Highlight Reels: ‘A bang-up Spanish mackerel season’

Published 8:05 am Thursday, August 1, 2019

Fishing, surfing and swimming weren’t the only activities underway at Jennette’s Pier Monday morning. Nags Head’s beach renourishment operation was in full tilt, pumping sand onto the strand about 200 yards south of the pier house.

The large-scale undertaking is something to see. The sand comes to the beach in a large rusty pipe and j-hooks south under the pier and down the beach. Sand ramps allow people to climb up and over the massive pipes.


David Hill out of the 757 holds a nice pompano he caught on Jennette’s Pier Sunday. Larry Haley / Jennette’s Pier photo

A half dozen large pieces of heavy equipment such as bull dozers cautiously drive around moving sand or carrying sections of pipe. Plenty of safety measures are in place to keep everyone out of harm’s way.

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But the big question is, has it had an impact on the fishing? So far, no!

“Even with the beach nourishment at our doorstep the fishing is good,” director Mike Remige said. “We’re getting small Spanish mackerel, small gray trout, bluefish, pigfish, sea mullet, sheepshead and spot.

“The weather is pleasant, sunny with light, variable winds,” he said. “There’s a small, glassy swell and a water temp of seventy-seven degrees.”

Just down the beach a couple of miles at Outer Banks Pier, Warren Jones reported much of the same.

Enjoying some “drummy” weather on July 26, Jay Winger caught and released this beautiful 33-inch yearling red drum at Rodanthe Pier. Courtesy Rodanthe Pier

“We’ve had a real good run of (sea) mullet and spot this morning,” he said, “along with speckled trout, blues and a few under-sized flounder.”

Asked if he thought the beach renourishment has impacted the fishing, Jones said: “No, I don’t think so!”

Across the bridge and down on Hatteras Island at Rodanthe Pier, Jim Focht said plenty of catches were coming over the rails.

“We’re getting lots and lots of sheepshead,” he said. “Also, Spanish mackerel and sea mullet with a handful of bluefish and a few black drum.” The ocean temperature was 75 degrees Monday morning.

At Avon Pier, Earl Johnson said plenty of sea mullet, pompano, blues and a few flounder were biting.

“It’s pretty steady this morning,” he added. “It was rough the last couple days but today the water is clear so we’ll probably get some Spanish in here.


It’s hard to name anything prettier than sunset at Avon Pier on Hatteras Island. Led Zeppelin tribute band Zoso plans to plan at the adjacent Beach Klub at Koru Village Aug. 1. Courtesy Avon Pier

“They’re here early in the mornings and in the evenings just before dark,” Johnson said.

Down in Buxton, at the closest tackle shop to The Point, Red Drum Tackle owner Bob Eakes had plenty to talk about.

“The weatherman has finally straightened out everything and its slick calm,” he said.

On the soundside, anglers are enjoying the best speckled trout fishing in years, Eakes said, with plenty of ones 14 to 16 inches. Just that morning he had seen a 6 pounder!

On the oceanfront, people were battling the wind the last several days but in general, it’s been “a bang-up Spanish mackerel season so far,” he noted. A lot of nice big pompano and sea mullet catches has also made for quite the season.

Right now, they’re “on break,” Eakes said, but in “a few days, they should be back.”


Michael Seckora of Richmond, Va. holds up two beautiful sheepshead he caught while fishing next to the pilings at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. Some of the equipment used Monday for beach renourishment can be seen in the background on the right including the C.R.A.B. (Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy) and sand pumping pipe. Steve Fowler / Jennette’s Pier photo

Editor’s Note: We are always looking for great fishing stories, so please send yours with any photos to obxfishnews@gmail.com.



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