July 6, 2018
Heat Wave: Fishing is Hot in July on the Islands
By CAPTAIN DAVID WILSON
the news, all you hear these days is about how hot it is
everywhere. Oh, it has been hot indeed, but we are blessed to be
surrounded by eighty-something degree water which keeps us a bit cooler
in the summer than areas inland. There are definitely pros and
cons to living on a barrier island that sticks out in the Atlantic
Ocean. The same water that keeps us cooler in the summer helps
keep us a bit warmer in the winter as well.
The weather is not the only thing that’s hot right now, though. The fishing has turned on everywhere!
Offshore fishing has been outstanding. Last week was the Hatteras
Marlin Club Tournament. The boats had great billfishing, and
there were lots of flags flying both in the tournament and from the
charter fleet. The dolphin fishing has been sensational, with
lots of school-size “bailers” showing up. The warm water has
pushed in so close already that schools of dolphin have been found just
several miles off the beach. The wahoo fishing hasn’t been red
hot yet, but there are several caught each day. The winds have
been calm for a while, and the ocean has been slick for fishermen
The inshore charter boats have been enjoying super good fishing as
well. Drum fishing has cranked up in to full force with lots of
slot-sized fish being caught. Speckled trout fishing is picking
up as well. There are still cobias being brought in every day,
and the Spanish mackerel and bluefishing is great along the
beach. Oh, and yes, the clamming has been great too!
I don’t go on the beach much, but I drove out a few evenings ago and
watched a big school of blues chase silverside minnows up on
shore. I was wishing that I had a pole with a sting silver.
The surf fishing has been good with blues and Spanish being caught on
metal. Puppy drum are along the beach as well. I can attest
to that, as I watched a school swim right outside the surf down at the
inlet. Sea mullet are being caught as well.
A number of the commercial guys are netting for Spanish mackerel and
taking advantage of the abundance of them. Others are heading
offshore to bottom fish, when the current allows. Tilefish and
snowy groupers provide a paycheck for these guys, as well as delicious
fresh table fare to be served in our restaurants and sold at our local
fish markets. Fresh shrimp are starting to come in from the
Pamlico Sound and I can’t wait to buy 50 pounds for myself.
Nothing like a freezer full of shrimp for the winter!
With the calm winds, our ocean and sound waters have been crystal
clear, and almost tropical. Hatteras Island is bustling with
visitors from all over. The beaches, rental houses and shops are
full of happy people. Life is good on a barrier island indeed!