I was down at the Outer Banks on the 17th and 30th, and the surf was way higher than that. I am guessing he got the drum sound side.
As far as big fish on light tackle, I hooked into a big sturgeon or carp (never saw the fish) back when I lived in NY. I was using 4 pound test line and fought the thing for 40 minutes before it finally got loose. If you want to go after one of those carp, be ready for a (fun, exhausting) fight like that. Also be advised you might have to take extra care of the fish if you fight it to exhaustion like that.
Red X Angler
Teach a child how to fish, and you'll have something in common forever.