May 20, 2015

Outer Banks Angling: Summer is almost here

By ROB ALDERMAN


A few coastal storms have disrupted the nice weather the past few weeks, but the storms were short-lived and the weather rapidly returned to the perfect spring that is just one step away from summer.

And the fishing has been great overall.

Arguably one of the most sought-after inshore fish, cobia have made a nice appearance in the past week. These are  hard-fighting fish and great table fare.

Most everyone enjoys trying his or her hand at sight-casting these fish, and I must admit that it is lots of fun. People come from all around to try and get into the meat, and a good run leads to great sales at tackle shops and lots of business for area marinas from both charter clients and the weekend warrior recreational boaters.

The offshore fishing has been really good also.

Yellowfin, bigeye and blackfin tuna continue to produce, along with good catches of mahi.

The blue marlin made a good showing this past weekend for all those involved in the Hatteras Village Offshore Open Tournament. Some nice-size marlin were caught by both tournament and non-tournament anglers.

There have also been a decent amount of citation drum caught by inshore boaters hunting cobia.

So, with all that said, if you have the time, a few family or friends, and some extra coin, I’d be making some arrangements for a boat trip. No matter your favorite flavor, there is a good chance you’ll find what you are looking for.

A wide variety of fish have found themselves on the wrong side of the hooks of surf anglers.

Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano, sea mullet, flounder, puppy drum, sheepshead, spot and croaker have all made the reports in the past couple weeks.

The different fish can be found in different areas of Hatteras and Ocracoke, based on waters and other factors, so I always suggest talking with a tackle shop employee to see what’s biting where, when, and on what.

I made a run in my kayak from Frisco to Cape Point the other day, and I saw only a couple small cobias, but it was early morning and the bite was really good later in the day. I did see a great deal of blues and Spanish mackerel.

I also saw a couple schools of drum that I was unable to catch up to, but that inspired me to spend a couple nights trying my luck at Cape Point. Both the trips and the walks to the Point were worth it for me, as I caught a few fish and saw others get caught.

The drum were driving the bluefish darn near onto the beach. The drum were relatively thick and I saw a fair number of hook-ups, but a lot of fish were lost due to bluefish cutting the lines.

I must say I was surprised with the number of people fishing and the overall conditions that no cobia were hooked and landed from Cape Point this past weekend, as it was where a lot of fish were taken by boat.

Anglers on Rodanthe and Avon piers have seen a mixture of sea mullet, bluefish, blow toads, spot, croaker and other bottom fish in recent weeks. And, Rodanthe Pier has had some really good runs of puppy drum.

Over and above the cobia, the inshore boats have still been finding some puppy drum, blues, and Spanish mackerel.

The weather this spring has been ideal, and my guess is that fishing will continue to be very productive as long as our current weather patterns continue.

Memorial Day weekend is almost here. Some look forward to this weekend and the economic drive it represents, while others dread the flock of visitors it brings. But we all recognize that we need the crowds since the Outer Banks is reliant on the service industry.

One thing I know for sure is that we will see a spike in fishermen and women, along with a spike in the reports.

The weather forecasts looks great. Warm and mostly sunny for the three-day weekend. I expect there will be quite the turnout for a beach weekend.

Whether you fish or not, be safe and enjoy your weekend.

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.)

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