September 19, 2008
North Winds May Blow in Plenty of Mixed Spot Catch Fishing
By DAMON TATUMDAMON TATEM
BEACH, PIER AND BRIDGE FISHING
Corolla to Coquina Beach
Lots of mixed-sized spot, including some weighing considerably more than half a pound, should keep pier anglers busy along the northern beaches this week if winds are from a northerly direction. These very popular fish migrate south along the Outer Banks in large numbers in late summer and early fall.
The best fishing is on the incoming and high tide when the water is a bit murky. Most of the spot should be caught on small number 4 to 6 hooks, baited with bloodworms or artificial bloodworms.
Fair numbers of croaker, a few pigfish and some sand perch also should be landed along with the spot. These fish will hit bloodworms, shrimp and also squid. There is no size or creel limit on small bottom fish such as spot, croaker or sand perch, but anglers should keep only what they intend to use.
Fair numbers of sea mullet and a few pompano also should be taken by bottom-fishing pier anglers.
Scattered nice-sized puppy drum and an occasional black drum should be decked by pier anglers close to the surf line when the water is somewhat rough. Most of these fish will be caught on cut bait. Small pieces of soft crab also produce good puppy drum action when nothing else will.
Anglers can keep one puppy drum 18 to 27 inches in total length per person per day. Total length is measured from the tip of the snout with the mouth closed to the top of the compressed tail.
Bluefish action should be good from the ends of ocean piers with quite a few 1- to 2-pounders landed when the water is clear. Early mornings and late afternoons will be the most productive times to fish. Most of the blues should be taken on Gotcha lures. When the water is dirty, bluefish should be caught on fresh cut bait fished on the bottom, or on fireball rigs.
Pier jockeys also have a good chance of landing some Spanish mackerel mixed in with the schools of bluefish. Almost all the Spanish mackerel will be taken on lures when the water is clear. Spanish mackerel are mainly sight feeders, whereas bluefish feed by both sight and smell.
Speckled trout fishing should be good when the water is clear close to the beach. Most of the speckled trout will be caught on soft plastic lures but a few will be landed on bait.
Surf fishing should be good overall along the northern beaches, with steady improvement throughout the month.
Bottom fishing anglers should readily reel in spot, croaker, pigfish, sand perch and small black drum from deeper sloughs along the beach. The best fishing should be on the high tide.
Quite a few nice-sized sea mullet should be taken along with some mixed-sized pompano by anglers using sand fleas for bait. These small crustaceans which inhabit the soft sand along the shoreline where the waves break are a favorite food of pompano and sea mullet.
Bluefish weighing between 1/2 and 3 pounds should keep surfcasters busy. Most of the bluefish will be caught on metal lures when the water is clear and on fresh cut bait when the water is dirty. Anglers can keep 15 bluefish per person per day with only five greater than 24 inches in total length. There is no minimum size limit on bluefish.
Fall speckled trout fishing should get started full force with some nice-sized fish landed from sloughs north of Kitty Hawk and in the Avalon area. A few puppy drum and gray trout also should be beached by anglers using soft plastic trout lures.
Oregon Inlet Area
Surfcasters in the Oregon Inlet area should catch scattered small bottom fish, some bluefish and a few puppy drum.
Anglers wading in the sound on the south side of Oregon Inlet should hook an occasional trout, keeper flounder or puppy drum.
A few sheepshead, nice bluefish and bottom fish will be taken by anglers trying their luck from the catwalk on the south end of the Bonner Bridge across Oregon Inlet.
Pea Island to Buxton
Pier anglers in this area should deck good numbers of spot, croaker, some mullet and pigfish this week when the water is dirty.
Quite a few puppy drum should be landed when choppy seas provide good fishing conditions. An occasional drum too large to keep will likely be hooked and released.
Pier anglers also should catch some pompano and a few keeper flounder, and should release some small flounder.
Bluefish should be taken regularly on lures or cut bait, depending on water conditions.
A few Spanish mackerel will be landed but the Spanish mackerel season is drawing to a close as water temperatures drop.
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.
Surf fishing should be outstanding along the northern beaches of Hatteras Island this week as water temperatures begin to fall.
Lots of spot, croaker, sea mullet, pompano and a few black drum should be caught in deeper sloughs.
Puppy drum action should be quite good when seas are stirred up. Some yearling and big drum also could be hooked and released at any time along the beach from Oregon Inlet to Buxton.
Bluefish weighing between 1 and 3 pounds should be plentiful with the best action when the water is clear. A few Spanish mackerel also should be taken.
Buxton to Hatteras Inlet
Frisco pier anglers should land a mixture of small bottom fish, puppy drum, some pompano, bluefish and some keeper flounder. Anglers can keep 8 flounder per person per day, 15 1/2 inches in total length or larger.
Surfcasters near the Buxton jetties should beach some flounder, puppy drum and small bottom fish.
Bluefish action should be great at Cape Point just about every day. Some nice-sized Spanish mackerel also should be caught. Most of these aggressive fish will hit Stingsilvers.
Some puppy drum should be taken and some big drum should be released on a regular basis at Cape Point.
Bottom fishing should be good in the Cape Point area with spot, sea mullet, croaker, pompano and some keeper flounder caught.
Spot, croaker, sea mullet, bluefish, pompano and some nice flounder should be landed in the Frisco surf.
Puppy drum, bluefish and bottom fish will be taken along the Hatteras Inlet area shoreline. A few big drum should be hooked and released at False Point.
INSHORE TROLLING AND BOAT FISHING
Boaters trolling in the Oregon Inlet area should catch good numbers of tailor bluefish, some albacore, king mackerel and some Spanish mackerel. Anglers can keep 3 king mackerel 24 inches or larger in fork length per person per day.
Boaters fishing in the sound near the Oregon Inlet bridge should land some speckled trout, puppy drum and flounder.
Headboats in the Oregon Inlet area should deck small bluefish, bottom fish and flounder.
Inshore boaters in the Hatteras Inlet area should catch some nice flounder, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, puppy drum, speckled trout and keeper 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 in total length per person per day.
Headboats fishing in deeper water off Hatteras Inlet should land good numbers of triggerfish, tilefish, snappers and grouper.
OFFSHORE, GULF STREAM
Blue water anglers off Oregon Inlet should deck good numbers of dolphin, scattered tuna and some wahoo. Billfish action should be fair, but should improve during periods of northeast wind.
Gulf Stream fishing should be excellent off Hatteras with good numbers of nice wahoo and lots of mixed-sized dolphin taken. Some nice king mackerel will be caught and a few sailfish should be released.
Originally published by BY DAMON TATUMDAMON TATEM.
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