to imagine that yet another summer tourist season is over and another
school year has began. Unlike some places, such as Orlando, Fla., where
there is a very strong tourist season year round, the Outer Banks'
really busy season lasts about three months.
We slowly build
into summer through the spring, but the tourist season still hits hard
and fast. You can usually look at locals and see August-itis (
burned out) written all over them.
But then September hits and most of us breathe a sigh of relief.
September brings a little relief from the heat, a break in the traffic,
and beaches reopen -- to some degree -- after seasonal resource
Residents relax a little and want to play more. And
visitors can take advantage of smaller crowds, more beach access, and
better deals on accommodations, along with some price cuts from local
retailers looking to move overstocked items.
September means fall fishing could begin very soon. The crucial factor
is the weather pattern over the next couple of weeks.
the air temps? What are the water temps? And, finally, what
direction is the wind blowing? All of these will affect fishing.
good sign is the movement of mullet in the sound and ocean, which to
some degree has already started. I have recently seen photos of
commercial guys catching these sought-after bait fish.
air temps drop from hot and humid to cooler and drier and water temps
inch down around 70 degrees, we should see more and more bait in the
water and more and more fall fish migrating.
Both locals and visitors are ready for some good pier and surf action.
Weather patterns have been truly strange around here with fall-like conditions for a few days and then tropical the next day.
The fishing has been in line with what you would generally expect in August -- not a whole lot to it, but fish have been caught.
sea mullet, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, flounder, spot, croaker and all
the usual suspects from the bottom have made the pier and surf fishing
reports most days, but none has been hitting in overwhelming numbers.
The bigger runs of these fish will occur in the coming weeks with the shifting of the seasons.
can expect big runs of sea mullet, spot, croaker, and puppy drum from
pier and surf, along with good runs of tailor blues and Spanish
mackerel, as the water temps begin to cool.
The offshore fleets
have done better some days than others on the billfish scene, but white
marlin and blue marlin fishing has been productive, along with some
good mahi catches. Wahoo fishing has been mighty decent, and a variety
of tuna are still hitting the docks.
inshore boats near Hatteras and Ocracoke have found gray trout,
speckled trout, puppy drum, and even some schools of citation and
yearling drum, along with Spanish and bluefish.
The same holds
true for the inshore boats around Oregon Inlet, but anglers there are
still catching some smaller cobias just off the beach and near
Cape Point recently reopened to all traffic, and that is always nice for many.
of anglers love to fish Cape Point, and even those who try to avoid
fishing in larger crowds enjoy making their way out there to observe or
to see friends.
My 14th summer season on the Outer Banks has
come and gone. Each one has been considerably different from the last,
and each one has seen change in the area.
But every year I still look forward to the constants of September.
have a little more space on the beach. I have a little less traffic to
deal with. I have a little more time with friends and family.
And it's time to get my fall fishing gear ready.
you are looking to come down to the Outer Banks from here on out,
I suggest making some calls. Phone around and see when the rental
companies, campgrounds, and local motels will begin their fall rates.
out about upcoming fishing tournaments, marathons, and music festivals.
There are still plenty of events and attractions at this time of year.
You can come down and fish with the family and do a whole lot of extra
things while you are here.
One thing is for certain -- you can't do them from home.
Go fish and play hard.
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.)