Many of the Outer Banks Piers are now open and within the next several weeks the rest should be in full swing. Winter storms have caused some pier and deck damage but not enough to stop the scheduled openings. Pier staff and local anglers have been anticipating opening day for some time and nothing including winter’s last blast will keep them from their mission.
The latest reports show that the migrations of puffer fish or blow toads as well as sea mullet have invaded the northern beaches in force. It seems each day, greater numbers of these tasty fish show up as well as an increase in their size.
The annual shad run should begin shortly. Pier anglers will see them first and then when shad move into the sound waters, the bridge anglers should enjoy the catch.
The bluefish and our local drum fishery are also not too far behind. And of course, everyone is excited for the arrival of the spotted sea trout. This past winter was mild so this fishery could produce some trophy size catches.
Our spring fishery can bring in a variety of species so maintaining both light and medium equipment will keep you prepared for the unexpected.
This is also a great time to check your gear. Repair any damaged rods and re-line all reels. It’s just good practice to do a review of your tackle box. Replace all gear that is worn or contains rust.
The worst time to find out you have defective gear is when the fish is about to come over the rail or close to the beach and the equipment fails.
Regulations including bag limits and size may have changed since last year. So before heading out, each angler should be familiar with the rules including any licensing requirements. Pier managers and local tackle shops can advise you any specific licensing or catch requirements.
Now that the piers are open, the weather is cooperating and fish have moved into the area, it’s time to head out and try your luck.
Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony