Hatteras – December 14, 2017
Ryan, of Hatteras Jack, reports that surf fishing has remained steady with the dropping water temps. The sea mullet bite has picked up, and anglers have found plenty of citation-sized fish. Speckled trout and red drum are also feeding in the surf zone. Those casting soft plastics, as well as soaking cut baits on the bottom, have found plenty of action. Good numbers of bluefish are holding in the sloughs, and cut bait will tempt them into biting. A few flounder are in the mix, too.
The bluefin tuna bite has arrived, and anglers are starting to see some activity near the beach. As the water temperature drops, the fish should move in in better numbers.
Looking to the winter months, the dropping water temperatures will move the red drum and sea mullet to the ocean and rivers. Shark fishing around Cape Point will start to pick up, with a variety of shark species looking for a meal. The striper bite will pick up both inshore and in the surf, and those looking to target the nearshore wrecks should be able to jig up good numbers of tautog and false albacore.
Randy, of Frank and Fran’s, reports that quality sea mullet (up to the 2.5 lb. mark) have been landed in the surf. Shrimp fished on the bottom has been the best way to target these fish.
A few big red drum are still hanging around the surf and piers. Anglers fishing with large cut baits have had the most success.
As winter continues, the red drum bite should taper off, but the blowfish bite will likely improve.
Keith, of Avon Pier, reports that the sea mullet fishing has been world class this winter. Anglers have landed plenty of fish well into the 2 lb. range. Fishing cut shrimp on the bottom has been the best way to hook these tasty fish.
The speckled trout bite has started to pick up on the beach and from the pier. Most anglers have had success hooking a few keepers by casting double grub rigs. There have also been a few slot-sized puppy drum mixed in with the trout. Some reds have been willing to hit an artificial lure, but most have preferred cut mullet fished on the bottom.
Those looking to target big red drum in the 40”+ range have still landed a few fish. There have been double digits landed from the pier in the past few weeks, but look for that bite to taper off as the water temperature continues to drop.
Heading into the winter months, the sea mullet fishing should remain steady through January (barring a big cold snap). The speckled trout bite in the surf should also improve through the next month or two. Just remember to slow your retrieve down as the water temperature drops.
Bev, of Frisco Tackle, reports that the puppy drum and big drum bite is still hanging around, as anglers have found plenty of action from the surf and piers. Those using cut mullet fished on bottom rigs have had the most success.
Cut shrimp has been the ticket for anglers chasing sea mullet in the surf zone. Many days have yielded plenty of fish for the cooler (and multiple citation-sized fish). A few blowfish are also starting to make their way into the same areas as the sea mullet.
Look for the sea mullet and blowfish bite to remain steady through January.
JAM, of Teach’s Lair, reports that king fishing has been great off the beach, with anglers finding plenty of fish when targeting warmer water.
The inshore bite has been up and down, but anglers are still finding a mix of puppy drum and speckled trout. Artificial baits like Gulp soft plastics have worked well.
In the surf zone, the speckled trout fishing has been hot. Anglers tossing soft plastics and MirrOlures have found limits of fish in the 2-3 lb. range. The puppy drum fishing has also been great, and most fish have preferred cut mullet fished on the bottom.
Those chasing sea mullet have found plenty of action, too. Anything from Fishbites to cut shrimp has worked, and anglers are hooking them two at a time.
Heading into the winter months, look for bluefin and yellowfin tuna to make their way into the area. The blackfin tuna bite should also remain strong, with more of the larger fish (20+ lbs.) in the mix.
In the surf, the trout bite will remain steady until the water temperature dips under 46 degrees. The puppy drum, blowfish, and bluefish bite will hold strong through most of winter.
Aaron, of Tightline Charters, reports that black drum fishing has been consistent around the inshore waters. Casting cut shrimp around structure has been the best way to hook them.
Red drum are still feeding, and they can be targeted around grass lines and near the inlets. Those using cut mullet on a Carolina rig have been the most successful.
Area inlets are holding striper, bluefish, and speckled trout. A mix of live and cut baits have worked best, and all three species should stick around for the next month or two.
Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that live bait king fishing off the beach had produced plenty of quality fish up to the 50 lb. mark. Larger blackfin tuna (in the 20-30 lb. range) have also been feeding well on live bait.
Offshore, the bite is off and on. Anglers venturing out have hooked yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, wahoo, and a few dolphin.
As the winter months continue, anglers will be primarily looking for bluefin tuna moving into the area.
Bill, of Predator Sport Fishing, reports that those looking for king mackerel have had success in the 8-10 mile range. Trolling dead cigar minnows has been the ticket, and most fish have been good-eating size.
Those headed offshore have found solid numbers of blackfin tuna and wahoo.
The bluefin and yellowfin tuna bite has just started to turn on, but look for both to improve with the dropping water temperatures. The king bite should also remain steady through the winter, but finding the target water temperature will be the key to finding fish.
Jimmy, of Tradewinds Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers are starting to find a mix of puppy drum and speckled trout in the surf. Cut mullet has worked best on the drum, while soft plastics have done the trick on the speckled trout. A few sea mullet are still feeding as well, and cut shrimp has worked best.
Heading into the winter months, anglers should expect the puppy drum bite in the surf to remain steady. These fish can be targeted with either cut mullet or artificial lures. Some lures that typically do the trick are grubs, MirrOlures, and Hopkins spoons. Black drum will also hold near the red drum in the surf. Most of the black drum will strike a piece of cut shrimp fished on the bottom.
Speckled trout should stick around through the winter months in the sloughs near the beach. MirrOlures and grubs are the best way to target the specks.
Those looking to spend some time offshore through the winter should have plenty of fish to target. Anglers dropping to the bottom will find black sea bass and triggerfish. When trolling, a mixed bag of blackfin tuna, wahoo, and kings can be hooked. Jigging often produces a few amberjacks (and blackfin tuna as well). Also, keep an eye out for the giant bluefin tuna making their way through in the next month or so.