we’ve already had one storm for the year and we might get close and
personal with another, but it's too early to tell. One thing is for
sure -- the first storm got some fish moving.
the north, anglers on the local piers -- Avalon, Nags Head and
Jennette's -- have already begun to catch a few big drum, which is
definitely a touch early. Rodanthe and Avon pier anglers have also
had a couple big drum also.
a pier standpoint, it’s early because the water has been warm, and
I mean pushing 80 degrees. Catching drum in numbers from a pier is
rare in these conditions, but that didn't stop anglers on Jennette's
from catching almost 30 in one day.
have also been drum caught from the sand along Hatteras and Pea
while the storm wreaked havoc in some areas of the Outer Banks, it
also got some big fish moving. And, while most are dreading another
potential storm, the truth is an outside grazing with little impact
would be perfect for everyone and even get more fish biting.
after Hermine passed us on Labor Day weekend, the offshore fishing
came back strong after a few days. The boats have had excellent
catches of tuna, mahi, billfish, and wahoo. The Internet has been
alive with photos from the fleets that have had outstanding days in
the deep blue.
chased the big drum from pier, surf and kayak since the storm. I’ve
managed one yearling thus far from the pier, while my wife landed a
nice citation from the surf.
seen an incredible amount of mullet and menhaden on the move in my
travels, and I expect if the weather cooperates that the start of
pier season for red drum will be incredible.
say "start" because, even though some have been caught, the
season isn’t even here yet. The theory is that water temps down
around 70 degrees and just under should trigger a solid bite --
I am asked about pier fishing for drum.
I fell in love with it when I was working on Rodanthe Pier just after
having moved here. I was lucky enough to be taken under the wing of
some of the area’s best and I learned the ins and outs from them.
and kayak fishing for big drum came later and everything I learned
from the pier could be used to catch from both.
those trying to break into this type of fishing the best advice I
have is to go sit on the end of a pier for several hours and watch
the anglers do it, before you do anything. You’ll instantly know
who has the most experience and whom you should be paying attention
to and what they are doing and how.
this seems like something you want to try, then you should go to a
local tackle shop and ask for advice on beginner rods and reels.
High-end rods and reels are not important in the beginning. The right
rig and bait will eventually catch a fish, if you put them to work. The
experienced employees at a shop can walk you through what you need.
the pier isn’t your thing, then I suggest the same for the surf --
watch, learn and go to a tackle shop.
basics in the 21st
century would be a reel that can hold at least 250 yards of 17- or
20-pound test line and an 11- to 13-foot rod rated for at least 6
ounces, but it should be able to accommodate at least 8 ounces or
more. The rigging gets tricky for newbies (see tackle shop employee).
caught drum on fresh mullet, menhaden, bluefish, spot, croaker, and
Drum fishing can be frustrating and lead to multiple curse words at
any given time, but it’s also addictive and just flat out fun.
is an 18-inch to 27-inch slot limit on red drum in North Carolina.
Anything under or over has to be released. I don’t mind releasing a
big fish after I’ve caught it.
being able to keep one from time to time would be nice, but I am not
losing sleep over it.
fight a 45-inch plus drum can put up is well worth it.
venue in which I chase drum has its own headaches and rewards.
fishing for them can be challenging, but provide a sleigh ride that
can have a kayak leaving a serious wake.
fishing leaves little room for error, as there are tight quarters,
but being so high above the fish, the fight is intense. The currents
generally created on either side of a pier can give the fish a
serious advantage and make for an unreal fight.
surf allows for more room to battle, but in cases like Cape Point, it
can be a little crowded. However, the white wash of the shoals can
make for a tremendous battle.
most anglers, once you’ve caught one, you want to catch more.
is upon us and this is the time to get the job done. So, do your
homework, get yourself some gear and go make it happen.
you are in town, make sure to check with one of the local marinas or
captains because the offshore fishing is well worth a trip. You can
go hunt some fish to release and go hunt some meat to take home. Best
of both worlds.
fishing is seeing some of just about everything on the move. Spot,
croaker, sea mullet, puppy drum, and flounder have all begun to move,
and it will only get better in the next couple of weeks.
now, we hope the next tropical storm passes us by, and leaves us to
do what we do in the fall -- fish!
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