Hatteras – March 22, 2018
Blake, of Hatteras Jack, reports that Rodanthe area surf zone anglers are keeping busy with dogfish and other sharks feeding on cut bait.
The Point had a good run of over-slot red drum before last week’s storm, and another run is anticipated once the weather steadies up some.
Puppy drum have been found all through the surf on the southern beaches. Areas such as the Point, Ramp 55 area, and Frisco pier are all producing a steady bite on the reds. Fishing frozen mullet and shrimp on Carolina rigs with 2-4 oz. of weight has been the best tactic.
As soon as the water temperature begins to turn for the better, the drum should turn the Point and work their way towards the northern Hatteras beaches (Buxton and Avon areas).
The Rodanthe Pier will re-open for the season on Easter.
Mark, of Frank & Fran’s Bait and Tackle, reports that the puppy drum bite has been good. The reds are around sloughs in the surf on the southern end of the island from Frisco to Hatteras Inlet. Anglers willing to brave the weather and soak shrimp or frozen cut mullet on a bottom rig are finding the most fish.
Black drum are mixed in in the surf zone. They prefer shrimp on a Carolina rig fished right behind the wash.
Sea mullet were starting to show, but the water temperature dropped significantly with the last Northeaster storm. This pushed fishing back a little bit. Expect more numbers of sea mullet to show up in the surf with the weather turning. Small pieces of cut shrimp or Fishbites strips on a bottom rig will do the job in landing some great tasting fish.
Assuming the weather stays fair, the pufferfish will arrive shortly when water temperatures get around 60-64 degrees
Kelly, of Frisco Tackle, reports a consistent puppy drum bite in the surf zone. Shrimp on a Carolina rig has been the top producing setup, and working areas around Ramp 55 has proven to be the best place to target for wetting a line.
Before the last storm, the black drum had been showing well in the surf. They were falling for the same bottom rig setup for red drum and sitting in holes and sloughs off the beach.
JAM, of Teach’s Lair, reports that blackfin tuna have been the hot bite recently. Running the 16-18 miles out to the Gulf Stream is producing some citation-sized fish, with many blackfins weighing between 20-32 lbs. The captains have preferred to vertical jig for the blackfins, using Williamson Abyss jigs in purple and blue colors.
Bluefin tuna have been a little more scarce this month. A few fish still come in, but the weather has been a big factor in the amount of boats looking.
In the surf, puppy drum and black drum have been feeding inside the first sandbar on cut bait.
Joey, of Fingeance Sportfishing, reports a good bite on red drum. The weather has been tough to compete with, but sightfishing the reds on flats in the Pamlico Sound behind the island has been successful with all the clear water. Using a Hopkins gold spoon is a favorite to fool any red in the area.
Black drum have been taking shrimp on lighter setup bottom rigs (using 1/4-1/2 oz. weights). They have been hanging out just off the grass line and on ledges in marsh areas. The edges of oyster beds have also been a great spot to start fishing.
With the water warming up in the next couple weeks, bluefish will start moving inshore and within grasps of anglers who continue to fish spoons and other soft plastic jigs.
Jessie, of Carolina Girl Sportfishing, reports that blackfin tuna have been the focus on recent trips. With the bite being so on and off for the last couple weeks, the blackfins have made anglers work for the bite. Trolling ballyhoo with flashy skirts, high speed jigging, and even the greenstick are all producing bites on any given day.
Triggerfish and black sea bass are still to be found in good numbers at wrecks and live hard bottom in the area. Any cut bait (such as squid or cigar minnows) on bottom rigs will get fish in the boat.
Bluefin tuna are being found out around the 650 fathom line and are hitting the greenstick and trolled horse ballyhoo.
Another interesting catch as of recent was king mackerel. Kings were found all over the 15 fathom range. These were hungry, 15+ lb. fish readily taking any trolled baits, dead or alive, and made quick limits for all the boats who found them.
Jimmy, of Tradewinds Tackle, reports that when the weather is nice, anglers are having success finding red drum in the surf. Bottom rigs with frozen cut mullet are the most popular baits for the reds.
A few bluefish have shown up in the surf, also going for cut mullet off the bottom. Even an odd striped bass was brought in recently.
With water temperatures still in the mid to upper 50s, fish will continue to trickle in. When they start to see water temperatures in the low 60s, sea mullet will show with more consistency. The sea mullet tend to prefer smaller pieces of shrimp fished on a double hook bottom rig just behind the wash on the bottom.