Steve in Mass

Tales and Truths from Avon......

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You should have picked up your fresh seafood for the week in Wanchese before heading south. Rookie mistake

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Posted (edited)

35 mins ago, Frogfish said:

You should have picked up your fresh seafood for the week in Wanchese before heading south. Rookie mistake

Um, no, have been doing this for 30+ years, and Wanchese is far out of our way and not worth the effort....besides, what I am supposed to do with 2 weeks worth of seafood, freeze it?..... :squid:

 

And frankly, the one time we made the road trip to Roanoke Island, I wasn't very impressed. Sure, perhaps if you are "in the know" for the secret spots, fine....but since I am not there routinely, well.......not worth the detour on the way down when we are "driving weary" after 700 miles and just want to be here.

 

And speaking of being "in the know" I finally found the "gold mine" I was looking for today after a lot of asking questions,. but that is jumping ahead..........no live crabs, but I struck it rich with other stuff............. :)

 

 

Edited by Steve in Mass

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Posted (edited)

Wednesday morning I left about 6 to catch the boat down in Hatteras...........yes way too early for the 7:30 they said I  should be there by, but I am one that prefers to be early then late, and I needed to stop to get beer for the cooler.

 

As I waited on the dock I noticed the customers for the day, and was pretty much "Oh Boy", but whatever.

 

On the boat, I noticed all the rods were rigged for bottom fishing, and was wondering "what if we see bluefish or Spanish?".......but just sighed as I was already into it.

 

Sure enough, as we headed out of the Hatteras Harbor breakwater and headed south towards the inlet, we passed a group of working birds that I KNEW had bluefish under them, but we just kept going.

 

The captain, and I use that term loosely, but more on that later, told us we were fishing for flounder, and the past two days they had caught squat (nice time to tell us, but so it goes and things change day to day.)

 

The mate was a girl that was perhaps 15-16 maybe 17 years old and a "tank", for lack of a better word (and granted I am likely PC incorrect, but whatever.) Emma was her name, and she sorta seemed she knew what she was doing, but that was up for debate as the trip proceeded..

 

As we rode out she came around the boat and baited the perhaps 30-35 rods with some poorly cut squid strips.

 

More later, gotta go clean salad greens for dinner......

 

Edited by Steve in Mass

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1 hour ago, Steve in Mass said:

Um, no, have been doing this for 30+ years, and Wanchese is far out of our way and not worth the effort....besides, what I am supposed to do with 2 weeks worth of seafood, freeze it?..... :squid:

 

And frankly, the one time we made the road trip to Roanoke Island, I wasn't very impressed. Sure, perhaps if you are "in the know" for the secret spots, fine....but since I am not there routinely, well.......not worth the detour on the way down when we are "driving weary" after 700 miles and just want to be here.

 

And speaking of being "in the know" I finally found the "gold mine" I was looking for today after a lot of asking questions,. but that is jumping ahead..........no live crabs, but I struck it rich with other stuff............. :)

 

 

lol keep doing you bud. Love it when tourists try and tell me whats up with my area. Clearly you know whats going on since you're struggling to find soft crab in season 

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Posted (edited)

After about 25-30 minute ride down toward the inlet, first stop, lines down for the drift.........I was up close to the bow on the starboard side of the boat which was less crowded (and I sorta claimed as soon as we boarded), and the drift had that side out away from the boat.

 

Within 5 minutes the captain said someone had a double header at the stern, but frankly those flounder were tiny, perhaps 10", but of course, he had to give people hope..........

 

About a 20 minute drift with not much else, and then a short move. The second spot I was kinda hopeful, as he got to as close to a sand bar as he could in that big boat, and the side I was on I could get fairly close to the ledge.......when he came down on deck, I told him if I had a skiff "I would be right there drifting from the shallow to the deep...."

 

But of course, he couldn't do that.....

 

The seven year old kid (Mason) in the bow, who I think never fished before in his life, at first missed a fish, but then got about a 10" flounder, and he was thrilled, and I was thrilled for him :)

 

Short of that, not much else, perhaps a couple short fish on the other side of the boat............

 

More later............

 

 

Edited by Steve in Mass

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Posted (edited)

34 mins ago, Frogfish said:

lol keep doing you bud. Love it when tourists try and tell me whats up with my area. Clearly you know whats going on since you're struggling to find soft crab in season 

Well thanks for all the help.... :squid: and soft crab is not the issue, I can get all I want...it is live hard shells that are the problem. So don't be so pompous, thanks. I kinda know the story down here, as much as I may be considered a "tourist", years of experience and talking with locals (unlike what the "tourists" do) has given me the scoop.

