December 10, 2015

Outer Banks Angling: It’s that time of year again


We’ve officially hit that point in 2015 when a lot of fishing starts to come to an end.

While we’ve had some cooler weather here and there, the fishing is slowing simply because it’s time to start slowing. Our forecast shows highs in the 60s and lows in the 50s for the next week, which is mild for mid-December.

Both Avon and Rodanthe pier are closed for the season. Avon ended its year with anglers catching nearly a dozen big drum, along with some small bottom fish. Rodanthe anglers capped the year off with a good run of puppy drum.

Surf fishing continues to yield sea mullet, black drum, bluefish and speckled trout.

As December winds on, the best anglers can hope for from the surf will be puppy drum and speckled trout, but during the past few years, those bites haven’t been much during the winter. Each year, though, is different.

For those trying to figure out surf fishing for holiday visits, keep your expectations where they should be -- realistic. You could come down and have some half decent days or you may come down and not catch much, but that’s fishing every day of the year. It may be real good or not so much.

Forecasters have a lot to say about a current El Niņo system and how that will affect the East Coast weather. I don’t try to pretend to be a meteorologist, and I rely on what’s right in front of me.

If the fishing is good, then it’s good, and I am not going to try and make predictions based on what might happen. If you’re not at work and you’re enjoying the islands, hot or cold, then it’s a good trip.

Stripers continue to be caught at the local bridges and other structures. I am still seeing good numbers of keepers, but there have also been some 14-inch or less fish that have made an appearance. That’s a good sign.

We all want to see these fish make a comeback, and the more stripers of any size help to show that there were some solid spawning seasons in recent years.

Offshore reports tend to slow right now, as there are fewer people going offshore between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

However, there are still some tuna and king mackerel on the move.

Overall, there is not much else to report --  mostly because of the time of year. It’s just that transition time when the fish and fishermen slow down.

But, that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth leaving the house. The islands are quiet for the holidays. You don't have to be surrounded by crowds and traffic. While a fair number of businesses have closed for the season, there are still plenty open to accommodate you.

So, come on down and spend your holidays nestled in a quiet fishing village.

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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