Highlight Reels: While island recovers, fishing improves

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Things are slowing getting back to normal on Hatteras Island and some folks are out and about fishing.

At Hatteras Jack in Rodanthe, Jam Mortensen said the shop and the tri-villages are all open. As for Hurricane Dorian, he said their neck of the strand was spared.

“Up this way it was okay and we’re wide open, wide open,” he said and pointed out that the storm did impact parts of Avon south.

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Mortensen said speckled trout fishing was good on both sides, sound and ocean, with puppy drum mixed in on the sound side too. There are plenty of blues in the ocean and a few red drum here and there.

“The drum bite is starting . . . it’s picking up . . .” he said and stopped to ring up a customer.

“Got mullet? Okay, fifteen nine-nine,” Mortensen said.

“We just had a fishing tournament,” he said. “There was a three-pound pompano and a three-pound Spanish mackerel.”

“We had a bunch of pompanos and whiting donated to the fish fry for homeless folks,” Mortensen said. “The fish fry was some big fun.”

He also predicted that when the weather begins to cool down this week, the “red drums will start running.”

Down at Avon Pier, longtime employee Keith Matthews said they made it through the storm okay with only some roof damage.

“When people were let back on the island, we were ready to go!” he said.

This week, anglers had caught a couple of big drum, some spot, small or short puppies and fall sea mullet.

In Buxton at the Red Drum, Bob Eakes said they were alright, too.

“We had a couple inches of water,” he said and added that next time he’s going to caulk the doors shut.

Eakes pointed out that hurricanes sometimes wreak havoc on people only a few miles away and this time, it didn’t hit beat up Buxton too bad.

“Fishing is not too terribly bad,” he said, “with big pompanos along with some little ones and a lot of undersize pups.”

As for the hurricane and what it did to his neighbors in Hatteras Village and Ocracoke, Eakes said it’s been tough on everyone.

“I hate it,” he said. “Its bad for business and real estate and really bad for the wait staffs and cooks.”

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