Surf is the Place to Be As Temperatures Drop Catch of the Week
By DAMON TATUMDAMON TATEM
BEACH, PIER AND BRIDGE FISHING
Corolla to Coquina Beach
Surf fishing should get into high gear this week as inshore water temperatures drop along the Dare coast.
Quite a few nice, big spot should be taken from deeper sloughs along the beach. Most of the spot, many of which will weigh more than 1/2 pound, will be caught on small number 4 to 6 hooks baited with bloodworms and fished on the bottom.
Sea mullet also should provide bait-fishing surfcasters with good action, on the rising tide. Most of these fish will be landed on sand fleas, bloodworms or fresh shrimp.
Some croaker, pigfish and sand perch also should appear in beach catches. There is no size or creel limit on small fish such as spot and croaker, but anglers should keep only what they will use.
Good numbers of puppy drum should be taken fairly regularly when the surf is somewhat rough. Most of the puppy drum will be caught on cut bait close to the surf line. A few also will be landed by anglers using lures for trout.
Anglers can keep one puppy drum 18 to 27 inches in total length per person per day.
Speckled trout fishing should be generally productive with fish weighing between 1 and 3 pounds taken along the beach in the Kitty Hawk area. Most of the speckled trout will be caught on soft plastic lures, but a few will be landed on bait.
Plenty of mixed-sized bluefish will be taken on metal lures in the surf when the water is clear. Cut bait will produce plenty of bluefish action when the water is cloudy.
Bluefish are aggressive feeders, voraciously attacking schools of small baitfish and leaving shredded remains behind.Seagulls are attracted by feeding blues in hopes of getting a free meal of fish scraps, usually a dead giveaway of hungry bluefish.
Anglers can keep 15 bluefish per person per day with no more than five larger than 24 inches in total length.
Pier anglers in the Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head areas should catch plenty of big spot when winds are blowing from the northeast. The best action should be on the incoming or high tide, but sometimes in the fall spot will bite all day and night.
Fair numbers of croaker, some pigfish, sea mullet, scattered black drum and a few sand perch also should be landed regularly.Action should be best when the water is somewhat dirty.
Pier jockeys should deck some keeper puppy drum from the ends when winds are moderate and seas are choppy.
Bluefish action should be good early mornings and late afternoons from the ends of piers when the water is clear. Most of the bluefish will be taken on Gotcha plugs but a few will be caught on bucktail rigs and Hopkins lures.
Quite a few speckled trout should be landed early mornings by pier anglers tossing soft plastic lures near the surf line. Action should be best when seas are light and the water is clear. Anglers can keep 10 speckled trout 12 inches or larger in total length per person per day.
Oregon Inlet Area
Surfcasters in the Oregon Inlet area should beach some puppy drum, bluefish and scattered small bottom fish.
Anglers fishing from the catwalk on the south end of the Bonner Bridge should catch bluefish, including a few weighing more than 10 pounds, some sheepshead and bottom fish.
Pea Island to Buxton
Surf fishing should be outstanding with some nice-sized sea mullet, croaker, spot, sand perch and pigfish landed in good numbers when weather conditions are good.
Plenty of keeper puppy drum should be taken on fresh mullet or menhaden, and a big drum should be hooked and released.
Bottom fishing anglers also should catch a few keeper flounder, some pompano and black drum.
Bluefish action will be steady with 1- to 3-pounders landed daily on metal lures. A few Spanish mackerel could be taken but most of those fish have begun their fall migration south.
Pier anglers along Hatteras’ northern beaches should deck plenty of small bottom fish, including some big spot. Spot should be caught two at a time when the water is murky and winds are from the northeast.
Puppy drum fishing should be good when the water is rough.Some yearlings and big drum also should be released.
Early morning and late afternoon bluefish action should be good daily with pier jockeys catching plenty on Gotcha lures and cut bait.
Buxton to Hatteras Inlet
Anglers trying their luck at Cape Point will likely land plenty of fish. Lots of puppy drum, some yearling drum and big drum should keep anglers busy on a consistent basis. Some of the better big drum fishing will be at night.
Bluefish should be plentiful and some Spanish mackerel should be taken on Stingsilvers at sunrise and sunset.
Bottom fishing should be good in the Cape Point area and along the beach south of the cape in the hook with sea mullet, croaker, flounder and pompano caught.
Frisco area surfcasters should beach a mixture of small bottom fish including some nice sea mullet and pompano. When the water is clear, bluefish should be easily hooked on lures, along with some Spanish mackerel.
Bottom fish, plenty of bluefish and good numbers of keeper puppy drum should be landed in the Hatteras Inlet surf.Some good-sized drum should be hooked and released at night.
Anglers fishing from Frisco pier will deck quite a few bottom fish, tailor bluefish, puppy drum, Spanish mackerel and some gray trout. Anglers can keep six gray trout 12 inches or larger in total length per person per day.
INSHORE TROLLING AND BOAT FISHING
Headboats in the Oregon Inlet area should catch small bottom fish, some keeper flounder and snapper blues.
Trollers around the inlet and along the beach a short distance offshore north and south of the inlet should land lots of tailor bluefish, albacore and school king mackerel. Anglers can keep three king mackerel 24 inches or larger in fork length per person per day.
Boaters fishing in the sound west of the Oregon Inlet bridge should reel in some speckled trout, puppy drum and bottom fish.
Boaters in the Hatteras Inlet area should deck plenty of bluefish, some mixed-sized king mackerel and some nice Spanish mackerel. Good numbers of flounder and trout also should be taken. Anglers can keep 15 Spanish mackerel 12 inches or larger in fork length per person per day.
Boaters bottom fishing in deep water off Hatteras should catch sea bass, tilefish, triggerfish, snappers and grouper.
OFFSHORE, GULF STREAM
Blue water anglers off Oregon Inlet should land lots of dolphin and scattered yellowfin tuna. Fair numbers of wahoo and a few jumbo big-eye tuna also should be decked.
Gulf Stream action off Hatteras should be good with plenty of wahoo, good numbers of dolphin, a few yellowfin tuna, some blackfin tuna and king mackerel taken.
Scattered billfish should be released off both Oregon and Hatteras Inlets.
Originally published by BY DAMON TATUMDAMON TATEM.
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