Summer continues to race by with the end of August already approaching and children preparing for yet another school year.
The forecast of late has hopefully been a prelude of weather to come. Mother Nature threw us several very nice days, with much welcomed cool temps and low humidity.
It’s been common to hear people say they were ready for fall. As a fisherman, I know I am ready for the fall run of fish to begin.
This time of year also generally leads to the reopening of many seasonally closed beaches.
I know that some of the favorite spots, such as Ramp 72 on Ocracoke, have reopened and pedestrian access has been restored to Cape Point.
I know that in the past that many ramps have remained closed or had limited access because of turtle nests that are about to hatch. We can hope that will not be the case this season, but only time will tell.
But while I am on that subject, I visited Portsmouth Island the other day. I took my family to visit the island and the ghost town. The great folks at Portsmouth Island ATV Excursions sure knew their history and their way around.
During our cruise down the beach, we had to make a detour around a giant area in which the Cape Lookout National Seashore biologists relocated turtle nests that might not otherwise survive in the original location. I thought to myself how great that would be if the powers-that-be would allow the same for the Hatteras and Ocracoke beaches.
The survival rate of a lot of the turtle nests would greatly increase, and there would be a positive response from locals and visitors alike. It would be an excellent way to begin to improve relations between the park and the public.
It’s amazing how it’s common practice in one national park that sees very few human visitors in comparison to the national park that hosts thousands of people daily.
Maybe one day.
Offshore fishing has continued to remain solid for the charter fleets, and I continue to recommend that you book a trip if you have the time and coin.
Solid catches of mahi-mahi continue to fill boxes, along with good catches of blackfin tuna.
Decent bites of wahoo and billfish also continue to excite anglers. As I’ve stated in the past, August can be a solid month for offshore fishing, especially for white marlin.
The inshore boats around Hatteras and Ocracoke have been doing well with Spanish Mackerel, bluefish, puppy drum, and the occasional big drum. At this time of year I would expect that the reports of puppy drum and citation-size drum will only increase — not to say there has been anything wrong with the puppy drum bite around the inlets for the southern boys. They have had a good year of catching them.
Out of Oregon Inlet, the inshore boats have caught bluefish, Spanish, the occasional puppy drum, and plenty of ribbonfish.
They are a little funny looking and may not be something you hear about being this awesome catch, but they have provided a great deal of action for anglers and they actually are quite good to eat. They are used in sushi, fish tacos, and much more.
The reports from Rodanthe and Avon piers reports have basically mirrored those from the surf.
Plenty of small bottom fish have been caught. Small spot and croaker are always a crowd pleaser for those just looking for a bite. But a fair amount of nice sea mullet have been caught off and on, along with some decent pompano.
Bluefish and Spanish continue to make the reports and will continue to do so for some time, while the water remains warm. Sheepshead and flounder make it randomly into the reports, but the best flounder reports I continuously see are from those gigging around Hatteras and Oregon inlets.
Gigging is not that overwhelmingly hard, but does require some special gear and understanding of what you are doing. So stop by a local tackle shop and let them set you up with what you need and let them explain the basics. This will help to better ensure your chances of success.
Extended forecasts are semi-typical, in the sense there seems to be a chance of rain almost daily, but the temps look good overall — highs in the upper 80s and lows close to 70 degrees. If these patterns hold, fall fishing will be here real soon.
In the past, seeing yearling drum and the occasional citation drum from Cape Point around Labor Day weekend has not been a surprise. The temps could help with that.
And now that the Point is open to foot traffic, I would imagine that it’ll open to vehicle traffic in the coming week or two. I hope. 2014 yielded phenomenal drum fishing and I know a lot of people are hoping for a repeat this fall.
So, the fishing is good and the weather is great. You can’t catch fish sitting at home and a bad day of fishing is always better than anything else you could be doing.
Grab your family or friends and make a run to the islands.
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.)