June has come to an end, and it went by so fast. The big Fourth of July weekend approaches, and the summer weather is in full swing.
It has been hot and humid as of late, and most days have called for a chance of rain, although we have gotten only a few random storms. You can expect this to be the forecast for some time to come, and when the weatherman calls for rain, we probably won’t see much from it, if any at all.
The offshore reports have been really solid.
The fleets punching out of Oregon Inlet having been doing exceptionally well catching big eye and yellowfin tuna. These powerhouse fish put up a heck of a battle and go down well at the dinner table. A lot of citation fish have been caught. White marlin, mahi, and wahoo have also been boated in recent weeks.
The fleets out of Hatteras and Ocracoke have been catching mahi and blackfin tuna, along with amberjacks and blue and white marlin.
The offshore fishing is still hot, so calling one of the local marinas or captains would be a wise idea.
And cobia continue to make the reports. While their numbers are far from what we saw in May, reports and pictures continue to roll in from one end of the Banks to the other. Most of the charter captains will be happy to go look for cobia — even though there are fewer of them — while also chasing a variety of other inshore fish.
Right now, the Hatteras inshore boats have been doing well catching bluefish, Spanish mackerel, puppy drum, and some scattered trout and flounder. The inshore boats around Oregon Inlet have had some nice catches of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and some puppy drum and flounder.
The near-shore boats continue to catch amberjacks, triggerfish, and sheepshead.
Surf fishing from Hatteras to Ocracoke has been hit or miss, but there still have been some decent days of fishing. Sea mullet, pompano, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, puppy drum, and small spot, croaker and flounder have all been reported.
There are roughly 75 miles plus of beach to fish on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. That is a lot of ground to cover.
The best bites are based on weather, wind, and water temps. Going into the local tackle shops and asking for their expert advice will greatly increase your odds of catching from the sand.
The Rodanthe and Avon piers have been seeing some bluefish and Spanish mackerel semi-consistently in the early morning and late evening hours. Small spot, croaker, flounder and the occasional puppy drum have also been decked during the day.
Spanish mackerel have consistently made the various reports, as you can see. There are a ton of different ways you can prepare them for your table, and they are great eating.
The larger mackerel put up a great fight.
There are several different lures you can use for them, and if you check with a tackle shop, the employees will be happy to show you some of the locals’ favorites.
The one piece of advice I have for you is to use a line-to-line knot for a fluorocarbon leader. Stay away from wire leader, barrel swivels, and snaps. Spanish have incredible eyesight and will easily be deterred from biting if they see anything out of the ordinary. Also, snaps and swivels do put out small bubbles when being pulled through the water, and Spanish and bluefish are notorious for cutting the line off at this juncture.
So, it’s summer, and you can expect to be hot and sticky and dodging the occasional thunderstorm, but you are at the beach.
And, being at the beach is better than not being at the beach – no matter the weather.
Go fishing 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.)