Fish Post

Hatteras March 10, 2011

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Frank McLaughlin with a 77", 315 lb. bluefin tuna he hooked on a ballyhoo under a blue/white Ilander while fishing near the 300 line out of Hatteras Inlet aboard the Will Power with Capt. Will Cathey, Will Domino, and Randy Smith.

Bob, of Red Drum Tackle, reports that anglers have seen a few sea mullet and some puppy drum around Hatteras Inlet and Ocracoke. As winter turns to spring and the water temperatures climb into the upper 50’s, the surf fishing should improve.

Most of the striped bass have made their way north, but anglers caught a few to the south over the last weeks, and surf fishermen may have a shot at those stripers as they head north.

Offshore, the bluefin tuna fishing is almost as good as it’s ever been. Boats are hooking the big tunas (on both sides of the 73” trophy mark) while trolling and jigging, and crews who know how to chunk and tag them are tallying big numbers of releases.

A few black and yellowfin tuna are mixed in with the bluefins, and anglers can expect to see more of them as warmer water moves offshore of the area over the course of the month.

Mike, of Frisco Rod and Gun, reports that local boats have found an excellent bluefin tuna bite while trolling skirted ballyhoo and working vertical jigs around temperature breaks offshore. Anglers can troll until they mark concentrations of fish on the sounder, and then drop jigs if the tunas seem unwilling to come up and take trolled baits.

A few black and yellowfin tuna are in the mix, too, and they will become more prevalent as the water temperatures rise.

Pat, of Teach’s Lair Marina, reports that anglers are catching big numbers of bluefin tuna offshore (with most of the fish coming back to the docks in the 100-110 lb. range). A few black and yellowfin tuna and mako sharks are falling for trolled ballyhoo and vertical jigs along with the bluefins.

The fishing will only get better, with increasing numbers of the black and yellowfins, as winter becomes spring.

Ginger, of Frank and Fran’s Tackle, reports that anglers have reported some action with puppy drum and sea mullet around Ocracoke, and a few days of solid south winds should raise the beach water temperatures and improve that bite.

As the water temps rise on Hatteras Island, anglers can expect to find sea mullet, pups, and some pufferfish feeding in the surf. Shrimp on bottom rigs will fool all three, and anglers may also be able to hook up with the puppy drum while casting artificials like spoons and soft plastics.

Melinda, of Tradewinds Bait and Tackle, reports that water temperatures in the Ocracoke surf are in the 52-54 range, and as they climb into the high 50’s over the next few weeks, anglers should see the first big drum of the year feeding along the shore. A few days of southwest winds and sunny days will help bring up the surf temps to where they need to be.

Surf anglers will also see some sea mullet, pufferfish, and other bottom feeders showing up as the water temperatures climb.

Puppy drum should also be in the islands’ surf, and artificial lures like gold spoons will often draw a reaction bite from them in the cold water when they aren’t feeding hard enough to seek out and bite baits.