On 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 headed offshore.
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!