Tradewinds Tackle

Over 38 years of fishing tradition on Ocracoke Island

Ocracoke Fishing July 2013

This past week on Ocracoke we started with hard wind and rain but the weather has improved to beautiful, sunny, summer conditions. Those fishing along the beach in the wash with small hooks are finding puppy drum, black drum, and seamullets. A few flounder and pompano are showing up too. Inshore fishing was a little slower this week with reports of some keeper puppy drum, speckled trout, gray trout, and flounder. Offshore reports include amberjack and triggerfish this week.


On Ocracoke this past week we had fewer folks since the holiday was over. Those few fishing on the beach continue to find bluefish, puppy drum, sea mullets, small flounder, and pompano right in the wash using shrimp, sand fleas, or cut bait.Inshore fishing has been slow, but we had reports of a few spanish starting to show up, some keeper puppy drum, a few pompano, bluefish, and flounder. Offshore reports include some amberjack, a couple of dolphin, and triggerfish this week.


This time of year on Ocracoke, those fishing the beach with pompano rigs in really close are catching fish.  The puppy drum, black drum, and sea mullets are feeding on sand fleas that are torn up in the waves. Throw your bait right into the wash to have the best chance of a bite. Inshore fishing reports include a few flounder, some speckled and gray trout, a few Spanish mackerel, and a couple of keeper puppy drum.Offshore reports include some amberjack, wahoo, king mackerel, and triggerfish this past week.


As last week on Ocracoke, the puppy drum, black drum, bluefish, pompano, and sea mullets are feeding on sand fleas that are torn up in the waves. Throw your bait right into the wash to have the best chance of a bite using small hooks.Inshore fishing reports include flounder, some speckled and gray trout, some Spanish mackerel, puppy drum and in the evening some citation red drum.Offshore reports include some nice wahoo, amberjack, a few dolphin, and triggerfish this past week.

What to Expect for Fishing Ocracoke Next Month in August

August brings hot weather, greenhead flies, and fishing opportunities for those on vacation. The hot weather generates afternoon thunderstorms, but the surf is often calm enough for some light tackle fishing. While spring and fall are considered the prime months for fishing at Ocracoke, some trophies can still be found in late summer.

Flounder is one of the best bets from the surf or boat. The north end of the island generally offers the best wading and surf fishing opportunities, while Ocracoke Inlet produces some of the best boat action. As described last month, strips of squid or croaker on flounder rigs will produce results when live minnows are hard to find. Expect to see the biggest pompano of the season, caught from the surf and shoals on shrimp and sand fleas. Sea mullets also take shrimp and sand fleas, so those baits can account for some of the best eating fish found in the surf. Successful anglers are fishing close to the beach with light tackle, making these hard fighters fun to catch.

Anglers may still find a few Spanish mackerel and bluefish on lures as the Spanish mackerel season winds down. The bluefish are smaller than the hard fighters caught in the spring or late fall, but these smaller blues are much better to eat than the larger ones. Any size Spanish mackerel are great on the grill or in the pan. Inshore, anglers fishing late in the evening with large chunks of fresh bait can hope to find a citation drum of 40 inches or more. Expect the drum to bite late evening, sometimes well after dark. A chum slick made with menhaden oil increases the odds of catching one of these hard fighters. All big drum must be released, as only one fish may be kept within an 18 to 27” slot limit.

Offshore, king mackerel and wahoo bring exciting thrills to those taking a charter or venturing out in their own craft. Fishing for these fantastic fighters yield a great time catching and wonderful steaks for the grill. Look for kings closer in around structure, and expect the wahoo to stay in the Gulf Stream waters farther out.

As people fish or swim they sometimes run into some special dangers. While rays and jellyfish can cause painful stings, the primary problem vacationers run into is sunburn. Use sunscreen to avoid ruining a great time at the beach. Rays can inflict serious injury, so handle these creatures with care before returning them to the ocean. If you do get a barb, immersing the area in hot water will ease the pain until you can get medical attention for possible infection. Jellyfish stings are uncomfortable but rarely serious. The most dangerous threat to anyone on the beach is riptides, so stay aware of your surroundings and swim with care.

Dodge the thunderstorms, enjoy the beach, and have fun fishing.








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