Attention Outer Banks Anglers!!

The Outer Banks Anglers Club will be holding their next monthly meeting at 7:00 pm on October 30, 2017.

Guest Speaker is David Glenn, Science and Operations Officer, with NWS Newport/Morehead City. He will be discussing:

“How Does the Weather Affect Boating?”

The meeting will be held at the Kerns P. Pitts Center / Southern Shores Town Hall Complex located at 5375 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Southern Shores, N.C.

For more information see us on our website or facebook:

New Members Are Always Welcome

Until Next Time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony

Explore These Now

The Outer Banks surf is teaming with red drum, bluefish and other fall species this time of year. It seems if you can find a slough, you find the fish. But the weather can be very finicky this time of year so there are other places to explore.

There are many hidden spots that anglers can fend off the weather, find fish and enjoy the serenity of the Outer Banks.

Here are three very popular fishing spots that fill that objective.

The Daniels Bridge (Little Bridge), Wildlife pier (Washington Baum Bridge) and the BeBop pier (Umstead Bridge).

The Daniels Bridge is just west of the Whalebone Junction on Rt. 64 West. There is plenty of parking with a bath house and fish cleaning station. Anglers can fish both the north and south sides of the bridge with convenient walkways that keep you away from traffic. Water flows from the Albemarle Sound into the Roanoke Sound. Fish gather here most of the year. A large concrete wall on the south side provides protection from the wind. This area is the favorite of most local anglers.

The Wildlife pier is another great place to fish. The pier runs parallel and just under the Washington Baum Bridge / Rt. 64 west. This is another area where water flows quickly. There is a huge slough at the entrance to the Pirate’s Cove harbor that hold plenty of big fish. Good casting techniques will help you reach these trophy fish. Restrooms are available. This is also a great place to crab or throw a cast net for bait. Benches and Baum bridge provides some shade to enhance anglers comfort.

The final spot is the BeBop Pier. This area is located on the western side of the Old Mann’s Harbor Bridge (Umstead Bridge Old Rt. 64). This pier reaches into Albemarle Sound just north of the Croatan Sound. It has benches and a covered porch to keep the sun at bay. This pier continues to hold fish most of the year. Puppy drum and stripers are a favorite of anglers who frequent this pier. Thousands of Purple Martins return here each year to roost under the bridge. So if fishing is slow, this is a bird-watchers paradise.

All three of these fishing spots hold fish. So if you looking for that new spot or just a place out of the ordinary, then you won’t have to look too far.

Until next time – Tightlines. Capt. Tony

Outer Banks Catch – Spot and Croaker Tournament

Join Outer Banks Catch – Data – Raiser Tournament



This event is a data-raiser to collect data to use for science focusing on spot and croaker.

All weights and lengths will be shared with the NC Division of Marine Fisheries.

It’s easy. Catch a spot or croaker, take it to a participating tackle shop or pier to confirm weight and length by signing the entry form on the back of the brochure.

Send a photo of the entry form and email it to Also, have someone take a picture of angler holding their catch. The photos will be posted as received but weights and lengths will be secure until the tournament closes on October 31, 2017.

May enter for both species and as many times as wanted.

Prizes for heaviest, longest, and most fish entered.

Long list of prizes will be awarded including:

Give-a ways, Lures, Restaurant Gift Cards, Fishing trip with Guide

For more information and an entry form, please see:


Until Next Time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony

Striped Bass Season – 2017

The North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) announced the opening of the Striped Bass Recreational Season effective October 1, 2017 at 12:01 A.M. in the Albemarle Sound Management Area.

Striped bass maybe caught by hook and line or recreational commercial gear for recreational purposes all seven (7) days per week. If you intent to use a recreational commercial gear license gill net, you must refer to M-proclamations for additional information.

These fish must be at least 18 total inches and each angler may keep no more than two (2) fish in any one day.

The season is scheduled to close at 1159 P.M. on, Monday, April 30, 2018 unless closed by the NCDMF proclamation.

