Spring break is officially over, and the kids still have the jitters from Easter candy overdoses. Last week was a little difficult to fish at times, because of the wind, but that didn’t mean there were no fish.
From Ocracoke to Pea Island, the reports were the same for the surf and pier fisherman. Good numbers of sea mullet and blow toads were reported, along with fair numbers of bluefish. The bluefish ranged in size from small 1-pounders to 12 pounds, “all head, no shoulders” spring choppers. I call them all heads, because they are usually very long, yet skinny for their size. These same fish would be potential citations in the fall months, after eating well all summer.
I heard of continued scattered flounder from Hatteras to the Buxton jetties. Though there are fewer fish being taken, the size is still relatively decent.
Hatteras inshore boats have been doing well with the big drum, bluefish, and albacore when they could get out. The offshore fleet is still picking at a variety of tuna, wahoo, and scattered blue marlin.
I stopped by Oregon Inlet Fishing Center on a couple occasions last week and saw some yellowfin tuna, mahi, and wahoo. The inshore boats were picking at a few speckled trout, bottom fish, and bluefish.
Right now it seems everyone has their eyes to the south at Drum Inlet, where the cobia have arrived. Numerous area boats shot down there over the weekend and managed both cobia and drum from their site-casting towers.
I give it less than a week before we see the cobia off Ocracoke or Hatteras. I hope they do make it this far up, as it could make for a good Ocracoke surf fishing tournament this weekend.
For all those that visit the Outer Banks and do not fish regularly, I would like to plug one of my favorite fishing arenas — the fishing piers. You don’t have to have a fishing license, equipment, or any fishing knowledge to make a go of it from one of these wooden treasures.
For roughly $25, you can get all you need directly from the pier house for a day of fishing. The fishing piers are a great way to spend a day with children or those who do not get around well in the sand. There is a variety of fish being caught from the area piers, and, in many cases, you’ll catch something, even if it’s just a skate or small dog shark.
Another great way to get out on the water with no license or gear is to go out on one of the areas “headboats.” These boats can be found at most area marinas and cater to everyone and all ages. For roughly a $100 a person, one can spend a half day or more on the water chasing a variety fish. All you need to do is show up at the docks at the required time and you’ll be on your way.
I advise you pick up the phone and book in advance. You can find many headboats by checking out the ads for marinas on The Island Free Press website.
So, you have no excuse to not try some Outer Banks fishing during your trip, as there is something for everyone.
I hope the fishing continues to get better with the warmer weather, but only time will tell.
(Rob Alderman is the owner of the Hatteras Island Fishing Militia website and is a kayak fishing guide. Rob has 10 years of fishing experience on the Outer Banks, and is host of the “Outer Banks Angler” television show. You can follow more of his extreme adventures or contact him at www.FishMilitia.com)