The bad news from the Outer Banks is a freak early summer nor’easter has made fishing from boats almost impossible the last three days.
But when the weather has been good, the cobia bite has been fantastic from Kitty Hawk to Hatteras Island with boats landing 33 citation fish during back-to-back days last week.
“We’ve had sloppy, snotty weather the last three days,” said Steve Hissey at Teach’s Lair Marina at south Hatteras Island. “But before that, we were catching and seeing big numbers of cobia up and down the coast. The last time the boats got out (Monday), they really got on fish. One of Rick Caton’s boats ended up with 16 cobia.”
On May 21 and 22 Teach’s Lair posted 33 citation-size cobia on its web site, with 23 weighing more than 40 pounds and the largest weighing 70 pounds.
“Most of them were caught (by anglers) sight casting bucktails,” Hissey said May 26, “and I had three captains tell me they saw schools of cobia that had from 200 to 250 fish. Nobody can remember anything like this.”
Marty Moore of Topwood Charters reported catching a 94-pounder, Hissey said.
“When boats have been able to get offshore, the dolphin bite, with fish up to 49 pounds, has been good as well,” Hissey said. “They’re also catching and releasing sailfish, white and blue marlins when the water’s right, along with a few wahoo.
“The problem has been the crazy, mixed up weather that’s pushed the Gulf Stream all over the map. The other day one of the boats had to run 49 miles south to find good water. Inshore anglers have been running down to the shacks off Portsmouth Island to find 70-degree water.”
However, Hissey said water temperatures quickly were rising back to where they need to be to activate fish.
“I expect when we get back to the right conditions, everything should return to normal within two days," he said. "I expect this weekend to be really good.”