Billfishing the Outer Banks
By Mike Sweeney
Saturday, August 4, 2018
This is the time of year that the offshore fishing is about to get wild with tons of mahi and wahoo coming back to the docks but what every captain in the fleet wants to hear from their charter is “Can we just go for billfish.”
It will put a smile on every good skippers face and light up the mates eyes because now is the time for the big guns to really shine and nothing brags more for a charter boat than to see the flags flying high coming back to the docks.
August is the prime time to catch billfish and even though you release them they can be one of the most exciting fish to catch in the world with billions of dollars spent every year chasing fish like sailfish, white marlin, striped marlin and the biggest one of all the blue marlin.
These fish will leap out of the water trying to shake the hook and to watch the fish strike a lure in over a thousand feet of water right on the surface just behind the boat is a site to see.
The numbers on the Outer Banks is amazing this time of year and that also brings the tournament season to our shores with events like the Dare County Boat Builders that was this past weekend. This tournament is a fund raiser for students in Dare to help with college funds and aid the local high school with funding they may not get otherwise.
Congratulations to Point Runner for their first place finish with eleven white marlin released during the tournament.
The next tournaments are the Alice Kelly on August 12 out of Pirates Cove which raises money for the Outer Banks Cancer Support Group. This tournament is a lady’s only fishing tournament which helps locals with cancer with bills they otherwise don’t get paid with their insurance and with travel expenses for those who have to go outside the region for treatment.
The big one is the Pirates Cove Billfish tournament which is coming up on August 14-17 and this one has huge payouts with some boats bringing in checks well over a quarter of a million dollars in some cases.
Because of the big payouts and the nature of the event boats will travel from as far away as Florida and New York to fish this tournament.
With the amount of billfish we have off our coast right now it should be a spectacular event with some huge fish brought back to the docks and lots of flags flying on the boats. If you ever wanted to catch a fish of a lifetime call the beach and book you a boat for a billfish day and see what kind of memories you can make.
If you have any questions about what to do or who to call shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike and I will be glad to help.
What’s biting, where...
The rains slowed the amount of offshore anglers this week but we had some diehards go out and they got rewarded with some nice fish.
There was a good number of mahi, wahoo and yellowfin that arrived on the planks along with some nice white marlin releases to show for their efforts.
With the arrival of better weather this week it should only get better.
On the beaches and piers the fishing is slowly getting better since the storms basically killed the fishing last week.
Ed Wicker from Bob’s Bait and Tackle in Duck tells me that the sea mullet, croaker and spot have begun to bite again on bottom rigs with fresh shrimp, or blood worms being the bait of choice.
He also tells me that the flounder bite has turned on with Gulp baits tossed right in the surf bringing them back to the beach.
The flounder enjoy a good storm so it will mix up the beach and bring fresh bait into the surf.
On the southern beaches it is starting to pick up also with pompano and mullet hitting the short rods and we still have the occasional drum come back to the shore for those who know how to look for them.
Locally we have really high water in our rivers but that just means the fish have moved up shallow also with the freshly oxygenated water and the bait moving up into the stumps you should be able to catch them up shallow.
The reports this week are slim seeing how our monsoon weather kept most anglers inside but the few that I did have are supporting this theory with some nice perch up in the flats on shallow cover.
The normal baits should work like Beetle Spins and Uncle Jessie lures tipped with shrimp.
The ponds are on a serious top water bite right now with Pop-Rs really shining but don’t rule out the Whopper Plopper which is turning out to be the hottest bait of the year again this year.
I don’t leave my house without one tied on no matter where I go fishing. If anyone gets out this week it should be good fishing so don’t forget