Lots of people travel to Cape Hatteras to fish the Gulf Stream waters that lie just a short distance from the coast. Many plan a day or two offshore for an exciting activity during their week long stay on the Outer Banks, while others make the drive just for a day's fishing.
Either way, an offshore adventure can be an event of a lifetime, and you never know what will happen from one day to the next. We can, however, try to predict the best time to fish for a particular species based on years of experience, but it's not uncommon for the Gulf Stream to "throw us a curve" from time to time.
The cooler months tend to produce our best catches of yellowfin tuna. I like March and April in the spring, while preferred fall months for yellowfin are October and November.
The month of November also ushers in one of my favorite fisheries. Our "live bait" king mackerel fishing is unlike anywhere else in the world. You just have to experience it, 20-50 pound kings on 20-pound class tackle. It is a blast.
Also in the cooler months, it is not unusual to snag a wahoo.
The last few years have produced some excellent bluefin tuna fishing in the late winter and early spring. February and March have been productive for 80-150 pounders. The bag limits change according to what quota has been caught, but we can normally keep one, and release the rest.
In May, we usually begin to have excellent dolphin (mahi) fishing. We catch dolphin all year, but May through September is the best time.
I like late summer and early fall for wahoos, and we often do well on these lightning fast pelagics.
Hatteras is known for its great marlin fishing too. May through September holds pretty good promise of a billfish bite. I tend to think that our better blue marlin fishing is earlier, May to June, while our white marlin and sailfish bites seem to pick up in July. It is not out of the question to catch any and all of our billfish species through the summer months, and there is always that possibility of a "grand slam," especially in July and August.
This is just a brief overview of what you can expect offshore of Hatteras, throughout the year. For more information, go to the Species Sought page, or feel free to email me with your questions.
~ Capt. Dave
5/27 Hatteras Offshore Fishing Report
Still kinda slow offshore but the blackfins saved us again!
We had a few good bites first thing, and managed to save one nice gaffer, but after that it was slow. We worked back to where the blackfins were yesterday, and whacked them for an hour or so. Lots of good tuna salad there boys! Thanks Brian, see you next time!
5/26 Hatteras Offshore Fishing Report
Fishing was still a little scrappy today but we scrounged around and put together a nice catch anyway!
We caught a couple gaffers and a yellowfin
first thing, then plucked away at the blackfins for a bit. Overall kinda slow but we got lucky! Thanks Paul, don't wait so long next time!
5/25 Hatteras Offshore Fishing Report
Today was beautiful but scrappy fishing.
Southeast winds didn't help a thing, as the grass was scattered and nearly impossible to fish. Bites were scarce, and on top of that we had a dose of bad luck hanging on to them. Still, Caleb landed a 25 pound yellowfin
to go along with a gaffer dolphin
out of several bites, and a snowy grouper off the bottom. Thanks for spending a beautiful day with us guys!
5/24 Hatteras Offshore Fishing Report
Slick calm day spent in the deep!
We scrapped out a nice catch of dolphin
but we had to work pretty hard for them. The grass was scattered and hard to keep baits clear but you had to get in it to get a bite. Thanks for a fun day Ernie!
On The Bottom
Steve and the guys wanted to try something different today since they caught dolphin
The current was running too hard last time we tried to bottom fish, but Steve has been wanting to lay eyes on a golden tile for some time. Conditions weren't perfect today, but good enough. We caught several nice goldens and a pile of rosefish for the fryer. Thanks for two great days!
More May Gaffers
Today, Steve, Frank, and the boys toughed out a choppy day offshore but were rewarded with a barrel of gaffers!
There was a scattered gaffer dolphin
about everywhere you went today. See you guys in the morning for day two!
The marlin bite was on again today, although we didn't get an invitation.
The southeast winds made the grass difficult to fish for dolphin
, but we still landed a handful of nice gaffers while we waited for the blue marlin
that never showed up. Thanks Chris for another great day!