July 31, 2015
Outer Banks Angling: It’s about that time
By ROB ALDERMAN
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
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
Yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, wahoo, and king mackerel continue to
supply action and meat for the offshore crowd, along with some solid
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
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
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
So, get outside!
Go fishing 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.)