Fishing Report from Hatteras Island Pier: May 30, 2009
I'm writing to you, Hub Friends, from the planks of the Hatteras Island Fishing Pier in Rodanthe, North Carolina. We are fishing from the same spot on the pier where just a month ago I practiced the best physical therapy for a broken arm that anyone can recommend.
On our last trip, we ended up with about 14 nice mullet. The folks next to us watched with envy as we (mostly me!) reeled 'em in. This time we seem to be doing more of the watching.
As fishing goes, this trip hasn't been as lucky. We only have three mullet in the cooler so far. And I've only caught one, the smallest one! So I can't say I'm out-fishing my husband this time. The day is not over, of course, but the incoming tide has brought clear blue water with it, and the fishing is very slow.
The weather this time, however, is spectacular! It's a very comforable 80 degrees with just enough breeze to keep us from breaking a sweat. The sea gulls are laughing and the porpoises are frolicking. One fisherman caught a sea bass - I don't think I've ever seen anyone catch a sea bass from the pier before.
At the end of the pier, they are catching blues on gotchas. If my husband gets too bored, he might stroll down and give it a try, but we generally don't keep blue fish. We just aren't big fans of the flavor.
Excuse me - I had to break for a bite! I just caught a nice flounder! It would have made a good meal for me if it weren't for the limits. And I love the flavor of flounder!
Speaking of limits, the "fish police" as Ken calls them made a visit earlier this morning. The two rangers made a quick and friendly search of all the coolers on the pier. It's never wise to try to cheat the fishing limits. I don't have a regulations sheet handy, either. I usually keep one in my bag in case there's any doubt.
My tape measure is in the tool box, but our pliers are missing. We realized that a couple of hours ago when a blue crab would not let go of my hook before I got him over the rail. When I lowered him to the pier, he finally let go and was scampering towards Ken's feet. I tried to use the handle of my fishing rod to shoo him over the edge, and he latched on tight with both claws! I ended up breaking one of his claws when I resorted to swatting him away with my flip flop. Stubborn crab!
Back to the blues - lots of folks say if you clean them and cook them right away, they are good eatin'. Well, my grandmother always cleaned all of her fish right on the pier, and I've just never cared for the flavor.
Ken just said he would go try his gotcha plug but he needs the pliers to get the blue fish off his hook. They do have some sharp teeth, but I think if he was careful he could get the hook out without the pliers.
Pliers are handy in a tackle box. I use them when I catch a skate. But the main thing to remember with a skate is to step on that tail before you try to do anything! They are not poisonous like sting rays, but ask my sister how bad it hurts to get snagged by one of those barbs - even on a "baby" skate!
Surprisingly, we have not seen any skates today, and we are fishing with shrimp. The fishing report on the radio this morning recommended using blood worms to avoid the skates, but we didn't listen. We have Fish Bites if we really need them, but unless the spot are biting, we generally stick to shrimp for bait.
The lady next to us did catch a little sand shark. She caught it on her husband's pole while he was down the pier jabbering. I told them it happens to us all the time. If Ken says, "Watch my pole," and walks away, you can bet I watch his closer than I do my own. I love catching fish on his line!
Speaking of the bathroom, I think it's time for a break. If anything (more) exciting happens, I'll be sure to share an update. (In case you are wondering, I'm reeling in my line - no need to give Ken an unneccesary advantage!)
P.S. After my bathroom break, Ken admitted he left the pliers in his freshwater tackle box. When the fish are not biting, he doesn't need much excuse to give up. The the great thing about the NC Outer Banks is that if the fish are not biting, we can spend the rest of the day drinking beer from the beach - which we did!
Twenty-three of Thirty
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