Spring is bringing change to the Outer Banks. The official start of spring arrived a month ago but you would never know it by the air and water temperatures. Just this past week though, conditions began to improve on the northern beaches so everyone is ready for mild weather.
As word gets out that the warm temperatures are finally here and fish are biting, new and returning anglers will be flocking to the outer banks.
Returning anglers may find several changes that they need to be aware. Many areas received beach nourishment over the past year. So those familiar sloughs and holes may have moved. Also, several piers sustained damage due to the numerous winter storms and are boasting new and bright structures. The surf and piers are ready for anglers but keep in mind there still may be some unfinished projects. But nothing should affect throwing a line in the water.
The cold weather had a significant impact on one of our favorite’s species. The Speckled Sea Trout had a major stun event and we possibly lost a significant number of them. North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) placed a moratorium on catching them through mid June. The biologists feel that they can re-bound with a little help from the angling community.
Anglers will need a four-wheel drive permit to park and fish Currituck beaches. This is something new so anglers need to check with Currituck County before planning to fish at this beach. No major changes with the Cape Hatteras National Park. Permits are still required but additional accesses were created and access times adjusted. Anglers should check with the park service.
There will be some disruption on the Oregon Inlet bridge catwalk. Anglers should have access through the summer but parking will be limited so arrived early for the best spots. Also, keep in mind there are several the other local bridges should still offer great fishing. We will be discussing more about these bridges in the near future.
Most regulations on bag and creel limits have remained unchanged but occasionally there comes a need to modify a rule. All piers and tackle shops will have copies of the regulations. A good rule is to always keep a copy handy.
Also, NCDMF has created a pocket size guide titled “Coastal Recreational Angler’s Guide”. This guide is free and contains valuable information on local fishing techniques, species pictures, and much more. Each angler should keep a copy in their tackle bag.
Remember, weather is still unpredictable so if you plan to fish dress accordingly.
Until Next Time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony