We had a free week and a hankering for sun and sand, so on a wild hair, decided to drive to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. This was our first time to this part of the coast, and we had read it was known for great beaches, fishing and seafood. We ran across an ad in the local destination guide for fishing with The Albatross Fleet in Hatteras and looked up their website, http://www.albatrossfleet.com
Their vintage boat fleet appealed to my love for antiques and vintage, and I figured since they had been a family business since 1937, they should know a bit about fishing. I called and asked to be put on their makeup charter list and we got lucky to go out two days later with four other fishing enthusiasts from NC, Ohio, and Virginia. It was a perfect day to be on the water with temps in the 80s and sunny.
We met at their docks at 5:45 and everyone piled on and quickly got introduced. Our captain of the Albatross III was Captain Ernie Foster, owner of the fleet, and his mate was Sumner. I downed my Dramamine before we left, and happily didn’t have to deal with seasickness this trip.
It took an hour or so to get out to the fishing grounds. Our mate, Sumner, gave us some instructions and told us to figure out which order we would rotate in. The catch at the end of the day is divided between all 6 fishing, so there is no arguing over who gets what.
…and I caught a tasty beautiful mahi mahi/dolphin fishWe had a lull for a while and then… we hit a dolphin school on a feeding frenzy! Captain Foster was spotting from the bridge and all the men had poles in the water with fish on in them in minutes. Sumner was racing around the deck trying to bring in the fish, rebait and keep everybody straight.
I was up on the bridge talking to the captain at the time and missed out on the reeling, but had fun photographing and watching the frenzy from above.
We had another lull and then Captain Foster pointed us towards a fishing spot reported to have blackfin tuna. We arrived and it wasn’t long before the rods started bouncing, lines zinging and adrenaline jumping. The blackfins were hitting three, four and five at a time – woo hoo!
And then… BOOM! We hit another group of dolphin fish! It’s so amazing to see their neon blue and yellow flashing through the deep blue water. We caught several and these were larger than the first group – “gaffers” as they are big enough to use the gaff to pull them in.
Stop off at the gas tanks and the Albatross II came in behind us.
We paid, tipped the mate for a great day of hustling for us, and then hung out and recapped the day while our fish were cleaned. They teach their children to work around here and that boy was already a master fish cleaner. It’s 50 cents per pound and you can have it flash frozen just down the dock.
I’d go back out again, but Wally said we have enough fish to keep us for a while.
Stay tuned for more from the Outer Banks, North Carolina