Morehead City June 13, 2013
Tim, of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, reports that the speckled trout and puppy drum bite is still going in the Haystacks, as well as in Core, Eastman, and Bell creeks. Both fish are taking an interest in topwater plugs in the early morning hours. Gulp baits and live shrimp or mud minnows fished under popping corks will get attention from the fish when they don’t want to bite on top.
Sheepshead are feeding around the railroad tracks and the Atlantic Beach and Radio Island bridges, where anglers can tempt them to bite live fiddler crabs or sea urchins (when available).
Gray trout are also feeding around the railroad tracks and bridges, and they’re biting Stingsilvers, Gulp baits, and curlytail grubs.
Flounder fishing is improving inshore, and anglers should soon see some larger fish feeding around deep structure like the port wall and bridges. Live baits like mud minnows or Gulp baits pinned to bucktails will tempt the flatfish to bite.
Flounder are also starting to gather around the Cape Lookout jetty and at nearshore structure like AR-315, and white Gulp baits on bucktails are excellent choices for the ocean flatfish.
Cobia are still feeding in the area, though the run has slowed down a bit. Most of the fish caught lately have been hooked by anglers bottom fishing with live and dead menhaden around the inlets and in deeper holes in the sound.
Beach anglers fishing the Fort Macon rocks are picking up a mixed bag of flounder, sheepshead, puppy drum, black drum, and more. Live mud minnows, fresh shrimp, and sand fleas are the go-to baits from the sand.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are starting to reappear as the water continues clearing up after the tropical system last week. Anglers can hook both while trolling silver and gold Clarkspoons behind #1 planers near the inlets and within a few miles of the beachfront.
Black sea bass are also stacked up around AR-330 and further offshore. Bucktail jigs, metal jigs, and bottom rigs baited with squid and cut baits will tempt bites from the bass.
Grouper, triggerfish, beeliners, and other bottom dwellers are feeding around structure like the Atlas Tanker and 210, 240, 305, and 1700 rocks. Squid wings and cigar minnows will tempt bites from all the bottom feeders.
Dolphin have begun to push inshore as far as the sea buoy and Northwest Places, with larger fish from the 14 Buoy on offshore. Ballyhoo paired with skirted trolling lures or live baits and cigar minnows trolled slower will draw bites from the ‘phins. Gulf Stream trollers are also seeing some solid billfish action as the Big Rock Tournament kicks off.
Paul, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are still connecting with some cobia (some to 60-70 lbs.), but the action has been better inshore. It’s also been better for anglers bottom fishing with bait rather than sight-casting to fish on the surface.
Surf casters fishing around Fort Macon and elsewhere along the beachfront are hooking flounder, black and red drum, bluefish, sea mullet, spot, croaker, pigfish, and other bottom feeders. Shrimp, sand fleas, and mullet are producing most of the action in the breakers.
Gray trout are feeding in the turning basin and Beaufort Inlet, and anglers should have no trouble hooking up with them on spec rigs or jigging spoons like Shore Lures.
Amberjacks are starting to school up at structure in 60’ and deeper, like AR-330 and the Hutton wreck. Live menhaden are tough for the jacks to resist, and anglers can also hook up on a variety of lures when they’re in a feeding mood.
Offshore, the billfish bite has been solid for boats fishing the first day of the Big Rock Tournament, with solid numbers of blue marlin releases and some white marlin and sailfish mixed in. Dolphin and wahoo are also still feeding in the blue water and will take an interest in skirted ballyhoo.
William, of Oceanana Pier, reports that there’s been some solid red drum action for anglers bottom fishing from the pier, along with black drum, spot, sea mullet, pigfish, and more. Shrimp and cut baits are fooling the bottom feeders.
Some flounder are biting small live baits on the bottom.
And plug casters are hooking some bluefish and spanish mackerel on Gotchas.