October is best the month for surf fishing on the island, according to Alan Sutton at Tradewinds Tackle Shop.
“Anything you can catch at the beach will be out there,” he said.
That’s because as the Pamlico Sound starts to get colder, the fish migrate out to sea for their food.
“They want to get fat and happy before they move south,” he said.
So, the waters are ripe for big drum, little drum, flounder, sea mullet, black fish and more
Sutton said drum especially are good game in the fall because the rough water churns up their food supply.
“In the surf, to catch drum the water should be rough enough to use a 6-ounce weight,” he said.
Drum like choppy, “shoaly” water.
“Guys on their boats will go up on the shoals (to catch drum),” he said. “When the water is calm and pretty, it’s not necessarily the best fishing.”
Drum of up to 40 inches is the size limit and drum at 40 inches and above will merit a citation (certificate of achievement) but they must be released, he said.
These big ones are older fish, while the smaller ones are called puppy drum.
Offshore, there will be good wahoo, black fin and yellow fin tuna, trigger fish and vermillion snapper, which are bottom feeders, said Ernie Doshier of the Gecko Sportfishing.