Additionally, the Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass fishery remains open to all anglers at one (1) fish per day at a minimum of twenty-eight (28) inches. For more information on the ocean fishery, please check with your local tackle shop.

It’s been a long time since we had a good striped bass fishery. Only take what you can use. All others should be safely returned to the water.

And only you and I can preserve this important Outer Banks fishery.

Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony

Your Tackle Bag

Two of the most guarded secrets an angler keeps is their favorite fishing spot and the contents of their tackle bag. While secret fishing spots are frequently shared only to close friends, their tackle bags contents can be held stealth for years.

To guard that secret, most anglers will quickly retrieve gear from their bags away from spying eyes. It’s probably no secret to the contents of a typical tackle bag but serious anglers can be a little funny on their favorite and probably the most reliable lures and techniques.

The tackle bag, as a general rule, should only include items you will need on the current fishing trip. But lots of anglers, including this author, use the bag sometimes as a storage box for everything they possibly could ever use even if it doesn’t work on every trip. While a great place to store gear when not in use it’s especially not one to drag out on each trip.

Tackle bag contents will vary depending on the target species and fishing location.

Standard contents should at least include a collection of sinkers, hooks and terminal rigging gear.

Also several types of two hook bottom rigs, Carolina rig and several self-made or purchased bottom or pompano rigs are needed for those special occasions. Sabiki rigs are great for catching your own live bait.

Anglers should also carry a small bait knife, cutting board, finger nail clippers, and pliers, tape measure, and fish grippers. Several rags will help steady a fish to remove hooks – but remember, if holding a fish with a rag make sure it’s wet. Dry rags can wipe the protective slim off a wiggling fish quickly.

The bag should also include a variety jigging gear with a variety of lead heads, various soft swim baits, and several different got-cha plugs or top water hard baits. A bottle of attractant will help enhance the artificial to smell similar to real bait fish.

A tackle bag with not be complete without “fish-bites” or some type of artificial baits.

This list is definitely not complete and inclusive but it should give the new or occasional angler as least a start on filing that tackle bag with basic gear.

Of course, there is always time to load it so full of the angler’s special and most reliable gear, which like the author, can act more like a storage bin than a tackle bag.

One tip: Put extra gear that will not be used that day in a rubber-made crate in your vehicle. That way, the gear won’t load down you bag but if needed it’s just a quick walk back to your vehicle.

Until next time – Tightlines. Capt. Tony

Retrieval and Release

Sixth in a Series – The Retrieval and ReleaseYou are hooked up, now what. You should expect the fish to run and escape. Let them take the line. The fish will tire quickly if the drag is set right and you keep tension on the line. Remember, do not reel in line when they are running. This can cause the fish to break off.

The retrieval requires the angler to pump and reel to keep drawing the fish toward shore. If the fish is taking too much line, slightly adjust the drag to prevent it from being drawn off too fast. Do this tightening slowly. Smoothly raise the rod tip, then lower it while reeling. This is called pumping. You draw the fish nearer with each pump. Pump and reel until the fish tires.

Shortly, you should begin to feel the fish tiring out and the reeling will become easier.  Use the waves to help bring the fish to shore. Stop reeling when an outgoing wave is pulling the fish out. But reel more quickly when the wave is coming toward the shore. Keep the rod tip up and pressure on the fish.

Once on the shore, the fish will continue to fight. I use a wet rag to control the fish to make removing the hook easy. There is a slimy and slippery coating on all fish. They is their protectant against disease. Try to minimize wiping this slippery substance off.

Nylon nets can really damage this protectant. If you need a net, try to use a plastic or vinyl type. And keep them in the net only for little help control them. Remove them quickly to your hand or flat surface.

If you are harvesting this catch, promptly place in a cooler with ice.

If the fish is going to be released, make the fight short. The longer the fight the less likely the fish will survive after its release.

