Fish Post

Northern Beaches – Winter 2016 – 2017

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Betty, of TW’s Bait and Tackle, reports that citation drum are still being caught at The Point. Anglers fishing south of the bridge are connecting with speckled trout, and then sea mullet and bluefish were reported caught around Ramp 43.

Anglers in Avon are connecting with puppy drum and trout, and the pier reported several citation sized drum.

Those looking to connect with the smaller red drum can also target them around the jetties in Buxton.

Stripers are showing up around bridges and structure, and these fish are responding well to artificials. Target the Little Bridge for a good chance of hooking them, although they can also be found in the sound.

Those pier fishing have seen the return of the seasonal dogfish, and they are also hooking skates.

Nearshore boats have connected with king mackerel, and those boats heading out further have found both blackfin and yellowfin tuna.

This winter, anglers in the surf of the northern beaches should expect a slow bite through the winter, although bluefish and drum will be around. There may also be a stray striper landed as well.

Anglers in the Manns Harbor area will catch stripers through February, and those making the trek to the bluewater will find wahoo and yellowfin and blackfin tuna.

Finley Cain, pictured with dad John Cain, with a 21” speckled trout that bit a Z-Man jig in the Nags Head surf.

Finley Cain, pictured with dad John Cain, with a 21” speckled trout that bit a Z-Man jig in the Nags Head surf.

Norma, of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, reports that boats have been bringing in blackfin over the past week, but the bite has been hit or miss.

Inshore boats are reporting puppy drum biting, along with the striper fishing starting to pick back up.

Those fishing inshore through the winter can expect mostly stripers and puppy drum. There will mostly likely be speckled trout in the area, and traditionally there are a few winter flounder landed.

Nearshore anglers can expect to catch bluefish, king mackerel, and even citation red drum that are still into the area. False albacore will also be in the area waters, and as the temperatures cool, the black sea bass bite should pick up nearshore; however, anglers should also prepare for sharks to move in the same areas as the sea bass.

Offshore, many boats will focus on the seasonal migration of bluefin tuna through the area. Yellowfin tuna were reported until March last year, and due to the odd nature of the water this year, anglers may see a repeat performance and be able to catch them through the colder months. The chance at a stray bigeye may also arise.

Wahoo should move back into the waters around March.

Angie Hall with a puppy drum caught in the surf in Corolla. Photo courtesy of TW’s Tackle.

Angie Hall with a puppy drum caught in the surf in Corolla. Photo courtesy of TW’s Tackle.

Brian, of Wave Runner Sport Fishing, reports that going into winter anglers can expect to see the giant bluefin showing back up, typically between February and March. Those wanting something a bit smaller will be able to hook yellowfin and blackfin tuna, and wahoo are in area waters through the winter as well.


Brian, of Jennette’s Pier, reports that anglers are connecting with mostly sea mullet, with the occasional bluefish or perch moving in the area, too. The speckled trout bite is sporadic, but a few lucky anglers have decked a couple.

The pier will stay open all winter, and those dropping a line over the rail can expect to hook skates and dogfish.


Nags Head Pier reported anglers catching trout, puppy drum, and sea mullet. The pier has closed for the year and will reopen in April.


John, of Bob’s Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers in the surf are still connecting with a few slot red drum, as well as black drum, speckled trout, and bluefish. Cut bait or fresh shrimp thrown into the surf is having the best result.

Rockfish are being caught in the sound on soft plastics (like Gulp) or Rat-L-Traps.

Those hoping to connect with fish this winter should bait up a heavy duty bottom rig or fish finder rig and throw cut mullet in the surf. Bluefish or drum are most likely to be hooked.

The striper bite hasn’t existed much in the surf over the past five years, but there’s always the possibility that an angler may hook a stray one.