Morehead City May 9, 2013
Tim, of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, reports that anglers are seeing big numbers of gray trout and a few speckled trout around the Atlantic Beach Bridge. Working Stingsilvers and Gulp baits at night has been producing most of the action.
There are also plenty of grays around the railroad tracks and the turning basin, where Stingsilvers and spec rigs tipped with shrimp are producing plenty of action. Some sea mullet, pigfish, croaker, and other bottom feeders are mixed in with the grays.
Sheepshead have shown up and are feeding around the port wall, railroad tracks, and other hard structure. Live fiddler crabs and sea urchins will tempt bites from the sheeps.
Speckled trout and red drum are still feeding in the Haystacks. Anglers are fooling both with mud minnows and Gulp baits fished under popping corks and on jigheads. Topwater plugs are also starting to prove effective as the water warms.
A few flounder are mixed in with the specks and reds and also taking an interest in the minnows and Gulps.
Surf casters fishing Fort Macon and along the beachfront are connecting with black drum, puppy drum, sea mullet, bluefish, sheepshead, flounder, and more. Shrimp and cut mullet (or cut bluefish) fished on bottom rigs will tempt bites from all the surf dwellers.
The weather’s been a bit rough for anglers looking to head out in the ocean, but there should be some flounder feeding around AR-315, 320, and other nearshore structure when boats get the weather to get out. Gulp baits pinned to 2 oz. bucktails are the best bets for the flatfish in the ocean.
Some false albacore are feeding around bait and nearshore structure, with reports of schools around AR-285 last week. Anglers can hook them on diamond jigs or other small, shiny casting lures when they’re feeding on the surface.
Offshore boats are finding some excellent trolling action when the weather allows them to make the long run to blue water. Wahoo, dolphin, and yellowfin and blackfin tuna have all been riding home in fish boxes recently, with most falling for ballyhoo trolled with skirted lures.
Paul, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that bluefish have shown up throughout the area, with reports coming in from the sound and marshes, beachfront, and offshore (with many 4-5+ lbs.). Cut or whole mullet and metal lures like Stingsilvers and Hopkins spoons are top choices for the blues.
Anglers have reported already seeing some cobia inshore, so it may not be long before a spring cobia bite materializes.
Sea mullet are still feeding in the inlet, turning basin, and along the beachfront. Spec and bottom rigs with pieces of shrimp will tempt bites from the tasty panfish. Pigfish are feeding in the same areas and will soon be more numerous than the mullet.
Some flounder have shown up for pier anglers, and it shouldn’t be long until the flatfish are more numerous and hungry inshore.
Surf casters have hooked some speckled trout around Oceanana Pier recently.
Schools of false albacore are working the nearshore waters. Anglers who find the fish feeding on the surface can tempt them to bite flies or metal casting jigs like Shore Lures.
Offshore trollers are finding some decent action with yellowfin tuna and some wahoo when they can make the long run to the break.
Thomas, of Dancin’ Outlaw Charters, reports that the blue water fishing has been excellent when it’s calm enough to get offshore. Wahoo are still feeding around hotspots like the Big Rock, and dolphin have started to make their spring appearance. Boats are also finding relatively good numbers of yellowfin tuna (most 30-40 lbs.). A few white marlin have been seen as well, so the summer billfish bite is showing some signs of life as well.
Ballyhoo paired with skirted lures like sea witches are fooling the majority of the offshore pelagics.