Fish Post

Swansboro – July 6, 2017

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James, of Reel Outdoors, reports that anglers fishing the surf are hooking up with good numbers of pompano, sea mullet, and croaker using two-hook bottom rigs with fresh shrimp. Those tossing cut bait are landing a few redfish and bluefish, and casting Stingsilvers from the beach has produced good numbers of spanish in the 1-3 lb. range, as well as a few small bluefish.

Inshore fishing for sheepshead around bridge pilings and dock structure has been rewarding for those dropping live fiddler crabs and sea urchins. Many fish weighed in have been between 9-10 lbs. Throwing topwater plugs like Rapala Skitter Vs and Zara Super Spook Jrs during the first few hours of the day has yielded good catches of speckled trout and redfish. Once the sun gets up, anglers are finding most fish using soft plastics on jig heads. For the reds, cut mullet is also producing.

Fishing nearshore has provided plenty of action with large spanish in the 4-8 lb. range. Good numbers of fish are being landed while trolling Clarkspoons, but live menhaden has accounted for most of the larger fish.

Tarpon are making their way into the area, and Hogey plastics or live pinfish around bait pods and rolling fish should give anglers a shot at hooking one. A few cobia are still being spotted, and using cut baits has been the best way to hook one of these straggling fish.


Brian Weathersby, of Raleigh, NC, caught this barracuda from his Jetski while fishing the Tom Boyette Reef (AR-362). He was using a dead cigar minnow rigged with a Big Nic Mack A Hoo.


Matt, of Pogies Fishing Center, reports that redfish have continued to spread out inshore and fish have been harder to locate. Most anglers finding action with the reds have been tossing live mullet on Carolina rigs near docks and oyster structure.

Fishing for speckled trout has continued to be consistent for those tossing live shrimp or topwaters early in the morning. Targeting areas like the rocks in the White Oak River has been producing best.

Off the beach, spanish fishing has been hit or miss. Trolling Clarkspoons and covering lots of water has been the best way to put good numbers of fish in the boat. Plenty of kings in the 10 lb. class have been landed in the 10-15 mile range, and trolling dead cigar minnows has worked best.

A few amberjacks have also been landed in that same range.


Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that the redfish bite remains steady for 18-22” and 28-33” fish. Live mullet pinned on a Carolina rig has been the best tactic for the reds. Targeting docks and oyster structure has been the key to finding fish.

Flounder have been present in the feeder creeks while the tide is moving, and they are also willing to take a Carolina-rigged live mullet. Focusing on area docks and bridges closer to the slack tide has also worked well.

Nearshore, surface trolling with live shad and cigar minnows has been producing plenty of action. Small kings in the 5-10 lb. range, 4+ lb. spanish, and amberjacks have all been willing to partake around nearshore reefs. Flounder have also been feeding well on the reefs, and using a bucktail tipped with a soft plastic has done the trick.


Johnathan, of OnPoint Charters, reports that the sheepshead bite continues to be strong around area bridge and dock structure. Dropping live fiddler crabs has been the key to filling the cooler. Redfish are also feeding around waterway docks and oyster beds, but they have spread out quite a bit. Covering lots of water with live minnows or cut bait on Carolina rigs has worked best on the reds.

The nearshore reefs have been holding quite a few flounder in the 14-18” range, with several over the 20” mark. Dropping a Spro bucktail tipped with a Gulp shrimp has produced the best results.

Kings have been feeding well in the 10-15 mile range when slow trolling live menhaden or cigar minnows. Most fish have been between 5-10 lbs. A few dolphin in the 5-15 lb. range have also been mixed in with the kings.

Hank Messenger, of Raleigh, NC, caught this over-slot drum in the backwaters of Swansboro. He was fishing with Capt. Rob Koraly of Sandbar Safari Charters.

Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that nearshore fishing for kings has produced quick limits of 5-12 lb. fish. Most fish have been holding around the 10 mile mark and are willing to take a trolled menhaden or cigar minnow.

Larger spanish (from 3-6 lbs.) have also been in the mix, and targeting them with spinning tackle and jigs has filled the coolers. Some dolphin and false albacore have also been mixed in with the kings.

The nearshore reefs have held a mix of short and keeper flounder. Dropping Spro bucktails tipped with Gulp shrimp has been the most effective method for the flounder. A few short black sea bass have also been landed while flounder fishing.

Out at the Gulf Stream, gaffer dolphin, sailfish, and blackfin tuna have been active. Scaling down your rigs has been key to high number days, and trolling Sea Vixen lures has also greatly improved success rates.

When dropping to the bottom in 135-150′ of water, anglers have connected with grouper, keeper black sea bass, beeliners, and a few amberjacks.


Mallary, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that plugging in the early morning hours with Gotcha plugs has landed good numbers of spanish. Those fishing the bottom with shrimp have hooked up with spadefish and spots.