The college kids have thinned out, the humidity and heat indexes have dipped some and Labor Day approaches. This means that fall fishing isn’t far away and it’s time to get ready for your trips or begin to plan one.
I love fall’s cooler weather and the relief it brings from the summer heat and crowds, but the tourist dollars are missed and the lack thereof is felt by all.
So, what better way to get your mind off your troubles than to go fishing?
If I was an out-of-towner, I’d be scanning motels and real estate companies for accommodation deals, while keeping an eye on area fishing websites for the first hint of a fall fish run.
Get your gear organized and ready, because it’s only a matter of time.
However, for now, the fishing hasn’t been too bad and there have been some decent and very interesting catches of late.
Most all of the surf fishermen along Hatteras Island have seen their fair share of small spot, croaker, and bluefish.
Areas such as Cape Point and Hatteras Inlet have also produced some nice Spanish mackerel and some puppy drum.
Frisco beaches have had some decent catches of puppy drum and pompano, while also producing some blues, Spanish mackerel, and a few flounder.
From Avon to Rodanthe, surf fishermen have also picked off some pompano and Spanish mackerel.
Pier reports on Hatteras have mirrored that of the surf fishermen, except some triggerfish, spadefish, and sheepshead have been decked also.
Small, yet strong hooks baited with small pieces of shrimp, squid, or sand fleas work best for these fish. I would talk to an employee of the pier or a local tackle shop to ensure that you are using the right rig to best catch these fish.
On Ocracoke, there have been reports of bluefish and Spanish mackerel taken in the early morning hours all along the beach, while during the day only scattered spot, croaker, and a few puppy drum have been caught.
Inshore boats out of Ocracoke Inlet have done well with Spanish mackerel, with some citation flounder being captured.
Ocracoke offshore boats reported some wahoo, mahi-mahi, triggerfish, and sea bass.
Hatteras offshore fleets have caught some fair amounts of mahi-mahi, along with some wahoo, and a decent amount of sailfish.
Inshore around Hatteras Inlet has produced a steady catch of a variety of fish that includes speckled trout, gray trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and flounder.
Boats out of Oregon Inlet have caught yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, mahi-mahi, some white marlins and sailfish.
Friends wading and fishing around Oregon Inlet continue to report some nice flounder, speckled trout, and puppy drum.
I have to constantly remind people that the Outer Banks is a big area that has an unbelievable amount of area to fish, which includes Portsmouth Island and the beaches and piers, north of Oregon Inlet.
There can be some good catches at times in the other areas, when some least expect it.
Recently there was a massive showing of frigate mackerel along the beaches of Nags Head to Kitty Hawk, and a few baby mahi-mahi were taken from both Jennette’s Pier and the Outer Banks Pier.
A friend and I launched our kayaks near the Avalon pier in recent past looking for late summer cobia, and we didn’t find a one. But we did manage to hook-up a small mahi or two just a couple hundred yards from the beach.
If you are a true fishermen, then never be afraid to do a little traveling to stalk fish.
You can use a simple phone book while you are here to call around and see what is happening and where.
Extended forecasts look favorable overall, with the occasional chance of rain and good winds for fishing. We are watching Hurricane Irene, but it’s too early to tell what that storm will do to us.
Don’t forget to book your fall trip and get down here.
Fishing is always better than working.
(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)