our recent temps and heat indexes, I would have to say that summer is
officially off and running. Lately, it has been hot and muggy, with a
couple scattered cooler days, but the heat is definitely here.
But, no big deal, as we are surrounded by water and have plenty of ways to cool down.
I’d have to rate the
fishing as decent. There have been fair reports both inshore and
offshore. And, whether it's good or bad, fishing has to be better than
being at work. For those on vacation, time spent with lines in the
water has to be relaxing, as opposed to dealing with a boss or clients.
For those that live around here, slow fishing can be frustrating, but
it still has its relaxing properties.
Offshore fishing reports have remained solid overall.
I’ve seen some great
pics of wreck fishing that included triggerfish, snapper, sheepshead,
and more. If you’ve never taken a dedicated wreck fishing trip, you are
truly missing out. Wreck fishing can be tons of fun and yield a great
deal of meat for the freezer. A lot of times, the captains will use
deep-drop rods with bait and even throw in some butterfly jigging,
which makes for an anything-can-bite type of day. It’s not uncommon to
see and catch mahi on these trips around the wrecks or hang into large
jigging, deep-dropping bait on offshore wrecks puts the angler in a
hands-on position of holding the rod and waiting for the bite. If
you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend talking it over with your
group and researching it more with some of our fine local captains who
offer these trips.
The boats in the
bluewater continue to do well with mahi and tuna, along with billfish.
Big eyes, yellowfin, and even a few blackfin tuna continue to hit the
docks in good numbers. These fish always make for happy customers.
The wahoo bite is
sounding a little better with each passing day, and I would think it’ll
only get better as the temps continue to rise and maintain.
The inshore boats
around Hatteras continue to pick at cobia, while catching plenty of
blues and Spanish mackerel. Some of the inshore guides who generally
target puppy drum have had some great days. And, even some smaller mahi
have made it near shore and have been caught.
The inshore boats
near Oregon Inlet have still been catching cobia, along with some nice
Spanish and bluefish. And, like their brothers and sisters to the
south, the near shore around Oregon Inlet boats have also caught mahi
on inshore grass lines.
Surf fishing has put some nice pompano and sea mullet on the sand, along with bluefish and Spanish mackerel.
Summer beach fishing
can be productive for those targeting sea mullet and pompano, but it
can be tricky for the less experienced. Timing, location, rigs and bait
all play into catching these fish during the heat of the summer.
I recommend talking
with the guys and gals at the local tackle shops for advice on how to
catch these fish if you are not familiar with chasing them in summer.
Summer beach fishing is tricky and can change daily, so seeking local
knowledge will go a long way. What tackle works one day, might not work
the next. Bait and lures can change with the tides or time of day.
Pier fishing has been
fair, with some puppy drum, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and
other bottom fish hitting the decks. Some cobia have been caught and
even a mahi or two have made an appearance.
Yes, mahi can be
within beach casting distance at times. No, you generally will not see
a 30-pound-plus bull, but fish up to 20 pounds aren’t as unusual as you
might think. The right wind and water temps can drive them to shore.
Over the years, even
the occasional small billfish has found itself resting on the planks.
This is the mid-Atlantic, where the Gulf Stream and Labrador currents
meet — anything is possible.
Sooner or later, the
true summer doldrums will set in and the fishing will slow from all
venues, but that is not the case for now. Most anglers will find
themselves pulling in something for the effort they put in.
Now, school is out
and the traffic gets thicker with each week, the lines at the stores
are longer, and you’ll probably have a wait time at your favorite
restaurant -- but it’s all good.
You’re on vacation.
The weather forecasts
are typical for summer -- hot with a chance of rain. Don’t be
frustrated by it, but rather use the clear skies to fish and the rain
to shop and eat. There is always something to do around here at this
time of year.
Go fishing and play hard.
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 www.FishMilitia.com or OuterBanksKayakFishing.com.)