Over the past several weeks, visitors and anglers have experienced a significant decrease in the ocean’s water temperature. This is not new but can be expected during the typical summer months when most beachgoers are in the water.
This phenomenon is known as up welling. It is typically caused by circular wind motion due to a front from the south west that blows winds along the beach. The steady wind blows the warm summer water out at a diagonal direction which ultimately takes the warm water out to sea. With the warm water now gone, the cold water from the bottom replaces it quickly – thus the sudden decrease in water temperatures from one place on the beach to another. Tides can also aid in replacing the warm water with the cold water. (Double click on picture for water movement).
If you find yourself in an upwelling situation, either wait it out or move down the beach until you find a warmer spot. Unfortunately, if the wind continues to blow, cold water is here to stay. You may either suffer with the cold water, stay on the beach or find a nice pool.
There are fish to be caught so just because you can’t swim doesn’t mean that you can’t fish. Fresh bait, keeping the gear light is the ticket to a great time.
And don’t worry, this situation typically doesn’t last very long, so it might be a great time to visit one of our local tackle shops.
And want something to do during this cold water stretch? The Outer Banks has a new tackle shop. Oceans East Tackle is located in the old Whalebone Tackle building on the Nags Head Manteo Causeway. They had done a fantastic job of bringing a new look to our area. If you haven’t stopped by yet, it is a must.
Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony