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Outer Banks Angling: The summer doldrums

The month of July has been quite interesting in the weather department.From hurricanes to mini-northeasters, hard southwest winds, and torrential downpours, we have seen it all.

But the weather is not responsible for the slower fishing. It's just summer.  
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Outer Banks Angling: Summer time....WITH VIDEO

We are just barely into the official start of summer and the heat has already found us, along with plenty of visitors. The highway has seen a mighty large influx of traffic as of late, accompanied by a mighty large influx of heat.

Some of these high heat days had very little wind and made inshore fishing slow, but for the most part fishing has remained fair all along the Outer Banks.

First and foremost, the offshore yellowfin tuna action has been red hot. You could ride by most local marinas and find almost every boat in the fleet absent from its dock slip in the early hours--only to be back most days before noon.  
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NCBBA's Red Drum Tournament is Oct 22-25

The North Carolina Beach Buggy Association's sixth annual Red Drum tournament will be Oct. 22-25 on the northern beaches of Hatteras Island.  

In 2009 the NCBBA Board of Directors voted to take this tournament on as a fundraiser for our continued fight for "free and open vehicular beach access." Now in its sixth year, the tournament has become NCBBA's largest fundraising event of the year.

The four-day event will once again be hosted by and headquartered at Frank & Fran's in Avon.  
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Outer Banks Angling: Almost there

It will not be much longer before the official start of summer. The days are getting longer and the temps are getting warmer--finally.

We are currently caught in a front that has brought some spring-like temperatures, which is nice, considering we had gone from cold weather to 90 degrees almost overnight. Getting a little milder weather with low humidity and cooler temps has been welcomed with open arms.

The fishing has been solid overall.  
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2013 commercial and recreational fish and shellfish harvests released

The state’s commercial fishing harvest continued in a three-year decreasing trend in 2013; while the dockside value of that harvest increased for the third straight year.

Commercial fishermen sold 50 million pounds of fish and shellfish at North Carolina docks in 2013, a 12 percent decrease from 2012 and 21 percent less than the five-year average, according to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Trip Ticket Program. However, the dockside value of the catch rose to $79 million, 9 percent higher than in 2012 and 4 percent higher than the five-year average.  
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Outer Banks Angling: Get to the Point

Fishing columnist Rob Alderman writes about getting to Cape Point on foot and the great cobia fishing anglers on Hatteras and Ocracoke are experiencing.
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Ridge Anglers of Kitty Hawk take first place in Ocracoke tournament…WITH SLIDE SHOW

The Ridge Anglers of Kitty Hawk, first-place winners of the annual Ocracoke Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament last week, had a specific strategy for their top ranking. “Fish hard,” said team captain Brandon Phillips.

Their total points of 77 with 23 fish caught bested the other 69 teams in the 31st year of this springtime event on the island. Fishing days were Thursday and Friday, May 1-2.  
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20th annual Hatteras Village Offshore Open is May 13-17

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Hatteras Village Offshore Open. The tournament is the official kick-off tournament for the North Carolina Governor’s Cup Series and is unofficially recognized as the big kick-off to the East Coast billfish season.
Starting on May 13, all eyes will be focused on Hatteras Island, a small spit of land reaching out to the closest point of the Gulf Stream, using the HVOO as a barometer of the billfishing season to come.  
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Outer Banks Angling: May it be?....WITH VIDEO

In my last article I wrote that April shouldn't have long periods of bad weather without some decent breaks. I also wrote a disclaimer saying not to hold me to that.

It's a good thing I wrote the disclaimer, because between the wind and rain, the weather hasn't been all that great. But that doesn't mean that the fishing hasn't been fair, when the weather has allowed anglers to wet a line.  
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State certifies new state record jack crevalle

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries has certified a new state record jack crevalle, a fish commonly caught on ocean reefs. Frank Dalli of Wake Forest reeled in the 49-pound, 1.6-ounce fish April 2 at the Gulf Stream ledge, 65 miles off Wrightsville Beach.
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Outer Banks Angling: Spring into action

Finally, after one of the harshest winters I've experienced in a 13-year career on the Outer Banks, the weather showed some mercy and reminded us why we love living or visiting here. The snow, ice, rain, and wind gave way to some nice and steady springtime weather last week. The temps were mild. The sun was out, and people were able to play.

The surf was great and the local hotspots were dotted with surfers and boogie boarders, while the beaches were full of people, local and visiting, trying to get out and enjoy some sand time.

For Hatteras and Ocracoke, the fishing was inspiring.  
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Outer Banks Angling: Monsters

Puppy drum fishing from the surf has remained solid from Cape Point to the south end of Ocracoke. On most days pups are making the reports, and some days anglers pick at them and other days they hammer them.

Offshore the bluefin tuna have finally arrived and we’re talking about some "monster" fish for this area. There have been more than a few fish brought in weighing well over 500 pounds.  
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Marine Fisheries Commission tackles observer program funding, spotted seatrout, shrimp issues

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will submit a report to the legislature that proposes to fund the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Observer Program through commercial fishing license fee increases.

The commission endorsed the plan, which was brought forward by the commercial fishing industry and has the support of the Division of Marine Fisheries and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, at its meeting last week. 
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The very best guide to charter fishing on the islands….WITH SLIDE SHOW

If you’ve never been fishing off Hatteras or Ocracoke, it’s definitely worth looking into.  The variety of trips, boats, captains, and species of fish available is quite impressive, and there are options that can accommodate almost any budget or interest.

That said, with so many options available, choosing the right charter can be a daunting task, especially for first-timers. To make it a little bit easier, The Island Free Press has compiled a guide to Hatteras and Ocracoke charter fishing.  With answers to frequently asked questions, information on everything from choosing a boat to cleaning your fish, advice on making your trip more enjoyable, and pictures to rouse your inner angler, this guide is designed help get you off the docks and on the water. 
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