July 31, 2015

Outer Banks Angling: It’s about that time


July has come and gone, and with August in its beginning stages, I am sure a lot of folks are getting ready for white marlin season.

Generally, mid-August through mid-September marks phenomenal white marlin fishing on the Outer Banks. It’s not uncommon for boats to catch one or two dozen in an outing, and this is a big draw for offshore anglers.

While white marlin usually range from 50 to100 pounds, they still put up a heck of a fight and are a ton of fun to catch.

The whites are currently being picked at, but as the month moves forward, the bite should increase.

At times, these fish can be found balling bait. The whites will corral the bait like sheep dogs into tight balls and take turns charging through them and feasting.

So, I recommend if this sounds up your alley,  that you make some calls to area marinas and captains and begin researching a charter now. As the season and bite progresses, the boats fill up quickly.

Currently, the offshore fishing has been solid and productive.

Reports of grand slams have been decent. An offshore grand slam consists of a blue marlin, white marlin, and a sailfish taken in one trip. While that may sound easy enough to some, it’s actually quite difficult to accomplish, and some anglers wait half a lifetime to achieve it.

Yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, wahoo, and king mackerel continue to supply action and meat for the offshore crowd, along with some solid mahi-mahi fishing.

My stepson and his friend ran a mile off  the beach just the other day and managed to catch 23 bailers. Bailers are the smallest of the mahi, but still put up a good fight on light tackle. The boys were catching them using stingsilvers (metal lures) on light tackle, which is a great time, especially for a couple of teenagers.

The pier anglers have continued to do well in the live-baiting category, with photos and reports of cobia and king mackerel hitting the Web.

Early morning and late evening bites of bluefish and Spanish mackerel continue when the weather is right. Small spot and croaker, along with the occasional sea mullet, pompano, and flounder hit the planks scattered throughout the day.

Surf fishermen have been picking at sea mullet, pompano, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, flounder, and the occasional puppy drum. Late September and early August can be a little slow, but as August winds on and Labor Day approaches, the surf fishing generally picks up -- especially as fall approaches.

The inshore boaters continue to do well with bluefish and Spanish mackerel. The boats fishing the backwaters and the shoals around the inlets have caught puppy and yearling drum in fair numbers.

The cobia continue to get picked at and some days have been decent for the inshore boats for this time of year. Cobia can continue to be caught until late August, depending on weather. I don’t suggest booking a trip for solely hunting cobia at this time, but suggesting to an inshore captain that you’d like to go look could be productive.

The backwaters for waders and kayakers is still hit or miss.

I’ve been doing my thing out of the kayak and most days I will find small schools of puppy drum, but getting them to bite can be the real trick. It’s very frustrating having the fish swimming around or underneath you and not hooking up.

But, that’s fishing.

I’ve had no problems finding clams or shrimp, as they are both pretty thick right now. Both can be found using a small boat or kayak or wading.

Stopping by a local tackle shop and inquiring more about gear and local spots would go a long way. A lot of inshore charter boats offer clamming trips, and a couple quick calls will probably lead to a captain to run you around to chase some shellfish.

Clamming and shrimping are a great way to spend a day, and kids love it.

We are still in the middle of summer time weather. It's hot and humid with a chance of thunderstorms, just about everyday. However, most everyday you can still expect plenty of good weather to enjoy the Outer Banks.

So, get outside!

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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