Lots of people travel to Cape Hatteras to fish the Gulf Stream waters that lie just a short distance from the coast. Many plan a day or two offshore for an exciting activity during their week long stay on the Outer Banks, while others make the drive just for a day's fishing.
Either way, an offshore adventure can be an event of a lifetime, and you never know what will happen from one day to the next. We can, however, try to predict the best time to fish for a particular species based on years of experience, but it's not uncommon for the Gulf Stream to "throw us a curve" from time to time.
The cooler months tend to produce our best catches of yellowfin tuna. I like March and April in the spring, while preferred fall months for yellowfin are October and November.
The month of November also ushers in one of my favorite fisheries. Our "live bait" king mackerel fishing is unlike anywhere else in the world. You just have to experience it, 20-50 pound kings on 20-pound class tackle. It is a blast.
Also in the cooler months, it is not unusual to snag a wahoo.
The last few years have produced some excellent bluefin tuna fishing in the late winter and early spring. February and March have been productive for 80-150 pounders. The bag limits change according to what quota has been caught, but we can normally keep one, and release the rest.
In May, we usually begin to have excellent dolphin (mahi) fishing. We catch dolphin all year, but May through September is the best time.
I like late summer and early fall for wahoos, and we often do well on these lightning fast pelagics.
Hatteras is known for its great marlin fishing too. May through September holds pretty good promise of a billfish bite. I tend to think that our better blue marlin fishing is earlier, May to June, while our white marlin and sailfish bites seem to pick up in July. It is not out of the question to catch any and all of our billfish species through the summer months, and there is always that possibility of a "grand slam," especially in July and August.
This is just a brief overview of what you can expect offshore of Hatteras, throughout the year. For more information, go to the Species Sought page, or feel free to email me with your questions.
~ Capt. Dave
7/30 Hatteras Offshore Fishing Report
Today we had more of the same.
The weather wasn't too hot and neither was the fishing. IF you were lucky you had a handful of wahoo
bites, and IF you were lucky they stayed on the hook. We didn't have many bites but two out of three stayed on the hook! We found some grass with a few dolphin
but it was difficult to fish and we gave up after scrounging around in it for an hour. Still, we had a nice day with good friends. See you next time Jim!
7/29 Hatteras Offshore Fishing Report
It was a cool northeast wind today which made it quite comfortable offshore, but the fishing was a little scrappy.
There was a little marlin flurry this morning, and I gave my guys the choice of chasing a billfish or chasing a wahoo
. They picked wahoo, and we wound up landing three and a bonus small gaffer. Great to see the wahoo
s around. Thanks Pat!
Today was a great day, if you like slick calm days.
We found a nice edge in the deep with some dolphin
on it. They weren't the most cooperative, but they did good enough. We caught half a limit, including a couple of big gaffers. Mongo landed a 42 pounder to earn himself another citation. We skipped baits for a while and then shallowed up to search out a wahoo
. Finally, just before quittin' time, we got the bite and Lee angled him to the boat. Thanks Jerry for another great day offshore!
Fishing was a little scrappy today, and our luck wasn't at an all time high.
We found a couple of schools of dolphin
but they weren't overly cooperative. We had a few trolling bites, including a wahoo
that got away just out of Mikey's gaff reach, and a sailfish
that zipped a flatline but never came back. Middle of the day I saw a bunch of bananas go over the side, but I think it was too late. Still, we wound up with a mess of dolphin and plenty for a few good meals. Thanks Gary!
We didn't have much time to work today because the "little guys" were seasick as soon as we started fishing.
Fortunately we got some bites pretty quick and had just enough time for everybody to catch a fish before heading back in. Short day but still some great groceries for the grill! Thanks Steve.
More First Timers
My buddy Peter showed up with a bunch of newbies today, and even though it was a little like boot camp, we whipped them in to pretty good shape!
It took several stops but we managed to catch a limit of nice bailers, with a few gaffers mixed in. We only had three wahoo
bites today because we spent a lot of time out in the deep, but we did land two of them. The highlight was David's sailfish
, that put on a great show and posed nicely for a photo before being released. Thanks for another great day Peter!