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.
We have already seen heat indexes that have hit 100 degrees.
2014 has proven to be a crazy year of serious changes in our weather. This area never saw those types of temps until July last year.
At least for now, we are caught in a different weather pattern and have had some milder temps the past few days.
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.
The boats were returning with their limits of tuna, packing 600-800 pounds of fresh meat.
This type of action is big money for the area. Charter boats are booked solid and boat ramps are slammed with recreational warriors. In an area that is so affected by the economy and weather, this type of action is welcome and all will work around the clock to take advantage of the business.
Some question spending big money for an offshore trip that is basically a quick ride out and then returning. Why not continue to fish after your limit has been reached and throw the others back is the question often heard?
Well, there is a whole lot of money in meat sitting in the fish boxes on the boat. There is no way to properly ice down 800 pounds of meat. So it’s best to head in and capitalize on your incredible catch. Get it to the docks, get it cleaned and packed as fast as possible.
Offshore action has also provided good mahi-mahi fishing and some decent billfish action.
The near-shore and wreck fishing boats have still been putting some cobias on the docks, along with plenty of trigger fish.
The inshore boats are still site casting cobias and puppy drum. The reports are also starting to show some speckled trout, which were recently reopened for recreational harvest after a four-month moratorium.
Surf fishing has continued to produce puppy drum, sea mullet, and pompano quite frequently. A mixture of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, flounder, spot, black drum, gray trout and croaker has also been landed from the sand.
Rodanthe and Avon piers have seen a mixture of gray trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, spot, croaker, flounder, black drum, and sheepshead.
Remember that pier fishing and charter boats have a blanket license that allows you to fish without a personal fishing license. If you are not an avid fisherman or just want to wet a line once or twice during your vacation, then you can fish on a pier or with a professional without the hassle of obtaining a license.
A guide will provide all that you need and all the necessary gear can be rented at a pier.
For those looking to throw baits for your entire vacation, you can obtain your license and all the necessary tackle and bait at one of the many fine local tackle shops.
The local tackle shops can outfit you from the ground up or make sure you have the right bait and point you in the right direction.
I’ve managed to continue to stay on the puppy drum out of my kayak in the sound waters, but some days have been much better than others.
High heat days basically have the same effects on the fish as they do on humans—they lose their appetite. I’ve seen plenty of pups swimming around, but have had a difficult time getting them to bite on the super-hot days.
Luckily, the flounder and trout bite has been slowly picking up to offset this.
Kayakers, waders and recreational boaters have still had some fun days on the water in the sound.
I also managed to squeeze in another offshore mothership trip.
The grass lines were a little weak that day to try and hunt mahi, so we went after some amberjacks at the Diamond Shoals Light Tower.
Hanging on to an amberjack from a kayak is nothing less than exciting. That fish will give you one heck of a ride and fight.
On that particular day, we managed to snap two rods on amberjacks and had one amberjack bit in half by a shark as the angler was holding on to the fish’s tail and hoisting it in the boat.
You can check out the accompanying video to see one of my friends actually manage to land his fish after it snapped his rod.
The shark cut the fish in half and slammed into the side of the kayak all in one shot. That’s always good for getting the blood flowing in a kayak angler.
So, we are into summer and things look like they are going to get hot, and I am sure at times the fishing will be less than desirable, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a whirl anyway.
All the area businesses are in full swing. The water is warm and refreshing, and there is plenty to do.
You can climb a lighthouse, go paddleboarding, kiteboarding, kayaking, swimming, or just prop your feet up in a beach chair and relax.
We are here and waiting to help you leave your worries behind. The only thing missing is you.
Go fish and play hard.
(Rob Alderman has lived on the Outer Banks for more than 13 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.)