December 17, 2014

Outer Banks Angling: 'Tis the season


Fishing remained mighty fair through the end of November and the beginning of this month. Now we are well into December, and we have begun to hit that point where the fishing tends to slow down.

In the first week or so of this month, the Outer Banks saw a northeaster and a dwindling number of visitors and fishermen overall.

Red drum of all sizes continue to be picked at along the beaches, and some nice speckled trout have made a couple of appearances. If you search for a decent slough from the Buxton jetties down towards Frisco, you may have a chance at a speck or two.

Ask each half-decent trout fisherman what he or she prefers to use for a lure, and each will have a different answer. So as always, I suggest stopping by a local tackle shop and seeing what the folks there advise.

 The specks came and went mighty quickly on the northern beaches of the Outer Banks, but the water temps dropped fast and drove them out. Last year the water temps from Cape Point south were decent, and those temps helped to hold fish for most of the winter.

Puppy drum were picked at most of last winter, and it’s plausible that if the weather and water temps in the ocean on the southern part of the island remain fair, specks and pups alike could be caught on and off for most of the winter.

Only time will tell.

Outside of the specks and pups, the occasional bluefish, flounder and sea mullet have made the beach reports.

Both Rodanthe and Avon piers are now closed for the winter.

The king mackerel fishing was fair for the captains running boats out of Hatteras Inlet through the beginning of the month.

Tuna fishing has been really good for the past few weeks for those running out of Oregon Inlet.

Yeah. It’s winter, and the Christmas holidays are approaching. The reports slow down. There are fewer fishermen around to actually gauge just how good it might really be.
Nonetheless, offshore tuna fishing should be decent for a few weeks to come.

A dominant yellowfin bite should be replaced by blackfin and bluefin tuna.

Now, there were a few bluefin tuna that got caught to the south of us not that long ago, but I wouldn’t get all jumpy just yet. I’ve heard some anglers boasting about an early bite, but random fish have been known to pop up out of nowhere on all fronts.

So, let's give it a few weeks before we get all excited. It was pretty much March this year before we saw the bluefins in any real numbers off our coast.

If you see a fair weather day approaching where the temps are rising towards the 60s or so, I’d go try my luck for a speck or puppy drum.

For now, you are not missing out on a whole lot, but if you need a break from the real world, there is always a place to stay and some type of fishing to try your luck at around here.

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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