Hatteras – May 10, 2018
Blake, of Hatteras Jack, reports that surf anglers are finding great numbers of sea mullet, blow toads, and croakers. Double loop bottom rigs with shrimp and sand fleas are producing a majority of the bites while fishing drop-offs just behind the shore breakers.
Big chopper bluefish (up to 35”) are being caught by anglers fishing cut mullet on a Carolina rig. When the fish are schooled up and feeding on top, throwing topwater plugs with a steel wire leader is getting plenty of bites from these hard fighting fish.
Scattered smaller-sized sheepshead are being reported in the surf, and they’re being caught on Carolina-rigged sand fleas. Using a small, stout number 4-sized hook really helps in getting through their tough mouths.
Citation red drum are being caught at Cape Point around sunset. Anglers are having the best luck with large Carolina rigs and cut mullet or menhaden.
Puppy drum are in the surf zone and sound side in strong numbers. These fish have been in good-sized schools and are feeding best on cut mullet.
A few smaller flounder are being caught in the surf by anglers fishing bottom rigs and soft plastics on a jig head.
Jim, of Rodanthe Pier, reports that bottom fishing has been really good. Sea mullet and blow toads are filling anglers’ coolers in short time. Double loop bottom rigs and a piece of shrimp is the favorite setup this week.
A few spot are being caught by anglers fishing with cut shrimp and bloodworms.
Schools of bluefish are still running past the pier. A few fish have been in the 10 lb. range, but most are the smaller, tailor blues.
Some false albacore were caught last week by anglers fishing Sea Striker Jig Fish lures. Long casts and a quick retrieve have been keys in getting the albacore to attack the lure in their feeding frenzy.
The water temperature at the pier has hovered in the low 60s.
Stephanie, of Frank and Fran’s, reports that anglers are catching strong numbers of citation red drum at the Point. Fishing with fresh cut bait on a Carolina rig is producing the bites. The drum have been feeding best right after sunset.
There are some sharks feeding on cut baits at the Point, too.
Puppy drum are biting well in the surf zone from Rodanthe through Buxton.
Chopper bluefish (up to 32”) are being caught on cut bait all around the island.
Some small founder have been landed by anglers using soft plastics in the surf. There haven’t been great numbers yet, but these fish tend to move towards the beaches in large groups so anglers should anticipate more bites in the coming weeks.
The surf around the Rodanthe Pier area has produced croakers and blow toads for anglers fishing shrimp on bottom rigs.
Bob, of Frisco Tackle, reports that bluefish have been biting very well at the Point. A majority of the fish are medium-sized (2-3 lbs.) with a couple larger (10+ lb.) fish mixed in.
Anglers fishing double loop bottom rigs with small strip baits and shrimp are catching sea mullet.
Sheepshead and a few black drum have been caught by anglers fishing Carolina-rigged sand fleas.
Red drum are being caught on all the area beaches, with some citation-sized (40-50”) fish at the Point.
JAM, of Teach’s Lair Marina, reports that yellowfin tuna fishing is the best it has been in 7 years. Large numbers of 35+ lb. fish are being brought in daily. Trolling Sea Witch skirted ballyhoo has hooked most of the fish.
A lot of citation (25+ lb.) blackfin tuna are in the daily catch as well, and some days these fish outnumber the yellowfins.
Mahi began showing in good numbers this week, with near limits on most trips. Gaffer fish have been the main catch, and only a few have been the smaller, bailer size.
Just a few wahoo are being caught in the Gulf Stream, including one 55 lb. fish coming in recently.
Nearshore anglers have had recent success with big schools of black drum feeding near the surface. Large 2 oz. bucktails with a curly tail grub has been the best setup.
Large bluefish (up to 30”) are being caught inshore and nearshore on topwater lures.
Surf anglers are finding good numbers of citation red drum at Cape Point. Some nights have produced 25-30 fish, with most biting a Carolina-rigged cut bait.
Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that mahi fishing has been on fire recently. Huge numbers of gaffer-sized fish are quickly filling boxes on daily trips.
Large yellowfin (35+ lbs.) are mixed in with the catch. Trolling blue/white skirted ballyhoo has worked great in the past week.
A few citation-sized blackfins are being caught with the yellowfins.
A large 55 lb. wahoo hit a trolled ballyhoo last week.
King mackerel are scattered nearshore and biting dead bait rigs.
Bill, of Predator Sportfishing, reports that anglers are coming in with limits of gaffer mahi. A few of the fish have been large bulls, and they anticipate continuing to see these larger fish as the season kicks off.
Yellowfin and blackfin tuna are still being caught in large numbers. Some recent trips have produced up to 450 lbs. of fish. Both species have been hitting Sea Witches in pink and blue colors.
Alan, of Tradewinds Bait and Tackle, reports that citation red drum have been biting well at the Point. Most fish are being caught at sunset or right after dark on cut mullet.
Puppy drum are hitting smaller cut baits fished in the sloughs off the beach.
Scattered chopper blues are being caught in the surf, and they’re feeding on Carolina-rigged cut baits.
The first pompano of the year was caught this week by an angler fishing with sand fleas.
Nearshore boats have been working the large schools of black drum along the beaches. There are some “old” red drum being caught by the boats that are bottom fishing in the area’s inlets.
Only 1 or 2 cobia have been seen, but with the pockets of warmer water moving in, anglers anticipate seeing more fish.