The Outer Banks has experienced excellent weather in the last couple weeks, which has allowed anglers to explore all the diverse fishing the areas has to offer.

Hatteras Offshore

Boats fishing out of Hatteras Inlet have been reporting good dolphin fishing. Most of the dolphin are bailer size — smaller dolphin that can be landed with out a gaff. Besides dolphin, a few sailfish are being released everyday, and there is always a chance of a big blue marlin. Boats have been deep dropping for grouper, tilefish, and other deep water fish.

Oregon Inlet Offshore

Boats fishing out of Oregon Inlet are still dealing with the sharks eating their hooked yellowfin tuna, but not everything is getting eaten before it reaches the dock. Good catches of yellowfin and blackfin tuna are making it back to the dock everyday. Wahoo fishing is starting to heat up, as well. Good catches of bailer dolphin and a few gaffers are also being reported.

Hatteras Inlet Nearshore

Boats fishing along the beaches outside of Hatteras Inlet are finding good Spanish mackerel and bluefish.

Oregon Inlet Nearshore

Bluefish and Spanish mackerel have been abundant. In addition, albacore are being caught, and a few boats fishing nearshore wrecks have being catching triggerfish.

Pier Reports

The northern piers have been reporting bluefish, Spanish, ribbonfish, spot, and sea mullet. The blues and Spanish are being taken form the end of the pier with lures like jerk jiggers. Sea mullet is taken with bottom rigs and natural bait like shrimp or sand fleas.

The southern piers on Hatteras Island have been reporting much the same, with Spanish, blues, sea mullet, and pompano.

In the Sand — Surf Action

Surf fishing on Hatteras Island has been good with catches of pompano, Spanish mackerel, and some bluefish. Good catches of sea mullet are also being reported. Surf action on the northern beaches spot, croaker, and small trout. Water temperatures play a big part in the successful surf fishing on the northern beaches. Warm water is good, but after a prolonged southwest blow the water temperatures will plummet.

Hatteras Sound Report

The waters behind Hatteras Inlet have been producing excellent speckled trout, and bluefish. The occasional Spanish mackerel is also being landed.

Oregon Inlet Sound Report

Anglers behind are enjoying excellent speckled trout fishing. There are a lot of short fishing, but good catches of legal size fish are also being caught. Most of the speckled trout are taken on soft plastic baits with light jig heads. Speckled trout must be more than 14 inches to keep, and the bag limit is four per person, per day. The head boats fishing in the sounds are catching sea mullet, croakers, and a few flounder.

Surf Tackle for the Summer

Fishing the surf is a fun way to fish outside your cottage, or take a day trip either to Hatteras Island or up on the four wheel above Corolla. The other nice thing is you do not need the heavy traditional surf tackle that is needed in the early spring and fall. Spring and fall tend to rough, and you are fishing big baits and weights and need a rod to handle them. Not so true in the summer. Most of the fish you can catch in the surf are closer than you think, many times at your feet. The bait rigs that are effective in the summer are much lighter and easier to cast.

A spinning rod from 8- to 9 feet is the best rod for the summer surf. A matching spinning reel filled with 12- to 20-pound test will make it combo comfortable to use. Don’t forget a sand spike —this is a piece of round PVC with a sharp end so it can be placed in the sand. This way it can hold you rod while you re-bait or take a fish off and not get the reel fouled up with sand.

A simple top and bottom rig is very effective in the summer surf. A 2- to 3-ounce pyramid sinker should be heavy enough to hold bottom. This rig has two hooks and both should be baited. Shrimp, bloodworms, squid, and sand fleas are effec-tive summer baits.

Look for a beach where there is a steep drop off or trough. You should fish your bait in the trough or to the edge closest to you, but don’t hesitate to fish various distances from shore.

Tackle shops employees will be happy to fill you in on what is biting on what bait and what size hook. Stop by and get the scoop.

Capt. Brian Horsley is recognized as pioneer of salt water fly fishing in the Mid-Atlantic region. A published author and photographer, he and his wife, Capt. Sarah Gardner, own and operate Outer Banks Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Charters (


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