Okay Steve your post is one that could go any which way and get very opinionated. Your post can not be answered with one answer. Way too many Variables to deal with. Your Profile says Avon so I assume you are talking about Surf Fishing in Avon or Southern Hatteras Island. One of the major variables is Location. The Outer Banks is 150 miles long. Different Sections are more productive at different times of the year. To say April and October is best for Avon would be an injustice since we have to bring in other factors, not in any specific order; The skill of the fisherman you observed, their tackle and bait, the species being fished for, the surf conditions, surf geographics or topography, the water temps, the wind directions. Sounds like a lot of excuses but all should be considered in making an assessment of good or bad with your generalized statement. For instance you see three "Fishy" looking people with lots of gear. They say fishing has been terrible the past week. Further analysis determines they are not so experienced fishing the area only one week a year. The Surf is Rough, 6 ounce sinkers won't hold bottom. They are using oversized hooks with cut bait for Sea Mullet the only fish available and the water temps are 45 degrees. And they are casting 100 yards right past the fish. Duh!