Reprinted from the December 2009 Ocracoke Observer
By Ken DeBarth
Dear Santa Claus:
This winter I will be surf fishing on Ocracoke. I need some equipment to help with this. Please bring me the following items:
Fast-Action Spinning Rod. As you know, Santa, colder water temperatures in the winter require smaller and lighter baits. To help me cast these lighter offerings please bring me a 7- to 8 ½-foot rod rated for ½ to ¾ ounce lures.
Spinning Reel. I want a good quality reel with a strong drag system. You know, Santa, fighting a big drum or striped bass on the light-weight rod you are bringing me will require some serious drag stress during the fight.
Light Line. Please load the reel with no more than 10 pound test mono filament or 15 pound test braid. To get any casting distance with the lighter lures (see below) I’ll need to work with a small diameter line.
Waders. Santa, since you live at the North Pole I know you have experience with cold wet feet. Please bring me a set of chest waders.
Lures. I’ll need some lures for the puppy drum, flounder, and speckled trout. Please bring me some ½ ounce jig heads and twister tails or Gulps. Red jig heads and green tails seem to be the best combination here. I also want some 1 ounce gold Hopkins lures. These work best when the water clarity is good. If you can stand in knee deep water and see your feet, Santa, try casting the Hopkins.
Bait. For the big stripers and drum, I’ll need bait. Please bring me some finger mullet and some big mullet for chunking. Santa, leave the mullets outside on the doorstep. They might get to smelling bad if you leave them under the tree.
Thermometer. Santa, if you have any room left in your bag, please bring me a thermometer. Water temperature is important in the winter. Drum are less active, if not dormant, at temperatures under 55 degrees. Stripers are active at temps as low as the mid 40s. If I can check the water temperatures, which can vary according to wind and sun, I will be able to find the areas where the fish will be.
You probably haven’t fished here much in the winter, Santa. I invite you to come down and try it when you recover from your trip around the world on Christmas Eve.
Thank you very much, Santa, and have a Merry Christmas and tight lines.
Ken DeBarth lives and fishes on Ocracoke.