Hatteras – April 12, 2018
Ryan, of Hatteras Jack, reports that surf fishing on the southern Hatteras beaches has been good. With water temperatures in the mid-50s, anglers are seeing puppy drum in the area taking fresh cut mullet on bottom rigs. Fishing soft plastics on 1/4 -1/2 oz. jig heads is still enticing a few reds as well.
Citation drum have shown up in the surf around the point for anglers fishing Carolina-rigged mullet with 4-8 oz. of weight. The bites have been focused around the tide swings, and the reds have been feeding very well on either edge of the weather fronts.
Dogfish and skates are also around in good numbers, and they’re willing to feed on any cut bait that anglers have soaking on the bottom.
Sea mullet and blow toads are being found in the area for anglers fishing bloodworms on a double loop bottom rig.
Some medium-sized bluefish are being caught on the southern beaches.
Debbie, of Rodanthe Pier, reports that good numbers of blow toads are being caught by anglers fishing shrimp on a bottom rig. A large number of dogfish are being caught as well.
Water temperatures on the pier have been in the low 50s.
Randy, of Frank and Fran’s Bait and Tackle, reports that sharks and skates have taken over the surf zone. Both fish have been readily feeding on cut mullet fished on bottom rigs.
Blow toads and sea mullet are being caught by anglers fishing around Ramp 34. Double loop bottom rigs with 2-4 oz. of weight and small pieces of shrimp can entice bites from both species.
Puppy drum are feeding well in the surf, with good numbers coming from the point area. Anglers fishing a Carolina rig with cut mullet, bunker, or shrimp are all producing fish. A few reds are also being caught using Gulp soft plastics on jig heads.
Bob, of Frisco Tackle, reports that citation red drum are being caught in the surf at the point. Anglers fishing Carolina-rigged cut mullet are producing the majority of the bites. With the surf and wind both being strong, anglers have been using 4-8 oz. weights to hold bottom.
Large pufferfish are in the area feeding for those soaking shrimp fished on bottom rigs.
A few black drum are still being reported by the same anglers fishing the shrimp for puffers.
Bluefish haven’t quite shown up in any consistent numbers, but smaller to medium fish (in the 14” range) are being reported.
JAM, of Teach’s Lair, reports that yellowfin tuna in the 35-50 lb. range have been caught on skirted ballyhoo. A few citation blackfin tuna (to 27 lbs.) have been weighed as well. These schools of blackfins have been mixed in with the yellowfins.
There are reports of blue marlin in the area, and one recent blue went 323 lbs.
Big red drum have been pushing through the inlets and into the sound. They are feeding well on cut mullet fished on the bottom. One boat alone had seven citations (between 44-52”) in just the last week.
Joey, of Fingeance Sportfishing, reports that puppy drum have been feeding well in the area on cut bait. Try going with mullet or shrimp on a Carolina rig and casting it to the flats, as that has been the best way to produce bites.
Big drum have been reported moving through Hatteras Inlet, and they are feeding on cut mullet.
Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that good numbers of yellowfin tuna have been landed on recent trips.
Blackfin tuna and wahoo are also mixed in the spread, and trolling skirted ballyhoo has been doing the trick on all three species.
Schools of bonito and false albacore are feeding offshore as well.
Bottom fishing the local wrecks and live bottom areas are producing large numbers of black sea bass and triggerfish. Cut squid on a bottom rig is the consistent setup to land the sea bass and triggers.
As a bonus, the boat got its first mahi of the year this week.
Jessie, of Carolina Girl Sportfishing, reports that this last week had some of the best yellowfin tuna fishing seen in a while. Fish in the 40 lb. class range are being caught in good numbers. Most of the yellowfins have been landed trolling lures like Sea Witches in pink/white or any colors with a good shine.
Blackfin tuna fishing has been getting more consistent as well, and a few big wahoo were brought in last week with all the yellowfins.
Mahi are also being caught occasionally, but it is still early for their numbers to be consistent.
Finally, boats are starting to hook up with billfish, with one blue marlin being released last week and one more lost. With the weather starting to stabilize, it seems the fishing will be more on the track of a regular spring pattern.
Ken, of Tradewinds Tackle, reports that the 40+” citation drum are being caught in the surf from the point. Most of the drum are being caught with fresh cut finger mullet on a Carolina rig with 4-6 oz. of weight. Frozen cut bait has produced a few of the fish as well.
A consistent puppy drum bite has also been seen around the point, as that is where most anglers have been fishing, but the pups can be caught up and down the island.
Fishing a smaller, double loop bottom rig with shrimp or squid is producing puffers and black drum.
Bluefish are starting to show in better numbers, but this first wave of fish has been smaller.
Everyone expects more successful trips in the coming weeks with the water temperature now moving into the upper 50s.