Swansboro – April 27, 2017
James, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that anglers along the piers and surf are seeing action with chopper blues, from the surf to the sound and into the intracoastal. These big fish are taking any walking baits, topwater lures, as well as metal lures, cut mullet, and even cigar minnows. Anglers are starting to see the smaller bluefish showing up in large schools as well.
The sea mullet caught off surf and pier are coming from two-hook bottom rigs with shrimp and Fishbites, and the larger mullet are even hitting Gotcha plugs and metal spoons (like Kastmasters and Hopkins).
Those soaking bait on the bottom should also see some action with pompano.
Red drum of a good size are being caught off the piers and beaches. Use cut mullet ( or soft plastic lures being bounced off the bottom) almost as if targeting flounder.
The trout bite inshore continues to be good, with walking baits, subsurface lures, and topwaters working on the fish. Look for the rips to find the fish.
Redfish inshore can be found around deep drops and will hit soft plastics or cut mullet on the bottom.
Offshore, the king mackerel bite has picked up 40-60 miles out, and anglers can pull dead or live bait to connect with the fish.
Small blackfin are providing most of the action in the Stream, and anglers should look for tuna chasing glass minnows down the mud line.
Sharks are showing back up in area waters, including black tips, spinners, and silkies. Now that water temperatures are above 60 degrees, sand tigers should also make an appearance. Large schools of cownose and southern rays have also been seen moving through the area.
Matt, of Pogies Fishing Center, reports that the red drum are still schooled up. They’re in smaller groups than they were, but anglers can still find schools of 50-100 fish.
The trout are starting to move out, aiding in a good spring bite, and throwing golden brim Zoom baits on 1/8 oz. jigheads should connect with the fish.
The chopper blues are everywhere and will take just about anything, like cut bait and artificials on jigs. Anglers are even picking them up when targeting redfish.
Flounder are starting to show up in better numbers. Expect fish from 14-18”, and using Gulp white shrimp is the way to hook the flatfish.
The nearshore bite is starting to pick up, with bonito and albacore showing up. Cast jigfish and stingsilvers to the fish to land them.
Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that redfish are still schooled up everywhere, with cut bait and the occasional topwater getting bites, even with the fish being finicky.
There’s been a good trout bite in the river and in a few of the creeks, with artificials being the way to connect with the specks. Throw MirrOlures and Zoom flukes to land the fish.
Random flounder are being caught here and there in deeper channels inshore, and there’s been a great bite with chopper blues from beachfront to backwater. The fish are up in the flats as well, near oyster points with currents, and anglers can catch them on soft plastics with wire leaders or on topwater.
The bonito have shown up off the beach. They’ve been biting trolled Yo-Zuris, or anglers can cast small jigs like stingsilvers to them.
Johnathan, of OnPoint Charters, reports that anglers are still sightcasting for reds on the flats and having good results with Gulp shrimp and jerk shads. Most of the fish are upper-slot, with some over-slot fish also being found.
Those looking to hook a speck should throw Gulp jerk shads or MR17s around typical trout locations.
Chopper blues have stayed in the area and are everywhere. Anglers can throw just about anything at the fish to tempt a bite (but should remember a wire leader).
A few cobia are showing up offshore.
Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that nearshore the big chopper blues are around, and anglers are catching them from the nearshore rocks and reefs, to the surf, and even inshore. Saltwater poppers and Gotcha plugs are the ways to connect with the fish.
The small blues are around, and the spanish have shown up mixed in with them. Chunk fishing has yielded both, as well as citation-sized red drum.
Blackfin tuna have been reported nearshore, right off the beaches, and at least one was landed from Bogue Inlet Pier on a Gotcha plug.
There has been one cobia reported in the area, and more are expected to move in as the waters warm.
The king mackerel have shown up in the 25-30 miles range but are still small in size.
Offshore, bottom fishing has been decent, with triggers, black sea bass, and beeliners being landed.
The Gulf Stream has yielded big wahoo, with several citation-sized fish being reported. Pull ballyhoo and skirted baits, as well as high speed lures, to connect with the fish.
There are blackfin tuna around, as well as a few dolphin and sails. Pull the same for the wahoo to connect with both species, with blue/white, red/black, and pink/blue being the favored colors.
Mike, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that anglers are catching sea mullet, big chopper blues, and black drum from the planks, as well as puppy drum. The bluefish are weighing in between 8-10 lbs., and larger black drum, around 13 lbs., have also been netted. Early season pompano have started showing up as well, but there hasn’t been much size to them yet.
The spanish mackerel should arrive any day.
A blackfin tuna was caught and released from the pier, falling for a Gotcha plug.