Summer fishing continues in Hatteras with good catches of both gaffer and bailer dolphin/mahi. Besides the dolphin there have been good catches of blackfin tuna. Tilefish and grouper have made their way back to the docks, then on the grills of lucky anglers. Tilefish and groupers are caught deep dropping or fishing natural bait on bottom over the rocks and ledges offshore of Hatteras Inlet.
Oregon Inlet Offshore
The boats working the Gulf Stream have been working hard but have been bringing back to the dock yellowfin tuna, dolphin. If the tuna bite slows, more boats will start fishing for dolphin. Most years there is a good bite of billfish both blue and white marlin with a few sailfish.
Oregon Inlet Nearshore
Boats fishing along the northern Outer Banks shoreline have found bluefish and Spanish. Besides these fish, there have been good catches of king mackerel. The big red drums have been making sporadic appearances, and if you are lucky enough to be in the area — the action is hot and fast.
Hatteras Inlet Nearshore
Bluefish and Spanish still head the list of what the near shore fisherman are finding along the beaches of Hatteras Island. Besides the blues and Spanish, barracuda are also being caught. Reports of triggerfish being caught, as well. Triggerfish prefer wrecks and live bottom and can be caught with cut pieces of squid on a bottom rig. Triggerfish are not the most beautiful fish, but they are one of the more tasty fish available on the Outer Banks.
Water temperatures play a big role on how the fishing is on the piers and the surf. The piers on the northern beaches have been reporting in with catches of sea mullet, croakers, and some spot if the water temperatures are in the mid to upper 60s and above. If the water is over 67 degrees, Spanish mackerel should be biting on the end of the piers along with a few bluefish. The anglers on the piers on Hatteras Island have been catching pretty much the same species as on the northern beaches. Strong southwest winds will blow the warm surface water off the beach, and this action pulls up the cold water from out in deeper water.
In the Sand: surf action
The action from the sand remains much the same all summer. Summer lineup includes croakers, spot, sea mullet, small bluefish, occasional flounder and puppy drum. All of these species can be caught on a two hook bottom rig baited with fresh shrimp, bloodworms or cut mullet. The surf is also affected by water temperatures, as well
On Hatteras Island, they will add a couple more species to line up, the pompano and Spanish mackerel. If the surf is cold on the northern Outer Banks, a good place to fish is the little bridge on the Manteo Causeway. The bridge crosses the sound, and the water temperatures are affected less by wind direction.
Hatteras Sound Report
Anglers fishing the in the Pamlico Sound behind Hatteras Inlet have reported finding big schools of puppy drum. Puppy Drum is just a small red drum. This fishing can provide for some exciting light tackle action. Plastic jigs fished on a lead jig head or metal spoons are effective lures for puppy drum. Besides the puppy bluefish, speckled trout are being caught.
Oregon Inlet Sound Report
Decent to excellent speckled trout fishing has been reported, as well as a few puppy drum and this should continue for the rest of the summer. Almost all of the trout and puppy drum have been caught by casting soft plastic baits around marsh island and over grass beds.
Get outside and enjoy the fishing, and remember that the supply is not endless — so only harvest what you need.
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 (outerbanksflyfishing.com).