Step away from the TV and an overload of football and get outside for some fresh air and Outer Banks fishing.
Some of the best fishing in and around the Outer Banks comes during the fall and winter months. In the fall, Outer Banks fishing is legendary.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, don't put away your surf fishing rod because good fishing still abounds. Due to the huge heat sink that is the Atlantic Ocean and the sounds, water temperatures decline more slowly than air temperatures. You can still be wearing shorts here on Thanksgiving, particularly if we have had a mild fall.
As long as the water temperatures do not dip too much, you can still catch sea mullet, speckled trout, gray trout, red drum and bluefish through December. Check our local Outer Banks tackle shops, fishing piers and marinas to learn what's biting and what bait or lure to use. And this time of year is the perfect time for sound fishing for stripers (aka rockfish, rock or striped bass).
In January and February, ocean striper fishing really kicks into high gear. Striped bass (Morone saxatilis also known as striper, rockfish or rock) are migratory fish and they are aggressive and predatory (which makes for fun fishing … no guessing whether this fish is on the line because it just attacks). Unless we get a sustained blast of cold weather, stripers abound off our coast through late February. Learn more about striper fishing on the Outer Banks.
As the water cools down, the hot spots for other fish generally move south to Hatteras and Ocracoke due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. In the past, winter big bluefish on the Outer Banks beaches were legendary, spawning the term "bluefish blitz". But for the past few years the big blues have been missing in action. Every winter, we keep hoping the big blues will return to the surf. Small to mid-sized bluefish can still be found in the surf during the winter months.
Offshore Gulf Stream fishing is great in the fall and winter as billfish migrate along the Gulf Stream. In the early fall, nearly all billfish can be caught offshore. As the weather begins to cool, yellowfin tuna action is plentiful and you can catch bigeye and blackfin tuna and more. Bluefin tuna fishing usually runs December through March depending upon the weather.
So, you don't have to stop fishing just because the weather is getting cooler. The crowds are gone, rates are lower and many believe this is the best time for an Outer Banks fishing trip.