Hatteras/Ocracoke – March 21, 2019
Ryan, of Hatteras Jack, reports that the bluefin tuna bite has been really good offshore. Boats pulling horse ballyhoo are finding fish to 400 lbs.
Yellowfin and blackfin tuna are mixed in, though the numbers have varied from day to day.
Puffers are being caught on bottom rigs from the south side of the Point down through Frisco.
Sea mullet are in the same areas, and they are like the puffers and also feeding on shrimp.
Puppy drum have also been caught in the surf and sound, and the coming weeks should see better numbers.
As the water warms, anglers should anticipate more fish showing to the north.
Rodanthe Pier is closed for the season and will re-open on April 1st.
Ginger, of Frank and Fran’s, reports that sea mullet and blowtoads have been feeding well up and down the island. Much of the action has been in the deeper holes along the beach. Frozen shrimp and Fishbites strip baits on bottom rigs both work well this time of year.
Puppy drum are biting for anglers out at the Point. The fish are schooled up pretty well, and where you find one, there is a good chance of hooking others in the same area.
In the next couple of weeks, anglers are hoping for the warming trend to stay. This should bring some more fish in from off the beach and begin to push them north.
Avon Pier is closed for the season and will re-open on April 19th.
Cameron, of Frisco Tackle, reports that blowtoads and sea mullet are being caught on frozen shrimp fished on bottom rigs around Hatteras.
A few slot drum are in the area as well, and they’re feeding on the same bait offerings.
Lee, of Teach’s Lair, reports that the offshore bite has been steady with blackfin tuna and good-sized wahoo coming in.
Dolphin have also started showing up in the counts, but as this is just a recent addition, the fish so far are only being caught “here and there.”
A few king mackerel are being caught a bit closer in and around some of the ledges.
Triggerfish can be picked up by anglers bottom fishing the wrecks.
Surf fishing anglers are finding both puppy drum and blowtoads in the area.
Joey, of Fingeance Sportfishing, reports that cooler water temperatures have kept the fishing fairly slow, but anglers are seeing bait beginning to push into the inlets. Once more bait happens, the action tends to turn around fairly quickly.
Red drum are being caught by anglers fishing Carolina-rigged cut bait.
Area anglers in early spring also love to chase the striped bass spawn through the sounds and into the rivers. These fish hit soft plastic swim baits fished on heavier jig heads.
Aaron, of Tightline Charters, reports that a few puppy drum are being caught down at Ocracoke Island. Fishing has been slow, but the weather is finally allowing anglers to get back on the water. The coming weeks should see some more fish action as several species begin to push inshore with the bait.
Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that anglers are on the hunt for large bluefin tuna still in the area. Boats are marking fish and targeting them with large skirted ballyhoo.
There are some fat wahoo around, and they will hit the same skirted baits.
Yellowfin tuna are being reported in the daily counts, and the spring fishery is just getting going.
Jeremy, of Calypso Sportfishing, reports that trips to the Stream are finding blackfin tuna in the 18-25 lb. range. Skirted ballyhoo in the classic blue/white color scheme has worked well in getting strikes.
Yellowfin tuna and a couple wahoo are mixed in, and they’re hitting the same baits.
This week saw a handful of mahi come over the rail as well, and if the weather maintains a stable pattern, the spring bite shouldn’t be far behind.
Jessie, of Carolina Girl Sportfishing, reports that blackfin tuna fishing has been very good in the last few weeks. Most fish have been caught on fast action jigs, making good fun for anglers braving the cooler days.
Yellowfin tuna are being caught on the troll up around the Point on skirted ballyhoo.
Giant bluefin tuna are still around, and they are being picked up in the same areas as the yellowfin.
Alan, of Tradewinds Tackle, reports that puppy drum are schooled up in the surf and have been feeding well when they are located. Anglers are enjoying the action on Z-Man soft plastics and Hopkins gold spoons.
The water temperature has hovered around 55 degrees, and it seems as bait fishing really picks up at the 57 degree mark, which anglers hope will come soon. Bait is starting to show in the sound, and good weather should help with this progress.