 

And Frank Folb knows be by name, as does Beth Bailey, and Ginger at F&F said to me as I walked in on Sunday morning when we got here "Where ya been?)

 

BTW, ever been to Kinnakeet Tavern? Or even know where it "is"? If not, your credibility just went down the tubes.

Edited by Steve in Mass

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And speaking of live hard crabs, just got the call and Donna is on the way down to Buxton to get a dozen #1 Jimmies............. FINALLY! :)

 

 

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So on the boat, about 10 - 20 minutes of nothing, the captain called for lines up and re-positioned over the same or another bar for another drift  of about 20 minutes which yielded about the same results. :squid:

 

 

Finally, he called for lines up and he said that he was going to go just outside of the inlet to see what was out there. That ride took about 20 minutes going thru the wake iof the ferries and the typical chop in the inlet....I don't have issues with seasickness or choppy seas and frankly was really nothing to ME, but, well more on that later.

 

At the stop outside, within a minute or two of lines down, Mason had a croaker......and a few folks to my left had the same, all quite small. After a bit, Mason had another small flounder, and then another that was about 13".

 

I got a small croaker myself, missed a good hit, and then got a sea mullet.......since they are awesome eating, I planned on it going in my cooler, But as I unhooked it, I asked  Emma if there was a minimum size, and she had no clue (turns out from what I have found in the regs, there is none). Pretty sad that a mate doesn't know the size limits (and wait, it gets worse....)

 

By that time I had dropped the fish on the deck and after chasing it around and it slipping out of my hands, it went thru the gap in the deck below the rail................ yeah, my fault...... :o

 

But at least we had starting catching "some" fish.....until......after about ten minutes, captain said we gotta go back inside cause there were TWO folks that weren't feeling well..............

 

So two folks that are on the boat ruined it for the 30 or so others..... :dismay:

 

On the way back in, I went to the head and saw some about teenage girl laid out in the cabin with her eyes rolling, and another 20 something guy with tattoos all over his arms and legs (tuff guy :squid: ,sorry not to judge, but) in about the same condition.

 

So for two folks that should not be on the boat to begin with, 30 other people were out of luck, :mad:

 

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Posted (edited)

Back inside for another drift just north of the inlet mostly produced nothing for mos, except for Mason who had another small flounder, and then another that was about 13 1/2........

 

I asked the Captain what the limit was (I had read previously, but then forget, but was pretty sure it was 15.....), and he told me 14". I figured being a Captain of a head bought he would know, and questioned hi if it was different sound side to ocean side (years ago that was the case), and he said "Yeah, I think so"

 

Turns out when I got home I looked it up and currently is 15" either way...........

 

Pretty frigging sad that a mate has no clue about regs and even sadder that the CAPTAIN OF A HEADBOAT that makes 2 trips a day with 25-30 people doesn't know them either..... :rolleyes::dismay::mad:

 

We made a few more drifts along the coast inside the inlet, Mason caught another fish, which made this 7 year old that never fished before top dog on the boat :):th::) , but basically came home with the entire boat being skunked.

 

Gotta run, my crabs are here, and they look awesome............. :) 

 

Edited by Steve in Mass

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18 mins ago, Steve in Mass said:

Back inside for another drift just north of the inlet mostly produced nothing for mos, except for Mason who had another small flounder, and then another that was about 13 1/2........

 

I asked the Captain what the limit was (I had read previously, but then forget, but was pretty sure it was 15.....), and he told me 14". I figured being a Captain of a head bought he would know, and questioned hi if it was different sound side to ocean side (years ago that was the case), and he said "Yeah, I think so"

 

Turns out when I got home I looked it up and currently is 15" either way...........

 

Pretty frigging sad that a mate has no clue about regs and even sadder that the CAPTAIN OF A HEADBOAT that makes 2 trips a day with 25-30 people doesn't know them either..... :rolleyes::dismay::mad:

 

We made a few more drifts along the coast inside the inlet, Mason caught another fish, which made this 7 year old that never fished before top dog on the boat :):th::) , but basically came home with the entire boat being skunked.

 

Gotta run, my crabs are here, and they look awesome............. :) 

 

Maybe Cap'n and mate know but don't want to be too vocal about it, its not good for business at $60 a clip and 90% shorts. Folks paying $60 a throw to go fishing , well, some of them want to take home food, if they take a few 14 inch fish and the captain and mate turns their backs, the mate gets tipped, the Cap'n keeps customers for another day. Maybe they never get checked.

