Hatteras/Ocracoke – April 11, 2019
Ervin, of Hatteras Jack, reports that surf fishing on the south end of the island has been good for sea mullet and blowtoads. Bottom rigs with bait shrimp has worked best, and with the puffers just arriving, their numbers should only increase.
Puppy drum are scattered in the surf, and anglers fishing Carolina-rigged cut mullet have found a few to bite.
Citation drum were being caught around the inlet up until this last cold spell, and a couple of warm weather days should push them back in.
Dogfish sharks and skates have been plentiful for surf anglers fishing with cut baits.
The sound fishing has been slow, with the water temperature still hovering around 50 degrees. A few schools of bunker are being seen, though, and generally the schools of drum will follow the bunker in.
Jim, of Rodanthe Pier, reports that anglers on the planks this opening weekend found puffers while bottom-fishing with smaller pieces of bait shrimp.
A few bluefish were caught, and a warm weather streak should raise the catch numbers.
Heather, of Frank and Fran’s, reports that good numbers of puppy drum have been caught off the beach. Fishing Carolina-rigged cut baits have worked best, as the fish have been in smaller schools.
Blowtoads have shown up in the area, and bait shrimp fished on smaller hooks are getting a few bites.
Tailor bluefish have been a by-catch of anglers fishing cut baits. This is the first wave of blues being seen, and anglers expect the bite to really pick up in the coming weeks.
Avon Pier is closed for the season and will re-open on April 19.
Larry, of Frisco Tackle, reports that puppy drum are being caught around Ramp 55. Carolina-rigged cut baits have been working well, though they may still hook the occasional skate.
Before the last cold front, anglers at the Point were catching citation-sized red drum and sharks on large Carolina rigs with mullet.
Sea mullet and puffers are being reported in the Ramp 55 area, and anglers are targeting them with smaller bottom rigs tipped with shrimp.
Bluefish are just beginning to show up on the beaches and in the sound.
Lee, of Teach’s Lair, reports that anglers are catching wahoo and blackfin tuna while trolling skirted ballyhoo in the Gulf Stream.
A few larger yellowfin tuna are still around, but with the tuna are the sharks that make retrieving the fish a race for a meal.
Anglers fishing areas with structure have been catching larger king mackerel.
Nearshore boats are reporting great numbers of legal black sea bass caught around local structure and ledges.
A few flounder have been hooked as they push their way inshore.
Bluefish are in the area, and casting 1/2 oz. jigs to feeding schools has been the most effective method.
Surf anglers are catching sea mullet and blowtoads while fishing bottom rigs south of the Point.
Slot drum are in the same area, with cut mullet producing a majority of the fish.
A few citation drum (up to 44”) were caught at the Point before the last cold snap. Some steady weather should bring the drum back in.
Black drum (up to 23”) are being caught around Ramp 55.
Joey, of Fingeance Sportfishing, reports that slot-sized red drum are being caught around the inlet with cut mullet.
Schools of small bluefish are just off the beach, and anglers are having success fishing soft plastic Z-Man StreakZ in chartreuse and white. When the schools are feeding on the surface, throwing 1/2 oz. casting jigs gets great reaction bites.
Nearshore reefs are loaded with black sea bass feeding on any bait that anglers put near the bottom.
A few nice-sized sheepshead are also on the reefs, and they’re feeding on smaller baits and crabs.
Aaron, of Tightline Charters, reports that puppy drum have started to move in to the sounds and are being caught on Carolina-rigged cut baits. Anglers should look for these fish to begin setting up on the flats around the inlet feeding on the bait schools that come through.
Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that blackfin tuna have been biting well for anglers fishing high-speed jigs.
Amberjack and albacore have been hitting jigs around bottom structure.
A few “fat” king mackerel have shown up around live bottoms and structure, and they’re hitting skirted ballyhoo.
Offshore, the wahoo bite has been very good for anglers trolling skirted baits, with bites coming from both the top and off the planer.
Jeremy, of Calypso Sportfishing, reports that anglers are catching nice-sized blackfin while jigging and trolling skirted baits.
Large wahoo are mixed in the same area, and using wire-rigged skirted ballyhoo has really helped with landing numbers of fish (as opposed to just getting bites).
A few mahi have shown up on recent trips, and anglers look forward to the coming spring run.
Jessie, of Carolina Girl Sportfishing, reports that blackfin tuna are feeding well out into the Stream, and they’re biting both jigs and trolled baits.
Large wahoo are mixed in with the tuna.
The sharks sometimes show up with the tuna, so some days have made anglers work for their take.
Alan, of Tradewinds Tackle, reports that the recent cold weather did not affect fishing much. The puppy drum bite has stayed strong, with anglers finding good numbers of fish using cut mullet on bottom rigs.
Over-slot red drum are being caught at the Point on the larger chunks of mullet.
Anglers fishing smaller bottom rigs are catching sea mullet, blowtoads, and black drum. Fresh bait shrimp has seemed to work well for all the species.
Small bluefish have begun to show in the surf, and a 12 lb. chopper was weighed before the last blow. Anglers anticipate the bluefish bite picking up in the next few weeks, and we hopefully will see the choppers arrive as well (like last season).