The news says that there are winter storm advisories, and everyone is bracing for yet another “event.” Well, no offense, but this morning I had to decide whether to wear shorts or not. I went with sweat pants, but that’s only because I didn’t want to blind anybody! We have had a handful of chilly days, but this winter has really been quite mild. Of course, they always say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour.” These words hold especially true for the Outer Banks; with the impact the surrounding water has on our weather.
Bluefin tuna fishing is in full swing, with charters having lots of action on these giant fish. I’ve had anglers that hit the gym for months to prepare their bodies for the grueling fight. Technology in fishing tackle has come so far that catching a 500 pound fish on a reel no bigger than your palm is possible now. Still, seeing someone in the chair with a bent butt, after an explosive trolling bite, ain’t so bad either. Blackfin and yellowfin tuna are still pretty abundant, and if you can get a halfway pretty day, your chances of coming back with some meat are pretty good.
The commercial Bluefin fleet has had great fishing too, but the government has only allowed the boats one fish per day, over 73 inches, so the value of each fish is the difference in coming home with a fuel bill or a paycheck. Our fleet wasn’t allotted much quota this winter, so the commercial season will likely be over soon. A little closer to shore, a lot of the netters have been targeting dog sharks, but they have gotten somewhat scarce over the last few days. The few boats that have been fishing with small mesh gill nets have been doing pretty well with sea mullet. The water isn’t particularly cold for this time of the year, and another friend of mine had a catch of speckled trout in his nets, in the sound this week.
Not much to report for the inshore guides, now that duck season is over and fishing season hasn’t begun. Everybody is rigging up for a summer that is right around the corner!
Along the beach, surf fishermen have been catching puppy drum, speckled trout, and sea mullet, although, I haven’t heard of any real “blitzes.”
I have, however, heard lots of great reports from locals who have taken advantage of the pretty weather and enjoyed some fantastic beachcombing. Beautiful shells and beach glass are out there to be found on an uncrowded beach!
I’m reluctantly hopeful that the weather will stay nice, but I’m sure we’ll pay for it at some point. Oh well, let’s just enjoy today!