Pier Angling and the Living is Easy This Week Catch of the Week Catch of the Week Catch of the Week
By DAMON TATUMDAMON TATEM
BEACH, PIER AND BRIDGE FISHING
Corolla to Coquina Beach
Pier anglers along the northern beaches of the Outer Banks should have good luck this week catching a wide variety of small fish and possibly a few big ones.
Quite a few small croaker and spot should be landed on the incoming or high tide when the water is murky. Small bottom fish tend to move inshore close to the beach from deeper water to feed when the tide is rising.
Some pigfish, sand perch, a few sheepshead and pinfish also should be decked by pier anglers. Most of these small fish will hit bloodworms or fresh shrimp. Small size 4 to 6 hooks are a must because of the small size of the fish and the size of their mouths.
Some nice sea mullet also should be taken along with some pompano. The best pompano action should be close to the surf line, almost in the breakers. Sand fleas will produce some of the best results, followed by fresh shrimp. Pompano feed mainly inshore close to the surf where sand fleas, also called mole crabs, are abundant.
There is no size or creel limit on small fish such as spot, croaker and sea mullet, but anglers should keep only what they intend to use.
Plenty of small bluefish and some nice-sized Spanish mackerel should be caught early mornings and late afternoons just before sunset when the water is clear. Most of these aggressive fish will be landed on Gotcha lures from the ends of ocean piers.
A pier jockey using live bait could deck a big cobia, jack or king mackerel from the end of any ocean pier if the water is clear and warm. The best action is when onshore winds push clear, warm surface Gulf Stream water inshore close to the beach.
Surfcasters in this area will catch a mixture of spot, croaker, sea mullet and small pompano. The best action should be in deeper sloughs along the beach on the incoming tide.
Scattered small bluefish and possibly a few Spanish mackerel also should be taken regularly in the surf along the northern beaches when the water is clear. Most of these fish will be landed on metal lures. Bluefish also will be taken on regular bottom rigs or fireball rigs baited with fresh cut mullet, menhaden, or spot.Spanish mackerel are seldom caught on anything but lures because they feed by sight.
Anglers can keep 15 bluefish per person per day with no more than five over 24 inches in total length. There is no minimum size on bluefish. Total length is measured from the tip of the snout with the mouth closed to the top of the compressed tail.
Anglers fishing from the Melvin Daniels, Jr. Bridge on the Nags Head/Roanoke Island causeway should land a handful of speckled trout and an occasional keeper flounder every morning around sunrise. Some scattered small bottom fish and a few black drum should be taken during the day.
Oregon Inlet Area
Anglers fishing from the catwalk on the south end of the Bonner Bridge across Oregon Inlet should catch good numbers of sheepshead, a few flounder, some small bottom fish and mixed-sized bluefish.
A few trout, flounder and puppy drum should be landed by anglers wading on the south side of the inlet in the Green Island Slough area.
Pea Island to Buxton
Good numbers of small bottom fish, including a few nice sea mullet, should be taken from piers in this area during the coming week. Quite a few sheepshead and fair numbers of spadefish also will be decked. Pompano action should be generally good, with quite a few small fish caught.
Lots of small flounder should be hooked and released, and a few nice keeper flounder should be taken. Anglers using live minnows or strips of fresh bait fished on the bottom inshore near pier pilings will have the best luck. Anglers can keep eight flounder 15 1/2 or larger in total length per person per day.
Small bluefish and good numbers of Spanish mackerel should be decked just about every day when the water is clear. Most of the fish should be landed on Gotchas in a variety of colors.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.
An occasional big king mackerel, jack, cobia or barracuda could be caught at any time on live bait when onshore winds push clear warm water inshore along the beach.
Surf fishing should be good in this area, with lots of pinhead croaker, small spot, sea mullet, sand perch and a few pinfish beached. Quite a few mixed-sized pompano should be landed regularly by anglers using sand fleas and fresh shrimp for bait. A few keeper puppy drum should be taken on cut bait. The best drum action will be when the water is somewhat rough.
Nice-sized Spanish mackerel and lots of tailor bluefish should be caught in the surf in this area when winds are light and the water is clear. Most of these fish should be landed on Stingsilvers.Some of the Spanish mackerel should weigh more than 3 pounds.
Buxton to Hatteras Inlet
Frisco pier anglers should catch a variety of small bottom fish when the water is a bit dirty and winds are light to moderate. Strong southwest winds tend to make seas rough and fishing unproductive in the Frisco area.
Surfcasters in the Cape Point area should land plenty of bluefish and Spanish mackerel daily when winds are light and the water is clear. The best times to fish are at first light and just before dark.
Stingsilvers are considered the best bait for Spanish mackerel fishing. The most effective colors vary from day to day. Bluefish will hit just about any lure that crosses their field of vision when they are hungry. They are also regularly taken on fresh cut bait, particularly when the water is dirty.
Some puppy drum should be caught on cut bait in the Cape Point area and occasionally a drum too large to keep will be hooked and released. Anglers can keep one puppy drum 18 to 27 inches in total length per person per day.
Surfcasters in the Cape Point area also should beach some pompano, small bottom fish, flounder, sheepshead and a black drum or two.
Anglers trying their luck along the beach near the Buxton jetties should land some nice keeper flounder and an occasional sheepshead.
Surfcasters along the Frisco beach should reel in small bottom fish and some bluefish. Some nice Spanish mackerel should be taken when the water is clear.
Bluefish, Spanish mackerel and drum should be caught in good numbers in the Hatteras Inlet area surf.
INSHORE TROLLING AND BOAT FISHING
Boaters trolling around Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Inlet will likely land plenty of Spanish mackerel and some small bluefish on Clarkspoons.
Boaters fishing in the sounds west of both inlets should deck some small bottom fish, speckled trout and a few drum. Hatteras Inlet area boaters also should catch some gray trout. 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 per person per day.
Headboats fishing in the inlet areas should land some mixed- sized flounder, small bluefish and plenty of small bottom fish.
Boaters fishing outside the inlets in deeper water should haul in lots of tilefish, sea bass, grouper, big jacks and some cobia. Anglers can keep two cobia 33 inches or larger in fork length per person per day.
OFFSHORE, GULF STREAM
Gulf Stream anglers off Oregon Inlet should deck lots of mixed- sized dolphin, scattered yellowfin tuna and some nice-sized wahoo. Some billfish should be released. Look for an upturn in billfish action when winds are from the northeast.
Blue water action off Hatteras should be good with dolphin, quite a few wahoo, blackfin tuna and some king mackerel taken. Fair numbers of sailfish and a few marlin 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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