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When I head down to the point on my next visit, what advice could one give for fishing the area around the Point? I am a pretty experienced surf fisherman, but I am not sure that I will ever have encountered some of the surf fishing crowds that will be fishing right at the point.

Is it imperative to be fishing RIGHT AT THE POINT or are the areas to each side productive as well?

Is the area just to the south of the point usually calmer than the north side? Shallower? Deeper?

I was planning a late December/early January trip down there. Any action at the Point at that time or is it kinda hit or miss depending on weather? Never caught a drum or a really big biter and that's what I am targetting always when I head to the OBX, but anything that pulls get me excited (but of course, the longer and harder the pull the better).

Thanks,

Matt in Salisbury, MD
 

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You won't have a problem with crowds in late December - early January. I used to go every April and October (best for drum). I have pulled drum from a spot 25 yards north of the point by casting out to the bar directly in front of that spot and pulling a fish-finder rig off the bar to deeper water. Due to their competetive nature (boys will be boys) many feel a need to joing the conga line right at the point. Not necessary. I've seen more fish pulled from either side of the point. Last time I was there, there was an island 50 yards off the south side. Some guy put in a kayak and went out there to fish ALONE.

Depth is about the same on north and south side, but there's no surf on the south side, so your bait holds better.

December - January winds can be brutal. Be prepared to be pelted with sand. I believe it's striper season then, rather than red drum. Monitor the boards at Red Drum Tackle -- Buxton, NC for the best information on what's biting.
 

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I've been on the point at all times of the year and never seen a time when there wasn't quite a bit of activity there. The week(s) around Christmas and New Years will see a lot of people out fishing, regardless of the weather. Because that is when a lot of people have time off from work and their kids are out of school. We go every year at this time and the point can be really crowded. Especially in the years past when the striper were running. Back in 2000-2004 the point would look like a parking lot during Christmas/NY.

Sadly, the striper haven't come in the last few years, and given that plus the economy, it may not be nearly as crowded as it used to be. Last year wasn't bad at all.

It will really depend on the fishing. Also, I have set out there when it was calm as can be and 55 degrees in a T-shirt and sweat pants. But, I've also been out there when you froze your hiney off. Come prepared for any time of weather.
 
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