Morehead City – July 6, 2017
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, reports that surf anglers are connecting with good numbers of spanish and bluefish early in the morning and late in the day. Tossing Gotcha plugs and Glass Minnow jigs around clear water has worked best. Those bottom fishing in the surf have connected with sea mullet, pompano, pigfish, flounder, red drum, and sharks. These fish have bit best on fresh shrimp and cut mullet.
Inshore, throwing topwater plugs early in the morning has produced speckled trout around the Haystacks, Bogue Sound, and Core Creek areas. After the topwater bite dies off, live or artificial shrimp under a popping cork has done the trick.
Redfish have been hanging around some of the same areas, and a variety of plastics like Z-Man and Gulp baits have been working well. Anglers have had a good topwater bite for the reds in the mornings around the Middle Marsh area. When targeting the skinny water, spoons have been a go-to lure. Those fishing the waterway docks with live mud minnows on Carolina rigs have also been getting the reds to bite.
Sheepshead fishing has improved near the area bridges and docks, as well as the port wall. Live fiddler crabs or live sea urchins have been the ticket to landing these fish, and some have pushed the 9 lb. mark.
Flounder have been present inshore, and targeting creeks, the port wall, waterway docks, and drift fishing behind Shackleford Banks have all been producing good numbers of fish. Targeting structure with moving water in these areas with live mud minnows pinned on Carolina rigs has worked best.
The nearshore spanish fishing has provided consistent limits of fish. Trolling Clarkspoons and Bowed-Up Lures spoons on #1 planers have gotten the job done. Casting Stingsilvers and Glass Minnow jigs for spanish has also been effective, and most fish that have been feeding on top are near AR-315. Bluefish have also been mixed in with the spanish.
Jigging with Spro 2 oz. white bucktails tipped with pearl white Gulp shrimp around nearshore reefs (such as AR-315, AR-320, and AR-330) has been producing solid catches of flounder. Shark fishing behind the shrimp boats is also providing plenty of action. Tossing a dead shad or jumbo mullet has done the trick.
Anglers fishing for dolphin have had to cover lots of ground to find good numbers of fish, but some have been as close as 10 miles out. Most fish have been holding near the 90′ Drop.
In the 20-30 mile range, those fishing the bottom are connecting with grouper, snapper, black sea bass, amberjacks, and a few triggerfish.
Cody, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that surf fishing has been steady after this period of high wind. Anglers fishing fresh shrimp have hooked pigfish and sea mullet from the beach, and fishing cut baits in the surf has produced a few bluefish and sharks.
Throwing Gotcha plugs from the piers has put a few keeper spanish in the cooler.
Inshore, fishing around the Haystacks area has been consistent with catches of redfish and speckled trout. Most fish have been landed on live shrimp and minnows on float rigs and Carolina rigs, but some fish have fallen for topwater baits and plastics worked on the bottom.
Sheepshead have been feeding near the port wall, and they have been willing to eat live shrimp, fiddler crabs, and sea urchins.
Flounder have also been active inshore. Live mud minnows and finger mullet have been the best baits for flounder, but Gulp and Z-Man plastics rigged on 1/4 oz. jig heads has also worked. Area bridges and docks around Taylor’s Creek have been the best places to boat limits of flatfish.
Anglers fishing nearshore artificial reefs and wrecks have had success landing keeper flounder on bucktails tipped with Gulp shrimp. Kings have been hit or miss nearshore. Most of the kings have been in the 10 lb. range and have come by trolling cigar minnows.
Fishing offshore has filled the coolers with blackfin tuna and a few dolphin. Bottom fishing with cut bait has landed plenty of triggerfish, vermilion snapper, grouper, black sea bass, and amberjacks.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that the nearshore spanish bite has been steady, with most fish falling for trolled 0 or 00 Clarkspoons. Flounder are also feeding around the nearshore wrecks and reefs. Using bucktails tipped with Gulp baits or Z-Man plastics with a little Pro-Cure bait scent has worked best for the flatfish.
In the 10-15 mile range (in about 60′ or water), amberjacks have been holding near wrecks and are striking well when jigging. King fishing has also kept anglers busy. Most kings are in the 6-12 lb. range and are holding around 80′ of water. Trolling strip baits or Drone spoons has been the most effective methods for the kings.
A few grouper are still being landed in the 10-15 mile range. Dropping down live pinfish has worked best.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that kings have been feeding well in the 60-75′ range. Trolling Yo-Zuri plugs over live bottom has connected anglers with high numbers of fish. In the same range, smaller dolphin (in the 3-8 lb. class) have also been willing to hit the Yo-Zuri plugs.
Trolling Clarkspoons nearshore has boated plenty of spanish, false albacore, and bluefish. Casting diamond jigs around bait pods and busting fish has also been a great way for anglers to enjoy this nearshore sight fishing action.
Bottom fishing between 75-100′ of water has held grouper, triggerfish, black sea bass, and grunts for those dropping cut and live baits.
Thomas, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that anglers fishing for dolphin have been successful trolling small ballyhoo and Blue Water Candy sea witches in 30-40 fathoms. In the 40-50 fathom range around the Big Rock area, those trolling small Sea Witches have landed blackfin tuna along with a few dolphin. Blue marlin are still in the area, and trolling around the 100-300 fathom range near the Big Rock area has produced the best results.
Wayne, of Oceanana Pier, reports that puppy drum, bluefish, pigfish, and pompano have been feeding on live shrimp fished on the bottom. Spanish have been hitting Gotcha plugs and Stingsilvers worked from the end of pier.