Top 10 OBX Fishing Tips for Beginners
By Matt Dalia, local fishing guru-
The summer is upon us and the Outer Banks is a wonderful place to wet a line and catch some fish. However, with such a variety of fish to be caught, rules and regulations to be followed, and lots of water to be covered it can be quite overwhelming. Figuring out the right tackle, the prime locations, and the best tactics can be the difference between a successful fishing adventure or coming up dry. For the novice fisherman, some basic guidance is the best remedy.
Here are some tips for summer time fishing on the Outer Banks.
1) Know the Rules
Always make sure you know the current size and bag limits. Some species can be “closed” for part of the season (like speckled trout until June 2014). Make sure you know the rules so you do not get a ticket from the man.
2) Ask the Locals
Area knowledge is the most valuable information you can get…if you can pry it from the locals. A good source is the bait & tackle shops and the fishing piers. They sell more stuff if you catch more fish. The nicer you ask, the more legitimate the info.
3) Fish the Most Productive Times
Weather, wind, water temperature and timing can be your friend or foe when fishing. As a rule, dusk and dawn can prove to be the best times of days. Calmer days typically can produce more fish in the summer. Asking around about conditions can hone you in on the best times to try your luck.
4) Do Your Research
Reading up on local fishing reports can give you a hint on tactics and trends. There are area fisherman that blog about their fishing jaunts, and therefore provide a wealth of information about tackle, techniques, even locations. Do your homework before you go out.
5) Choose the Right Equipment
Having the right rod, reel and tackle can change the odds in your favor, and drastically sometimes. A tackle shop can get you outfitted with the right gear and even help you with the equipment you own. Stay aware of what lures and baits are catching fishing around you…no need to reinvent the wheel.
6) Pack a Sandwich
Sometimes, a day of fishing can be a long one, especially if the fishing is slow. Always pack some snacks and a cooler full of cold ones to tie you over during the down times. You never know when the action will pick-up unless you stick around.
7) Come Prepared
The Boy Scouts are no dummies: always be prepared when fishing. Keep your equipment clean and greased. Bring extra fishing line in cased you get spooled. A little extra bait is better than running out.
8) Be Legit
Make sure you have the correct papers when fishing the Outer Banks: a North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License. You can purchase them at many locations, including the tackle shops, Wal-Mart, etc. Also, if you driving the beaches on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, make sure you have an ORV Driving Permit. Failure to do so can be costly and put a damper on your fishing day.
9) Bend the Rules
Sometimes you have to get creative with your gear you are using, the fishing conditions you are stuck with, etc. Many people have caught fishing breaking the rules out of necessity and by breaking the norms. Main thing is not to give up just because everything is not perfect. Keep fishing, keep a line in the water.
10) Have Fun
Enjoy yourself out there. Recreational fishing is suppose to be fun. Especially when you are doing it in the beautiful Outer Banks!
Matt Dalia has fished coastal waters his entire life and made a lifelong dream come true by moving to the Outer Banks in 2006. You can usually find him in the evenings on Nags Head Fishing Pier, pursuing his favorite fish, el Spanish mackerel. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.