Morehead City – June 22, 2017
Matt, of Chasin Tails Outdoors, reports that when the water is clear, anglers fishing the surf are connecting with spanish and bluefish by casting Gotcha plugs and glass minnow jigs from the piers and beaches. Anglers fishing the bottom are hooking up with sea mullet, pompano, spots, bluefish, sharks, and red drum. A few cobia have also been landed from the surf, and the latest one came from the Radio Island access.
Inshore, anglers are starting to see keeper flounder move inside. The Port Wall and rail road tracks have hosted flounder action for those fishing with live mud minnows on Carolina rigs. The docks along the waterway have also been holding flounder, as well as behind Shackleford Banks.
Sheepshead have been hit or miss, but the bite is getting more consistent daily. Fishing with live sea urchins or fiddler crabs around the Port Wall and Beaufort High Rise Bridge seems to be the best bet.
Redfish have been spread out in the marsh. Anglers are having luck landing fish in the 20-23” range on topwaters, spinner baits, and Gulps. When the reds are acting finicky, live shrimp and mud minnows rigged on Carolina rigs and popping corks have worked well.
Speckled trout fishing has been best on the flats first thing in the morning. Working topwater plugs around the shallows has produced the most quality fish, with some pushing the 4-6 lb. range. Fishing deeper holes with live shrimp and mud minnows has worked well after the morning bite is over.
Nearshore, the spanish bite continues, but it’s better towards Cape Lookout. Spanish have also been present between Fort Macon and Oceanana Pier, but the water is much dirtier and the bite is less consistent. Trolling Bowed-Up Lures spoons and Clarkspoons on #1 planers has been getting the job done, while anglers electing to cast metal jigs have been landing fish up to 6 lbs. Small bluefish have been mixed in while trolling for spanish, but there have been some better blues landed casting jigs around Shark Island shoals.
Flounder are holding on the nearshore reefs. Limits of flounder have been landed while jigging 2 oz. white Spro bucktails tipped with 4” white Gulp shrimp. Shark fishing behind the shrimp boats has also provided anglers with plenty of action just off the beach.
Venturing offshore, blue marlin has been the main target. Mahi have been feeding well between the 14 Buoy and the 90′ Drop, and some have come in as close as the 10-15 mile range. A few wahoo are still mixed with the mahi, and fishing north of the Cape has produced some blackfin tuna.
Anglers dropping to the bottom in the 30-40 mile range around the ledges near the 90′ Drop have been connecting with large red grouper. Fishing a little closer in around the Atlas Tanker, 17 Rock, and AR-285, amberjacks, grouper, black sea bass, snapper, and sharks have been the main target.
Cody, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that the Haystacks has been holding good numbers of redfish and speckled trout. Topwater plugs have worked well in the early morning hours, and as the sun comes up, live shrimp and mud minnows, as well as Z-Man and D.O.A. shrimp, have been working. Flounder have also been feeding well inshore, mainly on pearl white Gulp shrimp and mud minnows fished on Carolina rigs.
In the surf, anglers fishing cut bait are hooking good numbers of red drum and sharks. Fishing fresh shrimp and sand fleas has yielded whiting, pompano, croaker, and pigfish, and tossing Gotcha plugs from the pier has produced spanish and bluefish.
Nearshore, the spanish have been feeding just off the beach. Many 3-5 lb. fish have been landed while trolling Clarkspoons and mackerel trees, while larger fish pushing 7 lbs. have fallen for live menhaden and mullet. Around the nearshore reefs, anglers have found limits of flounder while jigging bucktails tipped with pearl white Gulp baits.
Offshore between the 14 Buoy out to the 90′ Drop, gaffer-sized mahi have been feeding. Trolling rigged ballyhoo with blue and white skirts as well as Blue Water Candy sea witches have been the hot baits.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that fishing the nearshore wrecks and ledges in the 60-80′ range has provided plenty of action with amberjacks, barracudas, and the occasional cobia. Most fish are falling for topwaters or live baits. On the wrecks in the 50′ range, dropping bucktails tipped with a Gulp or Z-Man soft plastic has produced good numbers of keeper flounder.
Offshore, anglers have found plenty of slinger mahi, with a few gaffers mixed in. Small ballyhoo has been the best bait for the mahi.
Inshore fishing has provided anglers with good red drum action. Targeting marsh banks and docks with live mud minnows on Carolina rigs or Z-Man plastics with Pro-Cure scent has worked best. Flounder have also been feeding inshore, and live menhaden or mud minnows have been the bait of choice.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that nearshore king action around 65′ of water outside of Beaufort Inlet has produced a solid bite. Trolling dead bait has hooked anglers in to good numbers of fish.
Shark fishing around the Cape Lookout area has also been productive. They can be caught while drift fishing cut baits, but some sharks up to 125 lbs. have been landed on the fly rod.
Dropping to the bottom in around 85′ of water has kept anglers busy with gag grouper. Most gags have been landed on live pinfish.
Inshore, redfish have been feeding well around Core Creek. Tossing Gulps rigged under a popping cork has been the most effective method, and most fish have been around the 20” mark.
Thomas, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that fishing for dolphin in 30-40 fathoms has been quickly filling the boxes. Anglers trolling small ballyhoo and Blue Water Candy sea witches have had the most success.
Blue marlin action remains steady around the Big Rock area. Trolling Ilander lures has caught the marlins’ attention most consistently. Most fish have been found between 100-300 fathoms.
Larry, of Oceanana Pier, reports that anglers tossing Gotcha plugs from the pier have been landing good numbers of bluefish and spanish in the 1-3 lb. range. One keeper cobia was landed from the end of the pier.