Morehead City June 20, 2013
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, reports that the local cobia action has slowed down a bit, but anglers are finding a few cobia on most days. Some are still falling for bucktail jigs and live baits around menhaden pods along the beaches, and anglers have been catching more while bottom fishing with dead menhaden near Barden’s Inlet.
Spanish mackerel are still in the area, but the bite slowed considerably with dirty water after last week’s storm. The action should be back on track as soon as the water clears, and trolling Clarkspoons, squid rigs, and mackerel trees will put the spaniards in the boat. Plenty of bluefish are feeding in the same areas, and they will pounce on the same lures.
Sheepshead fishing is improving by the week, with good catches coming from the local bridges this past week (some to 10+ lbs.) and reports of good numbers of fish feeding around oyster bars in the marshes. Fishing live fiddler crabs and sea urchins tight to whatever structure the fish are holding on is the way to connect with the sheepshead.
Flounder fishing has been up-and-down recently, but anglers are connecting with some flatfish inshore behind Shackleford, around the inlet, and in the ICW. Drift-fishing with live mud minnows and Gulp baits is producing good numbers of the flatfish, but anglers can target larger fish around structure like dock and bridge pilings.
Speckled trout are feeding around docks and other structure in Core Creek, where anglers are hooking them on live shrimp and Gulp baits fished along the bottom. Some specks are also falling for topwater plugs and popping cork rigs in the Haystacks.
Red drum are moving into the marshes, where anglers are connecting with them on live and cut baits, Gulps and other soft plastics, spinnerbaits, topwater plugs, and popping cork rigs.
Surf casters are connecting with some red drum around Fort Macon and along the beachfront, especially when it’s rougher. Live and cut baits are tempting them to bite.
Some flounder are also feeding along the beachfront and taking an interest in live mud minnows and Gulp baits on the bottom.
Pompano, sea mullet, pigfish, puffers, and other bottom feeders are taking an interest in shrimp and bloodworms on double drop rigs in the surf.
Not many people have been to the Gulf Stream recently, but there should still be some excellent dolphin fishing when boats can make it out. Some fish have been caught inshore as far as the Beaufort sea buoy, but the best bet is from the 14 Buoy out to the 90’ Drop. Ballyhoo and a variety of trolling lures will attract attention from the dolphin.
Bottom fishermen are finding plenty of black sea bass just about everywhere, but the largest fish have been coming from the Northwest Places. Bottom rigs and small vertical jigs like 2 oz. Blue Water Candy Roscoes are producing fast action with the bass.
Paul, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are connecting with sea mullet, spot, pigfish, bluefish, flounder, and more while bottom fishing in the surf with shrimp, sand fleas, and other baits (with some big sea mullet to 2+ lbs. in the mix).
Some of the same fish and plenty of gray trout are feeding in the inlet and turning basin, where spec and bottom rigs tipped with shrimp will tempt them to bite.
Spanish mackerel action has been hit-or-miss lately, but boats who can find clean water are still connecting with the spaniards while trolling Clarkspoons and other lures.
Cobia are still around, but they’re becoming more of an incidental catch than something anglers can consistently target.
Offshore, the dolphin bite remains outstanding from the 14 Buoy to the Big Rock (with some 40-50 lb. fish weighed in this week). Ballyhoo and skirted trolling lures are fooling the majority of the mahi.
Plenty of billfish are also feeding in the blue water, as big numbers of blue and white marlin and sailfish releases during the Big Rock tournament attest.
Taylor, of Oceanana Pier, reports that anglers are catching sea mullet (some to 2 lbs.) while bottom fishing from the pier with shrimp, bloodworms, and other baits. Some croaker, small flounder, and other bottom feeders are mixed in.
Plug casters are hooking good numbers of bluefish and a few spanish mackerel while working Gotchas and other jigging lures from the pier.