Hatteras/Ocracoke – October 2020
John, of Hatteras Jack, reports that sound-side fishing remains on fire. Good numbers of speckled trout and puppy drum are hitting soft plastic swimbaits or shrimp under popping corks.
Over-slot drum are coming from anglers fishing baits in the inlet and just off the beaches. As the fish finish their spawn, there should be better numbers as they continue to push out of the inlets.
Recent NE winds have baitfish on the move, and this has brought schools of spanish mackerel in close to the beaches. Casting glass minnow style jigs to these surface-feeding fish is getting strikes.
Jim, of Rodanthe Pier, reports that anglers fishing plugs and casting jigs are starting to see great sight-casting action. A mix of spanish mackerel, false albacore, and bluefish schools are feeding on all the bait in the area.
Fishing big baits off the end has been producing over-slot red drum (up to 43”).
Spot, croakers, and pompano are being caught with bottom rigs tipped with shrimp, and slot-sized puppy drum (to 26.5”) are feeding on Carolina-rigged cut mullet.
Heather, of Frank and Fran’s, reports that puppy drum fishing is really picking up with the cooler weather. Carolina-rigged shrimp and cut mullet are getting strikes in holes between sandbars.
Bottom rigs with smaller pieces of shrimp have been producing sea mullet, pompano, and some sheepshead.
Good numbers of spanish mackerel and bluefish are hitting Stingsilvers and similar glass minnow jigs when the fish get pushed inside the sandbars. A few false albacore (up to 25”) have also been a product of casting jigs.
Fishing cut mullet has produced a few large red drum (up to 44”).
Speckled trout and redfish have been very abundant in the sound. Z-Man soft plastics fished under popping corks have been the go-to method for targeting the inshore ledges and grass lines.
Over-slot red drum (up to 40”) are in the area, and some stray fish have been landed on popping cork rigs.
Cameron, of Frisco Tackle, reports that anglers fishing the wash are catching sea mullet and small pompano. A few keeper flounder are in these same holes, and most of the action is coming from Carolina-rigged live bait and soft plastics.
Puppy drum are being caught in areas around Ramp 55 with cut baits.
Lee, of Teach’s Lair, reports that large blackfin tuna (up to 20+ lbs.) are being caught in good numbers by anglers on Stream trips. Wahoo (up to 44 lbs.) are mixed in the counts, with most fish coming off high speed rigs and skirted ballyhoo under planers.
Mahi are getting a bit less scattered as water temperatures cool, but for most anglers it has taken finding surface debris to find these smaller groups. Sailfish and some smaller yellowfin have been rounding out the daily catch reports.
Inshore fishing has seen red drum and speckled trout staged up on the flats near the inlets, and they’re hitting soft plastics and live and cut bait.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are being caught by anglers casting jigs to surface-feeding fish in deeper channels and in the inlets.
Fishing larger cut baits along slough edges further into the sound has been producing citation-class red drum (up to 48”).
Joey, of Fingeance Sportfishing, reports that speckled trout fishing has been great for anglers targeting ledges and grass flats with popping cork rigs.
Red drum are more active as bait moves around in the sound. Fishing cut baits on the flats has been great for getting bites.
Nearshore anglers are seeing good numbers of bluefish and spanish mackerel along the beaches. The baitfish pushing out of the inlet have these schools actively feeding on the surface for anglers to target with casting jigs or by trolling Clarkspoons.
Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that wahoo fishing has been solid, with large fish hitting high-speed sets, and a variety of blackfin, yellowfin, skipjack tuna, and large bonita are hitting skirted ballyhoo.
Mahi numbers are still scattered, but stumbling upon floating debris (or in some cases, a bucket) has put fish in the box.
Some trips have gotten into multiple hookups with big blue marlin holding out deep. The sailfish bite has been good, with many trips seeing multiple strikes on baits in the spread.
Jeremy, of Calypso Sportfishing, reports that good-sized blackfin tuna have made a nice showing in recent trips. They’re hitting both naked and dark-colored skirted ballyhoo.
Wahoo are being caught alongside the tuna, with most action coming off the planer rod.
The sailfish bite has been solid all summer and continues to produce, with anglers pleased to hook into multiple fish on some trips.
Jessie, of Carolina Girl Sportfishing, reports that big blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, and wahoo all were ripping baits pulled along a strong offshore eddy.
Citation-class blackfin tuna have begun to show in decent numbers, and some unusual early-season yellowfin tuna are being caught anywhere from the rocks to offshore of Ocracoke.
King mackerel are currently hitting some of the high-speed setups.
Wahoo fishing has picked up with the slight weather change. Over the next few weeks, anglers will be looking for one last push of wahoo before tuna fishing takes over.
Alan, of Tradewinds Tackle, reports that red drum pushing out of the inlets are providing much of the surf action as they cruise the beaches feeding on cut baits. Bluefish are hitting cut baits and casting jigs.
Schools of spanish mackerel are holding in tight to the beaches, and they’re hitting glass minnow jigs. In addition, bottom rigs with fresh shrimp are getting action from good numbers of sea mullet.
Speckled trout are another species that begin to push onto the beaches with cooler weather. The early fish will be hitting shrimp, and over the next few weeks, soft plastics and plugs in deep troughs will be most productive.
Sound-side anglers are catching some citation-class red drum around deeper ledges and shoals, and gray trout are being caught on jigs and shrimp in deeper channels.
Speckled trout are staged on the flats, with anglers getting action on soft plastics under popping corks.