A good incoming current this morning proved extremely productive, and the fairly high swells didn't matter, just made it all more exciting. We anchored near the mouth of Ocracoke Inlet and caught three pompano to start the outing. This took some patience, the first fish revealed after 45 minutes or so. From about 10 feet of water--some of the fish shallow on top of a shoal in casting reach--these are the largest pompano my son and I have seen, nearly two pounds each. We caught them all on sand fleas hooked on hi/lo rigs.
This is our third Ocracoke Inlet, N.C.,charter with Captain Ryan O'Neal, and each time he's shown us something different. He's never failed to put us on a lot of fish, but if we were to have a bad day, I would certainly forgive him that.
The pompano bite had been slow, but for us the few we caught impressive enough to have made a day. What awaited us I really couldn't have guessed. We headed on out the Inlet, my mood slow as the fishing had been. I really didn't expect anything, but Ryan told us we would cast for Spanish mackerel. For the moment, no evidence of fish reassured the sort of mood that just can't see beyond resignation, no matter how I try and scale the walls closing me off within. Something would simply have to tear them down.
So sure enough, fish broke water chopping silversides to shreds. Immediately, I knew the walls had been no more than a thin veil; however absolute the separation while it lasts, it lifts as easily as a stage curtain.
We hooked up instantly on chartreuse bucktails. Bluefish. And a Spanish mackerel my son lost at boatside. We motored off to more surface commotion and suddenly the sea immediately before us erupted as an exploding dance of thousands of blues and Spanish mackerel leaping through and churning the water. We hooked up instantly until the fish went down. For about two hours it was chase and find with how many schools of predators in the area unknown. The clear water revealed many dozens of blues in eyesight along with some Spanish chasing hooked fish.
This action as fulfilling as any dream of a motherlode for the taking, most of life seems pretty plain by comparison to having all you want at your fingertips.
The water clear blue, electrical pulses shot for bottom, reflecting sunlight like cherry bombs; light-weight rods throttled with drags giving way to these demons, these angels of light in a paradise of life let loose to do as it will. Mostly, we caught double headers with the jigs rigged tandem. There must have been a million bluefish. We took nearly 60, perfect size for the table.