August 8, 2008
Catch a High Tide and Reel ‘Em in From the Shore Catch a High Tide and Reel ‘Em in From the Shore Catch Catch Catch
By DAMON TATUMDAMON TATEM
BEACH, PIER AND BRIDGE FISHING
Surf fishing along the northern beaches of the Dare coast should be fairly productive this week if the weather is good.
Fair numbers of small spot, pinhead croaker, sand perch and pigfish should be landed from deeper sloughs along the beach. Bloodworms and fresh shrimp should provide the best action. The best time to fish will be on the incoming and high tide. These small bottom fish move inshore close to the beach to feed when the tide is rising.
There is no size or creel limit on small bottom fish such as spot and croaker, but anglers should keep only what they intend to use.
A few nice sea mullet also should be taken by bottom-fishing anglers, along with an occasional flounder.
Scattered bluefish should be caught on lures when the water is clear and on fireball rigs or bottom rigs baited with fresh cut bait when the water is dirty.
Bluefish can be beached at any time of day, but usually early mornings and late afternoons are the most productive times to fish. Feeding gulls are usually a good sign of bluefish in an area. Gulls are attracted by the scraps of baitfish left behind by voraciously feeding blues who tear into schools of bait, leaving many shredded and wounded small fish behind.
Anglers can keep 15 bluefish with no more than five larger than 24 inches in total length. Total length is measured from the tip of the snout with the mouth closed to the top of the compressed tail.There is no minimum size limit on bluefish.
Northern beach pier anglers should land some bluefish weighing between 1/2 and 2 pounds just about every morning at first light. Blues also should be decked in the evening just before dark. Most of the bluefish will be taken on Gotcha lures if the water is clear, and on cut bait if it's dirty. A few Spanish mackerel should also be caught on Gotchas. Spanish mackerel mainly feed by sight. Consequently, few are landed on cut bait. An occasional big Spanish mackerel will hit a live bait used by king mackerel and cobia anglers.
Live-bait anglers fishing from the ends of ocean piers in this area have a reasonable chance of decking a cobia, jack or king mackerel if inshore water temperatures are high and the water is clear. Big fish action of this type is usually best when light onshore winds push warm surface Gulf Stream water inshore close to the beach.
Anglers can keep two cobia 33 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.
Bottom fishing action should be good when the water is somewhat dirty. Lots of mall spot, some croaker, sand perch, pinfish and pigfish should keep bottom fishing anglers busy. Some sea mullet also should be taken.
When the water is clear and warm, anglers fishing near a pier piling should catch some spadefish, triggerfish and an occasional sheepshead.
A few speckled trout and possibly a gray trout or two should be landed on soft plastic artificial lures near the surf line early mornings. Action will improve as the fall approaches. 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.
Anglers trying their luck from the Melvin Daniels Jr. Bridge on the Nags Head/Roanoke Island causeway should catch a few speckled trout and an occasional flounder just about every morning at dawn. Some small bottom fish, a few black drum and some puppy drum should be taken off and on during the rest of the day.
Oregon Inlet area
Anglers fishing in the Off Island channel behind the Bodie Island Lighthouse should land a few speckled trout, puppy drum, flounder and small bottom fish.
Catwalk anglers on the south end of the Bonner Bridge should catch some nice sheepshead and a few black drum around the bridge pilings. Sand fleas, also called mole crabs, should be the most productive bait. Some small bottom fish, a few flounder and some snapper bluefish also will be taken from the bridge.
Anglers wading in the Green Island Slough area should snag some speckled trout, a few flounder and an occasional puppy drum.
Pea Island to Buxton
Surfcasters in this area should find fishing good overall, with some days quite a bit better than others.
Small bottom fish such as spot and croaker should be particularly abundant. Some nice sea mullet should be beached along with a few pompano. Quite a few small flounder should be hooked and released, and a few keeper-sized flounder will be taken. Anglers can keep eight flounder 15 1/2 inches or larger in total length per person per day.
Fair numbers of bluefish weighing between 1/2 and 3 pounds should appear in surf catches along with a few Spanish mackerel. Most will be landed on Stingsilvers when the water is clear.
Pier fishing should be fair to good, depending on the weather. Lots of small croaker, some spot, sand perch and scattered sea mullet should be decked when the water is murky.
Bluefish and Spanish mackerel should keep pier jockeys busy early mornings and late afternoons when the water is clear.
Some nice-sized flounder should be taken by anglers using live minnows fished near the pier piling inshore close to the surf line. Quite a few small flounder will be hooked and released.
When the water is clear and warm, spadefish and triggerfish should be caught in good numbers from around the pier pilings.
Live-bait anglers fishing from the ends of piers could hang a big jack, cobia or king any time when water conditions are right.
Buxton to Hatteras Inlet
Surfcasters in the Cape Point area should have good luck landing Spanish mackerel and bluefish just about every day when the water is clear. The best action on hot summer days usually is early in the morning just after first light, and just before sunset. Anglers can keep 15 Spanish mackerel 12 inches or larger in total length per person per day.
Scattered small bottom fish, some keeper flounder, an occasional pompano and a few drum should be taken fairly regularly during the day at Cape Point and along the beach just south of the cape.
Anglers fishing near the Buxton jetties should catch some keeper flounder and an occasional sheepshead.
Fair numbers of small bottom fish, including some nice sea mullet and scattered pompano, should be landed in the Frisco surf along with tailor bluefish. Bluefish and puppy drum should be beached regularly in the Hatteras Inlet surf. Anglers can keep one puppy drum 18 to 27 inches in total length per person per day.
Anglers on Frisco pier should catch a mixed bag of small bottom fish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, spadefish, flounder and sheepshead. Some of the larger flounder will be taken on live minnows near the pier piling.
INSHORE TROLLING AND BOAT FISHING
Headboats drift fishing in the Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Inlet areas and in the sounds west of the inlets should land small bottom fish and flounder. Some of the best flounder fishing will be when light onshore winds push clear ocean water into the inlets.
Boaters trolling in the inlets and along the beaches a short distance offshore north and south of the inlets should deck tailor blues and some nice Spanish mackerel.
Boaters fishing in the sounds should catch speckled trout, puppy drum, flounder and a mixture of small bottom fish.
Some cobia should be taken by boaters fishing in deeper water along tide lines off Oregon Inlet. Anglers can keep two cobia 33 inches or larger in fork length per person per day.
OFFSHORE, GULF STREAM
Blue water charters off Oregon Inlet should land plenty of dolphin, scattered wahoo and a few yellowfin tuna. An occasional jumbo big-eye tuna weighing more than 100 pounds should be taken. Scattered billfish will be released. The best billfish action should be when winds are from a northeasterly direction.
Hatteras Gulf Stream anglers should release fair numbers of billfish, including quite a few sailfish. Dolphin, quite a few wahoo, a few king mackerel, amberjacks and an occasional yellowfin tuna should be decked. 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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