March 30, 2016

Outer Banks Angling: Getting there fast


The pretty weather managed to get some drum on the move. Catches from both ends of Ocracoke have made the reports and Tradewinds Tackle has been glad to share the reports and pics online.

Plenty of sharks dominated Cape Point, with a handful of citation drum and some puppy drum on the move.

But, the bulk of the big drum are on Ocracoke – for now.

The past few years have seen the drum show up in fair numbers almost simultaneously on Ocracoke and Hatteras, but the bite usually started on Ocracoke and worked its way north.

A few inshore boats around Hatteras have found some respectable schools of big drum, so I doubt it’ll be much longer before there's a decent showing at Hatteras Inlet or Cape Point for surf anglers.

Another spring favorite, blow toads, have made a good appearance on Hatteras and Ocracoke.

These fish are generally frowned upon by the unaware angler. They are ugly, to say the least, and they get their name from their defense mechanism, which is to inflate when threatened. However, these fish are excellent eating and highly sought after by those in the know.

If you are unfamiliar with blow toads, I suggest you stop into a local tackle shop and learn more about them, as you are truly missing out on some fantastic eating.

Sea mullet, bluefish, black drum, and puppy drum have made the reports from Avon beach to Ocracoke.

And, while Avon Pier remains closed, Rodanthe has opened and anglers have caught a few bottom fish and even managed a 38-inch surprise, yearling drum. Puppy drum are known for being caught in the spring from the piers, but the bigger fish are not typically caught in the spring from the planks.

The extended forecast continues to show overall warm, sunny days, with an ever-spinning wind. And, while the wind will dictate the water temps, the warm, sunny days should help to balance the temps and when the wind is onshore, it will help to continue to raise them.

Most local or long-time surf anglers are probably betting that the fishing stays about where it is and will continue to get better.

But, April can be a crazy month for weather, so only time will tell.

Everyone always wants to know the best place to fish and the best bait to use, but that is a difficult question, as it takes years to understand that those things change daily with wind, water temp, and other factors.

I always suggest visiting the local shops and talking with their employees. Shopping local goes a long ways in a mom-and-pop tackle shop. They will tell you what you need and tell you where and when to be in a certain place to best enhance your chances of success for the species you are chasing.

The offshore fleets continue to pick at the bluefin tuna and are doing a great job of hammering the blackfin tuna. Even yellowfin tuna have made their presence known. Wreck fishing has produced some excellent catches of triggerfish and other deep-water meat fish.

So, overall, the spring fishing has jumped off nicely on all fronts.

Like I said, from a March standpoint, it has been a solid start. I want to believe that April will be just as strong -- getting even better and stretching farther up the chain of the Outer Banks as the water temps rise farther to the north.

Planning a last minute trip will not be too difficult. The one thing I know is – you can’t catch them from your couch.

Go fishing and play hard.

(Rob Alderman has lived on the Outer Banks for more than 16 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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