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During the winter, and for the last 6 years running, Capt. Jeff Ross will be heading back to the island of Isla Mujeres, near Cancun, Mexico from January thru mid-March to fish for Atlantic Sailfish. The waters off that part of the northern Yucatan Peninsula holds the greatest concentration of sailfish seen anywhere in the Atlantic and provides some of the most incredible billfishing in the world. Check out Sailfishing on this website for detailed information on a great winter adventure!
In winters past, when Capt. Jeff did not go to Mexico, he moved the OBSESSION to Hatteras or Morehead City, whichever was closer to the main body of fish, to participate in the giant bluefin tuna fishery. Those who fished during the mid and late 1990's would tell you that when the fleet located the bluefin schooled up and the bite was going off, "there was no better BIG game fishing anywhere in the world"! The OBSESSION caught over 350 fish in 21 trips during one winter. Federal regulations generally allowed each boat to keep one fish/day between 47 and 73 inches (roughly 50-250 lbs), and that fish was the property of the anglers, not the boat! While most fish ranged from 100-300 lbs, the OBSESSION boated fish up to 620 lbs. However, with the recently increased commercial fishing for bluefin tuna during the winter months off Cape Lookout, sport fishing has declined, which was part of the impetus for the OBSESSION heading to less crowded Mexican waters (not to mention the weather). However, in lieu the vagaries of future fish populations, economics, and fuel prices, etc., it would not be unlikely for the OBSESSION to be again be chasing giant bluefins in years to come.
Yellowfin tuna are available off the Outer Banks of North Carolina throughout the year. However, from mid- March thru April, as the waters warm up and weather begins to stablize, tuna fishing really heats up, with excellent action for 15-70 lb yellowfin. As you get latter into April, more dolphin, wahoo and a even a few billfish begin migrating into North Carolina waters and become more consistent componants of the daily catches.
Whereas tuna have dominated catches thru late April, in May you never know what you might end up with! Excellent yellowfin tuna fishing is available throughout the month. Big dolphin are abundant when sargassum lines form along the Gulf Stream's edge and mid/late May is prime time to find schools of big dolphin and catch them on light tackle. This is the beginning of the billfish season, particularly for blue marlin, while white marlin and sailfish make their initial showings. There is always the chance for a wahoo, and often the first bigeye tuna will be caught this month.
June thru mid-July continues to offer outstanding fishing for several species offshore of Oregon Inlet. This is the early peak billfish season, particularly blue marlin which can be 100-1000 lbs, and if you spend the day in search of them, probably will get a few shots. White marlin and sailfish are a regular companant of the catches. Yellowfin tuna fishing is excellent throughout the period, and some of the largest yellowfin of the year are landed in June and early-July. Dolphin are plentiful around sargassum lines which occur along the Gulf Stream's edge or around large floating objects. June offers some of the year's best fishing for big 'gaffer' dolphin (10-50 lb fish) on light tackle. From mid-June thru late-July, we often have some incredible bigeye tuna fishing, and althought they don't bite every day or every year, when they do these 100-250 lb critters are brutally tough battlers and great eating. Wahoo are available as well.
Late July-mid September.....
From late-July thru mid-September, we are blessed with the east coast's finest white marlin and blue marlin fishing. It is not unusual to get ten or more shots at white marlin in a day, with double and triple headers good for some cockpit chaos! We use light tackle....25 lb line on stand up rods for white marlin to increase hook up rates and maximize angler's enjoyement. Blue marlin are at their summers peak abundance, and August off Oregon Inlet is renowned worldwide for the number of 700 lbs - grander class fish hooked each year. With the availability of sailfish in these same waters, this is the best time and spot along the US east coast for a 'grand slam'. School dolphin are still abundant and provide great action on ultralight tackle. Yellowfin tuna fishing is generally slow until the weather cools in late-September, although on any given day a school of yellowfin can be found while searching for marlin and dolphin, in the shallows or out in the deep, and what you find are usually nice sized fish.
Late-September thru December....
The last part of September and first week or so of October are often an interesting mix of critters, with sailfish, white and blue marlin still around, as they begin migrating south. Similarly, plenty of school dolphin are migrating south along the Gulf Streams edge. Wahoo fishing begins to turn on the weather cools, and bigeye tuna often make a showing. And of course yellowfin tuna become increasingly abundant as more and more migrate into waters off Oregon Inlet from the mid-Atlantic with each cold front.
From mid-October thru mid-December, yellowfin tuna fishing is outstanding. By the first or second week in October, schools of yellowfin return to waters off Oregon Inlet and hang out for a few months. These fall fish are often big (40-80 lbs) and hungry. Some years, they settle into the area, and we catch them chunking with butterfish on standup tackle. Other years, they seem to move around more, and we get them trolling. In either case bring plenty of coolers. This is also the time of year, particularly late September to mid November, when the seasons best wahoo catches are made, mixed in with the schools of yellowfin tuna or along the current edges inshore of the tuna.
Obsession Sportfishing Charters
Outer Banks - North Carolina
Captain Jeff Ross
3102 S. Ocean View Ct.
Nags Head NC 27959