Fish Post

Hatteras April 14, 2010

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John McCracken, of Burnsville, NC, with a 6 lb., 13 oz. bluefish he hooked in the Ocracoke surf on a cut bait. Weighed in at Tradewinds Bait and Tackle.

Jam, of Teach’s Lair Marina, reports that the surf bite is finally heating up along with the weather. Anglers are hooking up with sea mullet, pufferfish, bluefish, and a few puppy and big red drum from the island’s beaches. Periods of southerly and southwesterly winds are the most favorable conditions for the drum bite.

Bottom rigs baited with shrimp are producing most of the action with the panfish, while larger cut baits should get attention from the reds. Both drum and bluefish will also fall for metal spoons worked through the surf.

The sound has been a bit slow in recent days because of the influx of fresh water from rainfall, but the bluefish bite had been good (with many 2-4 lb. fish) and will likely crank back up after a few tide cycles flush out the fresh water.

Offshore boats are still connecting with some bluefin tuna when making the run north to areas like the Point. Closer to home, there’s been an excellent yellow and blackfin tuna bite to the south of the Rockpile recently. Good numbers of wahoo (some 40+ lb. citations) are also in the mix down south. Trolling skirted ballyhoo is the most effective tactic for finding and hooking the tuna and wahoo.

Ginger, of Frank and Fran’s Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are putting together some good catches of sea mullet and pufferfish while bottom fishing with shrimp in the island’s surf.

Bluefish are also starting to make an appearance for beach anglers (most 2-2.5 lbs. with a few larger). The blues will strike metal lures or bottom rigs in the surf.

Anglers have seen the first decent fishing for red drum over the past few weeks, and periods of southwest winds will likely turn it back on. Large cut baits are the way to go for the reds. Most of the action has been around the Point, which is closed to 4wd access but still fishable for anglers willing to make the walk, but there have also been a few large reds caught and released around Ramp 55.

Dickie, of Frisco Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are catching some pufferfish and sea mullet while bottom fishing in the surf with shrimp and bloodworms. Bluefish are also falling for the bottom rigs.

Big drum are beginning to show up, with anglers reporting releases from the beaches at Ocracoke and near Hatteras Inlet.

Bob, of Frisco Rod and Gun, reports that surfcasters started catching bluefish last week, and the bite’s been on since as long as the winds are calm enough to fish the surf. Cut baits and metal jigging lures are the way to go for the blues.

A decent drum run took place one night last week for anglers fishing the Point, and the fish should be chewing again wind the wind shifts to the southwest.

Some sea mullet and large pufferfish are feeding in the breakers, and anglers can hook both on bottom rigs baited with shrimp.

Steve Gilmartin, of Wilmington, with a citation red drum that fell for a cut bait in the Ocracoke surf.

Dan, of Red Drum Tackle, reports that though the Point is closed to 4wd access, anglers can still walk to the famous surf fishing spot, and those making the stroll were rewarded with a good red drum bite (with many 40”+ citation fish) on several evenings last week. The action will likely remain strong over the next few weeks when the wind’s coming out of the south or southwest, and large cut baits are the ticket to hookups with the reds.

Elsewhere along the beaches, anglers have found some solid sea mullet, pufferfish, and croaker action on the beach south of the Point. Bottom rigs baited with shrimp have proven appealing to these smaller surf dwellers.

Some bluefish, dogfish, and a few larger 4-5’ “biter” sharks have also been in the mix for anglers fishing the island’s beaches.

Alan, of Tradewinds Tackle, reports that bluefish (most 1-3 lbs.) have been producing most of the action in the Ocracoke surf in recent weeks. Anglers are also connecting with some sea mullet, pufferfish, puppy drum, and assorted other bottom feeders. A few large, citation-class reds have also been landed. Shrimp and cut baits are producing most of the surf action, but anglers are hooking up with some of the blues while working artificial lures.

Nearshore, boats are finding big numbers of bluefish (mixed sizes to 5-6 lbs.) on wrecks and other structure off the beaches. They’ll eat nearly anything, and jigs and bottom rigs have both been producing good catches lately.

Offshore boats are finding action with yellow and blackfin tuna, wahoo, and king mackerel.

Jay, of Bite Me Charters, reports that bluefin tuna have moved up the beach and since new regulations only allow anglers to keep one under 59” and virtually all of the fish are larger, not many boats have been chasing them.

The spring yellowfin bite is kicking off and should only improve over the next few weeks. On better days, some boats have seen up to a dozen fish recently.

Some citation-sized blackfin tuna, wahoo, king mackerel, and even some early season dolphin have been mixed in with the yellowfins, and boats are also seeing a decent number of mako sharks.