Fishermen in the sounds north of Oregon Inlet do not see lunar tides; they lose their influence about half-way to Manteo. Wind is the primary factor that influences water level and flow around Roanoke Island in Roanoke, Croatan and Albemarle sounds.
Even without tides, finding moving water is imperative to locating feeding trout.
With the Albemarle Sound to the north and Pamlico Sound to the south, there is potential for water movement through the narrower confines of Croatan and Roanoke sounds. Predominant summer breezes are southerly, and winds that blow up and down the sounds create currents that push and pull water between the larger sounds, creating moving water.
Bridges are good places to find and use the moving water. Pilings create eddies where larger fish can hide out of the current and feed on baitfish and shrimp washed past. The Washington Baum Bridge crosses Roanoke Sound near its narrowest point between Manteo and Nags Head, which concentrates water flow and makes it a place to consider in all fishing plans.
The Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge and the Manns Harbor Bridge cross Croatan Sound several miles apart and are good options for fishing the west side of Roanoke Island. Croatan Sound necks down at the Manns Harbor Bridge and concentrates water movement just like Baum Bridge on the other side of the island.
Winds will also push water into and draw water from the bays on both sides of Manteo and behind Bodie Island, Nags Head, Colington and Kitty Hawk. Wind-driven water changes the water level and moves baitfish and shrimp into and out of the bays. The Outer Banks are typically breezy, and even though there aren’t lunar tides, there is usually moving water to be found. Locating that moving water is a key to finding feeding fish.