Morehead City May 21, 2009
Tim, of Chasin Tails Outdoors, reports that anglers are still finding action with speckled trout and red drum in area marshes, particularly in the Haystacks. Shallow areas off local creeks and the Newport and Neuse Rivers have also been producing results. Most of the reds and trout are falling for live mud minnows or Gulp and Trigger X soft baits, but anglers are also hooking some on topwater plugs, with silver and gold Skitterwalks especially effective.
Whiting and some gray trout are still feeding along the bottom in the turning basin and around the Coast Guard Station. A shrimp glow spec rig tipped with shrimp will get their attention.
Anglers are finding more gray trout around the railroad tracks and the Atlantic Beach Bridge. Stingsilvers, Tsunami Glass Minnows, and green grubs will all get attention from the gray trout.
Some sheepshead are also feeding around the local bridges and at the Fort Macon rocks. Most are falling for shrimp right now, but anglers can target them by baiting up with fiddler crabs.
Surf anglers are catching some small flounder, with better fish coming from AR-315. Live mud minnows and finger mullet are drawing attention from the flounder.
Chopper bluefish (some 8-10+ lbs.) are running the surf as well, and anglers are hooking them on casting spoons and cut baits.
The cobia bite has been solid over the past couple of weeks (with fish up to 100 lbs. taken). Most boats are hooking up with the cobia by chumming and fishing dead baits like pogies on the bottom near Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are running along the beaches, and boats are finding them by trolling Clarkspoons and other lures when they can get out the inlet. Some larger spanish are coming from AR-315 and falling for live baits and trolling lures.
Most of the king mackerel are still offshore, with decent reports coming from the 210 and 240 Rocks.
Bottom fishermen have found a decent beeliner bite around the 14 Buoy. Structure around the Big 10/Little 10 has been producing action with some sea bass, and a few grouper are coming from the 240 Rock area.
The weather hasn’t been too conducive to getting offshore lately, but when boats can get out the dolphin and wahoo bite has been solid around the Rise and Swansboro Hole.
Marty, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that this has been one of the better cobia seasons in recent memory. The best bite has been around Beaufort Inlet, with a few fish coming from the Cape Lookout area and behind Shackleford. Dead pogies fished on the bottom have been producing the most action with the cobia.
Flounder fishing is starting to pickup a bit inshore, with some fish coming from the surf as well. Live baits are tops for the flatfish, and the bite should be getting better by the week.
Surf anglers are also catching some fat pompano (2-3 lbs.) on shrimp.
Chopper bluefish are also feeding in the surf, and they will take an interest in cut baits.
Spanish mackerel are still feeding along the beaches and around nearshore structure, and boats are taking advantage by trolling Clarkspoons and bird rigs.
Some king mackerel have moved into the nearshore waters as well, and boats hooked kings, spanish, and Atlantic bonito while trolling off the Cape Lookout gun mounts. Casting Shore Lures to breaking schools of fish has also been effective.
Bottom fishermen are finding some legal grouper and sea bass at structure near the Big 10/Little 10.
Blue water trollers have found a phenomenal dolphin bite when they’ve been able to get offshore lately. A few wahoo are still in the mix, and the action has been spread out along the break. Rigged ballyhoo are producing most of the action with the dolphin and wahoo.
Shane, of Fight N Lady, reports that the blue water fishing off Morehead has been phenomenal over the past week. Gaffer dolphin are feeding heavily in 20-23 fathoms up and down the break, and boats are loading up with serious catches. Some yellowfin tuna and wahoo are mixed in with the dolphin, and all three are falling for ballyhoo under blue/white and pink/white Mini JAGs and witches.
Further offshore in around 100 fathoms, the billfish bite has been on as well, and boats tallied releases on blue and white marlin last week in the deep water.
Ken, of Swell Rider Charters, reports that the bottom fishing’s been excellent when the wind’s been calm enough to get out. Dropping baits like squid, cut mackerel, and cigar minnows at structure in 115-120′ of water has been producing action with American red snapper, red, scamp, and gag groupers, and a host of other bottomfish including sea bass, pinkies, triggerfish, and others.
Flat-sided hammered diamond jigs are also getting attention from the bottom feeders.
Deborah, of Oceanana Pier, reports that early last week before the front hit, plug casters were catching good numbers of spanish mackerel and bluefish (including some choppers approaching 10 lbs.). Gotcha plugs fooled most of the fish.
Bottom fishermen have been hooking croaker, spot, small bluefish, and pompano.