Good dolphin fishing for both gaffers (larger) and bailers (smaller) have made for happy anglers. Besides the great dolphin catches there have been scattered blackfin tuna and wahoo. Blue Marlin and Sailfish are also being reported.
Oregon Inlet Offshore
Tuna is the word out of Oregon Inlet. Lots of yellowfin and scattered bigeye tuna are making their way back to the docks of the marinas on the northern Outer Banks. Dolphin have been scattered but not many boats are looking as the tuna fishing is so good. Good solid fishing is being enjoyed by fisherman.
Hatteras Inlet NearShore
Along the beaches of Hatteras Island Spanish mackerel fishing and bluefish will be the target species. There are still a few cobia around, as well as a big drum or two. There have also been reported some nice catches of triggerfish.
Oregon Inlet Nearshore
Cold, dirty water has slowed the normal good fishing for Spanish and bluefish. As the winds fall out the water temps warm back up and so does the fishing. Besides Spanish and blues some of the boats are fishing nearshore wrecks and bottoms structure for amberjack. Those boats that are drift chumming are finding Atlantic sharpnose, blacktip, and spinners sharks, and even a dolphin/mahi.
Cold water has affected the pier fishing like everyone else. When the water warms sea mullet, croakers, and other small bottom fish should be biting. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel should also be available in the early morning and late evening.
In the Sand — Surf Action
The better surf fishing has been on Hatteras Island where the water temperature tends to stay higher. Surf anglers have reported sea mullet, pompano and small blues. All the beaches should have sea mullet, croakers and flounder. The best natural bait for surf fishing in the summer is fresh shrimp, bloodworms and mullet. These three baits will catch most things that are swimming in the surf.
Hatteras Sound Report
Anglers in the water behind Hatteras Island have been reporting good catches of speckled trout and puppy drum. Anglers are finding some of the best speckled trout in years. Some of the charter captains are offering clamming trips, which are fun and a great adventure for youngsters.
Oregon Inlet Sound Report
Good reports of speckled trout being caught in the Croatan Sound — and many are more than 15 inches. Some puppy are being caught but can be frustrating as they are here one day and gone the next. The old phrase sums them ups “ They have tails and no homes” rings true.
The head boats, which run form Pirates Cove Marina, and Oregon Inlet Marina have been catching croakers, sea mullet, and throw back flounder. Head boats can be a great way to get the kids out on their first fishing trip.
North Carolina requires a Coastal Recreational Fishing License for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Most charter boats have blanket fishing licenses that cover all of their anglers, but check in advance to be sure. Annual or 10-day licenses are available at www.ncwildlife.org, at many local tackle shops (see the list online) or by calling (888) 248-6834 (8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday).
To see the most recent size and bag limits go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/. On the right side under Hot Topics click on “Recreational Size and Creel Limits.”
Tackle shops and marinas are super resources for information. They have all the current scoop and are more than happy to help you get rigged up or plan a charter fishing trip.
Get outside, and enjoy the fishing, and remember that the supply is not endless — so only harvest what you need.