We are well into June and just days from the official start of summer, although the weather definitely feels like summer. Almost daily threats of thunderstorms, rising air temps, water temps, and humidity mean the season is in full swing.
Many think that there is no good fishing in the summer months. But that is far from the truth.
You may have to adjust your fishing, but there are fish to be caught.
In fall and spring, you may fish in one area and catch a variety of fish, but in summer, you might need to move around a little bit to target different species.
Early morning and late evening surf and pier fishing can produce good bluefish and Spanish mackerel fishing. Mid-day surf and pier fishing can produce nice sea mullet and/or pompano, but these fish can be held up in small areas and bite during specific times in the tide changes.
Ocean and sound fishermen can find flounder on artificial and live baits, along with puppy drum and speckled trout.
However, in most cases, you will need to target one or the other to do very well with any one species.
Offshore boats will see dolphin, tuna, and an increase in the bill fishing.
Inshore boats can find a variety of inshore species. Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, flounder, puppy drum, speckled trout and gray trout may all hit the fiberglass in the summer.
Wreck fishing is also very productive and triggerfish, spadefish, or snappers taste great on the dinner plate.
In recent weeks, the offshore fishing has remained excellent.
Yellowfin tuna fishing has been as good as it gets. Most boats targeting these fish have been limited out and back to the docks before noon.
The mahi-mahi fishing has remained consistent and very good, while the bill fishing has steadily gotten better.
The inshore boats continue to pick at the cobia after an incredible few weeks of fishing, but this fishery generally lasts only a few weeks. The cobia are heading north to spawn in the Chesapeake Bay.
The 2013 cobia season has been one of the best in recent years with many fish being caught, released and eaten. Cobia as large as 105 pounds have been taken. Though we are on the down side of this fishery, the cobia will get picked at here and there for a little while to come.
The inshore boats at times have stumbled across the occasional school of large drum and managed to catch a few.
Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, flounder, puppy drum and speckled trout have all been found by the inshore charter and recreational boats.
Surf fishermen continue to catch nice sea mullet and pompano. Plenty of really nice-sized and citation sea mullet are making the reports.
Puppy drum, black drum, flounder, bluefish, small spot and croaker have all been caught from the surf in recent weeks and should continue to get caught.
Even some large drum have made the reports from the sand recently.
There seem to be a greater number of seasonal beach closures this year, and I highly suggest checking with a local tackle shop as to what is open and where, as they are highly affected by this and will know what is going on and where.
Pier fishing has remained fair. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel have been caught in the early mornings and late evenings when the conditions have been right. Sea mullet and pompano are also being taken, along with some small spot, croaker, and flounder.
I’ve remained busy in the kayak when the wind and thunderstorms have allowed me.
The speckled trout and puppy drum fishing has been very solid, but I have yet to be able to target both at once. It is an either-or situation.
Those in kayaks or wading should be able to work the sound and find these fish or flounder.
Lead heads, Berkley gulps, or live baits will do the trick.
As always, I recommend visiting one of the knowledgeable and experienced tackle shops on Hatteras or Ocracoke to get the latest report. These folks can help you know the when, where, and how to get the fish you are looking for.
The summer forecasts will look the same for the next couple of months — semi-windy, a chance of thunderstorms, and humid. But we can work around that.
(Rob Alderman has lived on the Outer Banks for more than 12 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 and Release Reels. You can follow his adventures at www.FishMilitia.com or OuterBanksKayakFishing.com.)