Morehead City – August 17, 2017
Matt, of Chasin Tails Outdoors, reports that surf fishing has produced spanish and bluefish when casting from the shore and piers. Gotcha plugs have been the ticket. Those bottom fishing with fresh shrimp, bloodworms, and sand fleas are picking up some sea mullet. Red drum have also been feeding in the surf, and fresh cut mullet has been the top bait for the reds.
Inshore, anglers targeting flounder have found good numbers of fish in the marsh. Tossing Gulp soft plastics and live mud minnows on Carolina rigs near marsh lines and creek mouths has worked best. The port wall is also producing quality flounder, with some fish in the 5-7 lb. range weighed in.
The redfish bite has been on, and anglers targeting areas like the Haystacks, Core Creek, Adam’s Creek, Bogue Sound, and North River have all been landing good numbers of fish. Most of the reds have been between 20-24”, but a few upper and over-slot fish have been in the mix. Targeting marsh lines during higher water with topwater plugs has worked well. During the lower part of the tide, anglers have been successful floating live mud minnows and using cut baits near oyster banks.
The old drum have also started to show up around the Neuse River area. Using popping corks with soft plastics like D.O.A. Airheads and Z-Man plastics are working well near ledges, and anglers fishing fresh cut mullet on the bottom are also having success.
Those searching for speckled trout are still finding some larger fish in the 5-6 lb. range. Most of the larger fish have been landed early in the morning on topwater plugs. Live minnows are also working for the specs, when rigged under a float.
Nearshore, those trolling Bowed-Up Lures spoons and Clarkspoons are finding plenty of action with spanish. Some larger spanish are being caught while trolling live and dead baits. A few bluefish have been mixed in as well, and targeting the inlets, Atlantic Beach, and the Cape Lookout areas have produced best.
Trolling spoons and fishing live baits has produced solid catches of kings around the artificial reefs. Most kings have been on the smaller side, but they’re in plentiful numbers. Over on the east beach, anglers have found a few kings that have hit the 40 lb. mark.
Sharks are still hanging around the shrimp boats. Anglers tossing cut and chunk baits have found plenty of fast-paced action.
The wahoo bite has started to heat up, and anglers trolling medium-sized ballyhoo are having the best luck. Most fish have been landed between Swansboro Hole and Big Rock. A few dolphin have been in the mix, but they have been scattered.
Those dropping baits to the bottom are hooking up with grouper, black sea bass, triggerfish, and snapper. Most of the action has come around the 14 Buoy and the 90′ Drop.
Cody, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers plugging from the pier have had luck landing spanish and bluefish. Those fishing the bottom have connected with croaker, pigfish, flounder, sharks, skates, sea mullet, and pompano when using a mix of fresh shrimp and sand fleas. A few red drum are also feeding in the surf, and fresh cut mullet has worked best for them.
The inshore bite near the Haystacks area has produced some solid speckled trout and redfish action. Topwater plugs have worked well in the morning, and then as the sun comes up, live mullet and shrimp (as well as Z-Man plastics) have done the trick. A few flounder have also been landed while fishing live mullet.
Around the area bridges and docks, anglers have landed good numbers of black drum and sheepshead. Dropping sand fleas or fresh shrimp to the bottom has done the trick.
The nearshore wrecks have been holding good numbers of flounder. Jigging with a bucktail tipped with a soft plastic has been the ticket.
Those venturing offshore have found a good wahoo bite around the Big Rock area, and trolling ballyhoo has been the best way to land them. Some dolphin have been landed as well, but they’ve been very scattered. When trolling, anglers have also hooked in to a few sailfish and blackfin tuna.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that targeting the port wall and marsh points inshore has produced some keeper flounder. Live finger mullet and mud minnows on Carolina rigs have worked best.
The nearshore flounder bite has produced some keeper fish as well, but on most days anglers are having to weed through smaller fish to find the keepers. Spanish have been holding around the wrecks, and fishing live baits like finger mullet and smaller pogies have been the ticket.
Trolling dead baits has produced plenty of action with the kings. Although most fish have been on the smaller side (in the 6-10 lb. range), anglers are finding good numbers of fish.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that the Neuse River has produced some steady fishing for flounder and red drum. Targeting the banks with a Gulp plastic rigged under a popping cork has worked best.
In 15-35′ of water off Atlantic Beach, those trolling spoons have landed good numbers of spanish. Anglers have also seen large schools of fish feeding on top, and that has provided some sight fishing action.
Out around 55′ of water, amberjacks have been feeding well. Dropping live baits and jigs has produced plenty of fish.
Around the 85′ range, there has been a solid grouper bite on live bait.
Thomas, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that in the 40-50 fathom range, wahoo fishing has been hot, and most fish being landed are coming from the Big Rock area. Some blackfin tuna and sailfish have also been in the mix.
Nearshore fishing for spanish and bluefish has been consistent. Those trolling with Clarkspoons and casting metal jigs are landing plenty of fish.
Larry, of Oceanana Pier, reports that anglers plugging from the pier in the early morning hours are connecting with spanish and bluefish. Those fishing the bottom with fresh shrimp, bloodworms, and sand fleas have filled the cooler with spot and croaker.