Time It Right, and Anglers Will Hit the Spot Time It Just Right, and Anglers Will Hit the Spot Catch Catch
By DAMON TATUMDAMON TATEM
BEACH, PIER AND BRIDGE FISHING
Corolla to Coquina Beach
Look for pier fishing to be super along the northern beaches of Dare County as fall conditions arrive.
Nice-sized spot, some weighing as much as a pound, should be abundant. Action will be particularly good when winds are from the northeast and the water is somewhat muddy. The most productive time to fish for spot is on the incoming and high tide, and bloodworms are the preferred bait.
Pier anglers also should land some sea mullet along with some nice-sized croaker. Some of the larger croaker weighing 2 pounds or more should be decked when seas are rough. Most of the mullet and croaker will be taken on bloodworms or shrimp.
There is no size or creel limit on small bottom fish such as spot, croaker and sea mullet, but anglers should keep only what they intend to use.
Rough water also usually provides some good puppy drum fishing. Most of the puppy drum will be caught on fresh cut bait close to the surf line. Some larger drum also could be hooked in deeper water off the ends of ocean piers as they migrate south along the oceanfront.
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 with plenty of 1- to 2-pounders landed on Gotcha lures when the water is clear. Early mornings and late afternoons should be the best times to try fishing for blues.
Plenty of bluefish also will be decked when the water is muddy. Bluefish feed by sight when the water is clear and by smell when it’s cloudy. Fresh mullet or menhaden will produce plenty of action when the water clarity is low. Anglers can keep 15 bluefish per person per day with no more than five greater than 24 inches in total length. There is no minimum size limit on bluefish.
Speckled trout fishing should improve as the month progresses, with fair numbers of 1- to 4-pound fish taken on soft plastic artificial lures when the water is fairly clear. Some of the best action should be during the morning, close to the breaking surf.
Surfcasters along the beach from Corolla to Coquina Beach should catch good numbers of spot, croaker and sea mullet on the rising tide. The best action should be in deeper sloughs along the beach. Fair numbers of puppy drum also should be landed with the best fishing when it’s moderately rough.
Small and medium-sized bluefish will be plentiful and easily taken on Gator spoons or Hopkins lures when winds are light and the surf is clear.
Fireball rigs baited with fresh cut bait usually are the best producers of blues for bottom fishing anglers when seas are choppy and the water is dirty. Not only do they attract hungry bluefish because of their fluorescent color and movement in the current, but they have an added plus of keeping the bait off the bottom, away from crabs.
Speckled trout fishing should be good in the surf early mornings when the water is calm and clear. Some of the best action should be in sloughs north of Kitty Hawk pier and along the beach in the Kitty Hawk area. Trout fishing should improve later this month as water temperatures drop.
Oregon Inlet area
Anglers fishing along the north shore of Oregon Inlet should catch some small bottom fish, tailor bluefish, an occasional puppy drum and a few flounder when conditions are good.
Mixed-sized bluefish, including some weighing more than 10 pounds, should be taken from the catwalk on the south end of the Bonner Bridge across Oregon Inlet along with some bottom fish and an occasional striped bass. Anglers can keep two striped bass 28 inches or larger in total length when fishing in the Atlantic Ocean.
Pea Island to Buxton
Pier anglers in the Rodanthe and Avon areas should land plenty of nice-sized spot, some croaker, pigfish, sea mullet and scattered black drum on bloodworms and shrimp. Scattered pompano also should be decked, but falling water temperatures will soon move these fish south along the beach.
Some nice puppy drum should be taken by pier anglers. Lots of small puppy drum should be released along with some yearlings and big drum that are too big to keep. The best action should be when the water is rough and the drum move inshore close to the beach to feed on crustaceans and shellfish disturbed by wave action.
Tailor bluefish will be caught regularly on lures and cut bait by pier jockeys. A few Spanish mackerel also should be decked from the ends of piers when the water is clear.
Surf fishing should be great along the north beaches of Hatteras Island if the weather is good. Plenty of bottom fish should be landed including some nice big sea mullet. A few pompano and scattered keeper flounder also should appear in surf catches.Anglers can keep eight flounder 151/2 inches and larger in total length per person per day.
Puppy drum fishing should be good, particularly during periods of choppy seas. A few yearling and big drum also should be hooked and released from deeper sloughs along the beach in this area.
The old reliable bluefish should be beached regularly on cut bait or lures, depending on the water conditions. A few Spanish mackerel also should be taken on Stingsilvers. Anglers can keep 15 Spanish mackerel 12 inches or larger in fork length.Fork length is measured from the tip of the snout to the middle of the fork in the tail.
Buxton to Hatteras Inlet
Pier anglers in the Frisco area should deck some bottom fish, bluefish, pompano, black drum and a few Spanish mackerel.
Surfcasters at Cape Point should catch plenty of puppy drum.Fair numbers of yearling and big drum should be released, both during the day and at night.
Lots of nice-sized bluefish should be landed regularly in the Cape Point area along with some bottom fish, pompano and some keeper flounder.
Bottom fish, fair numbers of bluefish and some puppy drum will likely be taken along the beach in the Frisco area.
Surf fishing should be good along the Hatteras Inlet beaches with quite a few puppy drum and bluefish caught. Some big drum also should be hooked and released regularly in the area.
INSHORE TROLLING AND BOAT FISHING
Boaters trolling in the Oregon Inlet area should deck plenty of bluefish and some albacore.
Anglers drift fishing in the inlet should land fair numbers of keeper flounder.
Boaters in the sound west of Oregon Inlet should catch some nice speckled trout and puppy drum. Anglers can keep 10 speckled trout 12 inches or larger in total length per person per day.
Fair numbers of striped bass should be taken by boaters in the Croatan Sound area. The recreational striped bass season in the Albemarle Sound Management Area opened Wednesday, Oct. 1.Anglers can keep three stripers 18 inches or larger in total length per person per day, seven days a week.
Boaters in the Hatteras Inlet area should land bluefish, some Spanish mackerel, puppy drum, flounder, speckled trout and gray trout. Anglers can keep six gray trout 12 inches or larger in total length per person per day.
OFFSHORE, GULF STREAM
Blue water action off Oregon Inlet should be good near the point with a mixture of dolphin, wahoo and yellowfin tuna caught.An occasional big-eye tuna will be decked and a few billfish will be released.
Hatteras offshore anglers should catch dolphin, quite a few wahoo, blackfin tuna and an occasional yellowfin tuna.King mackerel fishing should be good, with some nice fish taken trolling and on live bait. 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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