and released.

Avon and Rodanthe piers continue to see their summer time mix of blues, Spanish, spot, croaker, trout and flounder -- although Rodanthe pier anglers have managed a few nice king mackerels in recent weeks.

I've continued to chase some fish in my kayaks when the weather has allowed.

In the sound, I am still finding puppy drum and speckled trout, and some days are definitely better than others.

I have also made a couple Cape Point runs in the kayaks to find those overwhelming numbers of blues, Spanish and albacore, but we didn't fare so well. The water was very clear, which makes it difficult to catch those fish. Spanish and albacore have incredible eyesight and are hesitant to bite in very clear water.

I hope that the surf fishermen find those big numbers of fish once Cape Point opens back up for the season.

It's hard to imagine that half the year is already gone and that the majority of the tourist season is almost over, but that is life. I've learned that as I've gotten older -- the years go by faster.

But I welcome the speed. It brings us closer to the white marlin chewing hard offshore, the big drum charging the piers and surf, and all the other fall fish getting whacked and stacked very soon.

One thing I know for sure is that you can't catch them from your house.

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 or

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