June is almost gone, and the Outer Banks is sliding into July — and the heat of summer. Despite the hot summer weather, there is still good fishing to be had.
June has been awesome for the offshore fleets out of Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Inlet. Boats fishing out of the northern Outer Banks going out Oregon Inlet have had some of the best yellowfin and big eye tuna fishing in years. Tuna fishing could hold on into July, but most years the tuna slow and dolphin (mahi) heats up. Boats out of Hatteras Inlet dolphin fishing will remain strong and with a few more marlin.
Nearshore boats fishing out of Hatteras and Oregon Inlets should enjoy great Spanish mackerel fishing. June has seen plenty of Spanish along the beaches. Besides Spanish bluefish and small king, mackerel should be available. Nearshore wrecks, hopefully, will continue to host triggerfish. Triggerfish are not the prettiest looking fish but they are one of the best eating fish around. Occasional big schools of old red drum (big red drum) will keep all nearshore fisherman on their toes. Cobia fishing will remain scattered.
Inshore fishing in the sounds behind Hatteras and northern OBX has been slow in June. The sounds are still recovering from the winter of 2018. The Outer Banks had a bad freeze last winter and witness a cold stun event, which killed lots of speckled trout. Speckled trout recover quickly, and not all were killed. The specks will be scattered. As the water and air temps heat up, puppy drum should be moving into the shallows. Anglers trying their luck on the bottom in the sounds will be happy to find sea mullet and croakers.
Don’t forget the Head Boats that run out of Manteo, Wanchese, Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Village are a great way to take a kid fishing for their first trip. Most trips are half- days, so around four hours — just enough time to introduce a youngster to fishing but not too long. The captains and mates are there to help and try and ensure the trip will be a memorable one.
Pier action both early and late will see with bluefish Spanish mackerel and small bottom fish like sea mullet, spots and croakers. Anglers using live bait and oil rigs on the end of the piers might see an occasional big king mackerel or cobia. In the surf up and down the Banks, sea mullet, spots and croakers will be available by anglers fishing fresh shrimp on bottom. Around Cape Point Spanish mackerel should make their appearance early and late.
Most visitors like to dine out several times during their stay. We have lots of wonderful seafood options. Please insist on fresh local — ours is the best.
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.
Remember: When at the market or when dining out, ask for fresh local North Carolina seafood.