past several weeks have packed some serious heat indexes. With sky-high
humidity, the temps have felt at or above 110 degrees, which can be
described only as oppressive.
Strong, offshore southwest winds have been responsible for the high
temps and, in some areas, for a big cool-down in water temperatures.
The weather has been far from prime for fishing or catching, but that
hasn’t stopped anglers or the fish. The catching is what I would expect
it to be at this time of year and with these conditions.
The inshore reports for pier and surf have not been phenomenal, but anglers have still managed to catch a variety of fish.
Black drum, sea mullet, puppy drum, blow toads, bluefish, Spanish
mackerel, spot, and croaker and a few other bottom fish have made the
reports -- along, with the occasional cobia, king mackerel, or tarpon
from the piers.
There is no secret hot spot in these conditions, and it’s simply a
matter of being in the right place at the right time. Given the
geographical layout of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands--certain areas may
be more productive than others, depending on the temps and wind
direction. Local tackle shops can help point you in the right direction.
For the next few weeks, I wouldn’t expect too much change, as August is
usually a warm month. But, September generally begins to bring breaks
in the heat and, with it, a general uptick in catching.
Cape Point recently reopened to both pedestrian and ORV traffic, and
this area can be productive at this time of year, especially in the
early mornings or late evening for bluefish and Spanish mackerel on
The inshore and near-shore boaters continue to do well with their
catches of bluefish and Spanish mackerel, along with some fair catches
of drum of all sizes. The Hatteras boats have had a better shot at
these fish most of the season, both in the ocean and backwaters. But,
there have definitely been a better showing of them in recent weeks for
the Oregon Inlet boats on both sides.
We're still seeing the occasional cobia or king mackerel make the
inshore reports, along with some near-shore boats still finding mahi on
The offshore fleets are still finding a variety of tunas. Some days are
better than others, but the fish being caught are a healthy
class. The boats finding the right weed lines are still getting
good catches of mahi. Scattered billfish and wahoo are also making
their way to the fiberglass.
August is historically when the Outer Banks sees a serious jump in its
white marlin population. Last year, the season left a lot to be desired
in comparison to years past. But, it’s early and everyone is hoping for
a strong season.
All of which is a nice boost for the local economy on all fronts.
August is also a big month for offshore tournaments, and since a lot of
boats are targeting billfish we can get a little insight to the season.
I am still recovering from a ruptured disc in my neck that left me with
a fresh titanium plate and a couple screws, but I have been getting out
in my kayak for myself and with a few guides. I haven't caught much of
any size worth writing home about, but I am still impressed by the
number of young spawn I’ve been finding.
Puppy drum, speckled trout, flounder, and stripers -- all from 6 inches
to 12 inches -- have been mighty thick at times -- almost on every
I am very excited to see this, but I am crossing my fingers. These fish
are extremely vulnerable at this age. They will spend the next couple
years in the backwaters, and a harsh winter could wreak havoc on them.
However, a couple years of mild or reasonable winters, and we could --
I stress could -- see some excellent fishing in the sound from spring
flounder and drum to fall specks and early winter stripers. Most of
these fish are only a few or several months old, but they can live for
30, 40 or even 60 years, depending on the species—especially stripers
So some light tackle in the backwaters could go a long way to provide some action right now.
And, if you do catch some of these young fish right now, be aware of
how you handle and release them, as they will be exactly what you want
down the road.
Well…there you have it -- your August fishing report. Nothing is being caught hand-over-fist, but there are fish to be caught.
The forecast calls for plenty of heat for the immediate future, but
embrace it. If you're sweating bullets while fishing, then you're not
working—and that is always a good thing. Find some AC or go for a swim
and cool off.
I definitely know you cannot enjoy the salt air or catch a fish from your couch.
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.)