They may not be as dumb as they want you to think they are, no way they can't know.

 

We have been going to OBX (Nags Head) for over 20 years, always head over to O'Neals in Wanchese, last year #1 Jimmies for $19 a dozen, my BIL paid $90 a dozen in Pasadena, Md. yesterday. I do understand its out of your way and not convenient. Maybe time to give up on Avon area, save an hours drive and enjoy the same type surroundings, its not crowded until after the schools up north get out, September is the best month if you can dodge hurricanes. 

 

Enjoy the crabs!! 

 

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Sorry, if we are gonna drive some 700+ miles Nags Head is not for us. I can go to NJ for that..... ;)

 

Ad a captain and mate on a head boat like that "looking the other way" is why there are no fish around anymore........it is no excuse and against the laws.

 

But perhaps you are not old enough to remember when you couldn't keep bait out in the Avon surf for more than 5 minutes without pulling in croakers, spot, sea mullet, so often that after awhile it actually got boring.

 

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Steve - 

I hope you have been fishing since the head boat, with much more success.  Sounds like things are slow.  We do Avon just about every year, and you have sent me some really good information a few years ago (sound fishing).  Of course, the days that I dedicated to the sound a few years back (fish jumping everywhere and caught a 15" speck and some 12" or so puppy drum), the pier was giving up few Mahi Mahi and tons of Spanish...  Go figure.  I will let the winds tell me where to go from now on!  I have had many days as you noted in the Avon surf, where you can catch sea mullet non-stop, a few days catching pompano like that too.  We did Emerald Isle last year, which seemed to be better fishing IMO, but Avon has more things to do, and is less expensive for comparable rentals.  A lot of shrimp to be netted in EI, which made for a good dinner, and would have made for good bait if I had figured it out sooner...  Best wishes on a successful week.  Look forward to reading the rest of your trip.

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Hey Steve, keep up with these great detailed posts. Absolutely awesome.. I'm  sorry that things have been slow for you but I have thoroughly enjoy reading your posts thus far. Next best thing to actually being there. You've actually brought me there with you on your trip bc of your detailed posts. Love it!  Don't let the distracters bring you down. Anyone of us would trade places with you in a heartbeat instead of our stressed filled daily grind we call life. I'd personally would fish sand fleas around ramp 43.44 during the day for sea mullet and pompano. Have a rod or two out with bunker for a straggler cobia. Hit the Point, or rather  just south of the Point at sunset for bluefish and spanish. 7pm at the earliest. Maybe 8. There will be a time when sunlight starts to wain and then the run starts. And when it becomes completely dark the run ends. 9:15 this time of year? But if the fish are really running it can be all day. Personally I like to use a white sting silver. But everyone has their preferences in color. Distance can be important. In the past when things were slow on the south side, I'd wade 50-80ft into the water and cast as far as I could and start nailing the spanish. I also use an 11ft rod for that super distance. Experiment with retrieval speed. Fast, medium, slow. Try letting the stingsilver sink to the bottom before retrieving also. There was a time time when it was slow I was letting it sink to the bottom with a slow to medium retrieve and I was the only one catching. Super fast cranking is not always the key.......Keep up the great posts!

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Last time on the Miss Hatteras, some 20+ years ago ( 3 of us down for "bachelor party" type getaway over Memeorial day weekend if I remember correctly), we ended up with the same fate. All 10-13" fluke and really just a tourist trap. Luckily for us we were on the 4 hour trip, so we were able to hit the beach in the afternoon. We mainly wanted to get out on the water for a bit, and knew full well what we were getting for the money: a 4 hour boat ride.

Of course, anyone who visits there once or twice or maybe more, remains known as a tourist. Despite the fact that I have been going down there starting in 1977 at 17 and staying in the campgrounds on surf trips, and going every year since then except for  about a total of 5 years, i am, and will be, a tourist. I was down there in October and over thanksgiving week last year. My place is booked for this fall. The fact that I am friends with a local in Buxton, and visited him after Christmas a few years back, or can call Capt. Buddy Hooper anytime for an offshore report, doesn't make me any less of a tourist.i should have bought a place along time ago when one lot back was about $169,000.

While I enjoy reading your daily reports, you are a tourist, and will always be a tourist there. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. I'm a tourist. The locals there have been thru hell and back and constantly fight to stay alive between the storms and Audobon Society trying to shut them down. While all of us "regulars" who go down there think we are in the know or think of ourselves as anything but tourists, well it just isn't so. 

But please continue the reports. I can almost see the Pelicans cruising low along the water.

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