July 8, 2008
Night, Morning Anglers Can Take a Long Siesta, Catch of the Week
By DAMON TATUMDAMON TATEM
BEACH, PIER AND BRIDGE FISHING
Northern beach pier anglers should enjoy good bluefish and Spanish mackerel action this week at sunrise and sunset from the ends of ocean piers when the water is clear. The bluefish and Spanish mackerel should hit primarily Gotcha lures. The bluefish will run between a 1/2 and 2 pounds, and some of the Spanish mackerel will weigh more than 2 pounds.
Bluefish also will be taken by pier jockeys using bottom rigs or fireball rigs baited with cut bait when the water is dirty. Although bluefish feed mainly by sight, they also have a good sense of smell, and readily hit cut bait when the water visibility is low. Spanish mackerel seldom hit anything but lures, as they feed almost entirely by sight. Occasionally, a big Spanish mackerel will be caught on a live bait rig.
Anglers can keep 15 bluefish per person per day with only five 24 inches or larger in total length. Total length is measured from the tip of the snout with the mouth closed to the top of the compressed tail.
Small bottom fish should be landed in fairly good numbers on ocean piers when the water is somewhat murky. Most of these small bottom fish such as spot, sea mullet, croaker, sand perch and pigfish will be taken on fresh shrimp or bloodworms.
Action usually is best on the incoming and high tide, and decreases as the tide falls and low water approaches. There is no size or creel limit on small bottom fish, but anglers are urged to keep only what they intend to use.
Anglers using soft plastic lures should deck some speckled trout early mornings when the water is clear. Some of the best action should be close to the surf line.
The combination of hot summertime weather, light onshore winds, clear water and high water temperatures brings pier anglers the opportunity to catch unusual species and some large deeper-water fish. Triggerfish, filefish and spadefish should be caught sporadically by pier anglers in July, August and September.
Most of these fish will be hooked close to pier pilings where they feed on worms and small crustaceans. These fish are selective feeders and have very small mouths, making them difficult at times to hook. Anglers quite often resort to snagging these fish when they refuse to take a bait.
Big cobia, king mackerel and jumbo jacks are a possibility at any time when the water is clear and warm. Most of these big deeper- water species are landed on live bait from the ends of the piers.
Surfcasters along the northern beaches should have fair luck catching a mixture of small bottom fish along the beach on the incoming tide. Most of the fish will be taken from deeper sloughs on fresh shrimp, bloodworms or artificial bloodworms. Fishing should be best early mornings and late afternoons when the weather is hot and skies are cloudless.
Small bluefish, an occasional speckled trout, a flounder or two and possibly a few Spanish mackerel also should be caught in the surf. Spanish mackerel and bluefish action is usually best when the water is clear and schools of baitfish are close to the beach. Most of these voracious fish will be taken on metal lures.
Anglers fishing from the Melvin Daniels Jr. Bridge on the Nags Head/Roanoke Island causeway should land some speckled trout at sunrise just about every morning. Some small bottom fish, black drum, puppy drum and a few flounder should be taken later in the day. Anglers can keep one red drum (puppy drum) 18 to 27 inches in total length per person per day.
Oregon Inlet Area
Anglers fishing from the catwalk on the south end of the Bonner Bridge across Oregon Inlet should catch some nice sheepshead around the bridge pilings. Sand fleas, also called mole crabs, will produce most of the good action. Some small bottom fish, small bluefish and a few flounder also should be landed from the catwalk.
Anglers fishing from the revetment on the inlet's south side and wading on the south side near the bridge should catch some flounder, trout and a few drum.
Pea Island to Buxton
Bluefish and Spanish mackerel should keep pier anglers busy along the northern beaches of Hatteras Island when the water is clear. Early morning and late afternoon runs should be good with some Spanish mackerel taken weighing more than 2 pounds.
Anglers can keep 15 Spanish mackerel 12 inches or larger in fork length per person per day. Fork length is measured from the tip of the snout to the middle of the fork in the tail.
Pier bottom fishing should be productive with the usual summertime mixture of spot, croaker, sea mullet, sand perch and pigfish decked along with a few keeper flounder and fair numbers of pompano.
Some spadefish, triggerfish and filefish should be caught around pier pilings when the water is clear and warm.
When light onshore winds push clear Gulf Stream surface water inshore around ocean piers, live-bait anglers should be rewarded for their efforts with an occasional cobia, king mackerel, jack or barracuda.
Surfcasters along Hatteras Island's northern oceanfront should land a variety of small bottom fish, including some nice sea mullet.
Fair numbers of pompano should be taken from deeper sloughs along the beach from Rodanthe to Buxton. Most of these tasty fish will be beached by anglers using sand fleas for bait. Fresh shrimp also produces good catches of pompano.
Bluefish and Spanish mackerel should keep lure anglers occupied in the surf when the water is clear. Most of the fish will be caught on Stingsilvers in a variety of colors.
Buxton to Hatteras Inlet
Frisco pier anglers should have good luck decking small bluefish and some nice-sized Spanish mackerel when winds are light and the water is clear. Bottom fishing should be good when the water is somewhat murky.
Fair numbers of pompano also should be landed, along with some keeper flounder. Most of the nice-sized flounder will be taken by anglers fishing with live minnows on the bottom, close to the beach near the pier pilings. Anglers can keep eight flounder 15 1/2 inches or larger in total length per person per day.
Surfcasters in the Buxton area should catch some bluefish, Spanish mackerel and an occasional large cobia. Anglers can keep two cobia 33 inches or larger in fork length per person per day.
Some keeper flounder and an occasional speckled trout should be landed in the surf near the Buxton jetties.
Some sea mullet, spot, pompano, flounder and small bluefish should be taken regularly in the surf from Frisco to the Hatteras Inlet area. Spanish mackerel and bluefish should be caught early mornings and in the late afternoons near Ramp 55.
INSHORE TROLLING AND BOAT FISHING
Boaters in the Oregon Inlet area should land plenty of bluefish and Spanish mackerel on small Clarkspoons.
Sound boaters should deck speckled trout, an occasional gray trout, puppy drum, flounder and small bottom fish. Anglers can keep 10 speckled trout 12 inches or larger in total length per person per day, and six gray trout 12 inches or larger in total length per person per day.
Headboats in the Oregon Inlet area should reel in small bottom fish and some flounder.
Boaters in the Hatteras Inlet area should catch plenty of nice Spanish mackerel, bluefish, some albacore and cobia.
Good numbers of speckled trout and some puppy drum should be taken by boaters in Pamlico Sound behind the inlet.
Hatteras Headboats should land a variety of bottom fish, from croaker to snappers.
OFFSHORE, GULF STREAM
Blue water anglers off Oregon Inlet should deck plenty of mixed- sized dolphin, some nice yellowfin tuna and a few wahoo. A few big- eye tuna weighing more than 100 pounds also will be taken. Fair numbers of billfish should be released, particularly when winds are from a northeasterly direction.
Hatteras Gulf Stream charters should catch plenty of dolphin, good numbers of wahoo and a few tuna. A few king mackerel, barracuda and mako sharks also should appear in catches. Quite a few billfish should be released. Anglers can keep three king mackerel 24 inches or larger in fork length per person per day.
Originally published by BY DAMON TATUMDAMON TATEM.
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