Also when releasing the fish, do so carefully. Hold the fish in your hand, not vertically but horizontally with your hand supporting it’s belly and then place it in the water, watching for its movement to swim. Keep your hands or rag wet to avoid wiping the protectant, slim or scales off the fish.

Remember to never just throw it back in. A stunned fish is less likely to survive and is easy prey for a passing bird.

Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony

The Hook Up

Fifth in a Series – The hook up when fishing from the surf can be tricky. There are several key steps that the new angler should keep in mind when fishing from the surf.

It’s all about your sense of touch. When fishing the surf, wave movement and debris can mimic a fish bite. Water movement can pull your bait along as can grass or other debris and sometimes this debris or current can simulate a bump or even a bite.

A bite is a distinct single or repeated “bump bump bump”. It could even be a slight pull and pause then pull again. The ability to distinguish between something floating by and a bump and bite can take time but it’s a lesson well learned.

If you can’t tell if it’s a bite or not, leave the line in the water for several minutes and then check your hook and bait.

Setting the hook is the next important part of the catch. And setting the hook improperly can mean the difference of catching or losing the fish. There are many different ways to set the hook. And regardless of your experience level, you need to learn which works for the fish you’re after.

There are two common types of hooks used for surf fishing: “J” hooks and “circle” hooks.

If you are using “J” hooks, you must give a firm pull on the line to pull the hook through the fish lip. Pull too soft, they may spit the hook after they strip the bait, pull too hard, you pull the hook and bait away before they can suck it in.

The best bet for new anglers is to use “circle hooks”. These hooks do all the work for you and the fish actually hooks themselves. (see picture – I am using a circle hook)

Remember, for some fish a heavy pull up on the rod sets the hook: for others, a hard pull yanks the bait from the fish’s mouth.

Next we will discuss the retrieval of a hooked up fish.

Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony

Up-welling in Summer

Baby, that water is cold!!

During the summer months, Outer Banks beach visitors may experience a significant change in water temperatures from one day to next.

This phenomenon is known as upwelling. 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 it 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).

On the Outer Banks, bathers may feel cold water for hours or days or sometimes longer. And this cold water exchange may be different from one beach area to others along the coast.

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.

By the way, fishing is outstanding in areas with upwelling – so grab a rod.

Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony

Fishing the Surf

Fourth in a Series – Fishing on the surf is one the most enjoyable pastimes and gives the angler that rare opportunity to enjoy nature at its simplest level.

But many new anglers can become frustrated when using the wrong equipment or fishing at the wrong place or time.

Over the past several weeks, we discussed the various steps that our new angler should incorporate into their mental tackle bag to be more successful fishing on the surf. Now armed with all of the proper gear, fresh bait, and confidence, we are ready to hit the surf.

Casting can be two different styles: precision or search. Either way, these styles gives the angler the best opportunity to locate and catch the fish.

The first style is precision casting. This type designed for the close-in sloughs. Anglers catch most of their fish in this location. Remember, the sloughs are channels of water between the outer bar and the beach (see picture of slough enclosed). To use precision cast, cast the line a short distance into the slough up wind or current at a specific spot. Then let the bait flow slowly along the current. Try to keep the bait near the bottom and moving along the current. This technique should be repeated until you get a bump or strike.

The next style is search or fan casting. And when search casting, we need to picture the hands of a clock in front of us with twelve o’clock straight out front.

Search casting consists of nine locations. The first cast is ten o’clock long, next is 12 o’clock long and finally is 2 o’clock long. Then cast again but now at medium distance at 10 then 12 and 2. The final search cast is now close at 10, 12, and 2.

This style allows the angler to cover vast areas of water. And if fish are present in the area, there is a good chance you will get a strike or a hook up.

Either technique will give the angler an opportunity to catch fish, if they are there. If you don’t feel a bump or strike within 15 minutes using either style, move to another location. And use the same techniques..

Next step is setting the hook and bringing our catch to the beach

Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony