Fish Post

Swansboro – June 8, 2017

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Griffin, of Reel Outdoors, reports that anglers targeting sheepshead around bridges and dock structure are hooking in to some large fish. While fishing these areas, some large black drum have been mixed in (up to the 20 lb. mark). Fiddler crabs have been the bait of choice.

Anglers searching for redfish have had the most luck throwing topwater plugs like Rapala Skitterwalks early in the morning. Then the reds are becoming more scattered as the water temperature rises. After the morning bite is over, the redfish have been most likely to hit a live mullet or a Gulp shrimp in new penny. Gulp jerk shads in smelt and molting color have been effective on the reds. Those fishing with Gulp or live mullet are also likely to hook in to flounder, including more keeper fish.

Plenty of gray trout have moved in to the area. Anglers are having success targeting the trout around the Atlantic Beach Bridge, as well as any typical speckled trout hole. Fresh shrimp works great for the gray trout.

Nearshore anglers are still hooking good numbers of cobia. When the weather allows, anglers are sight fishing with bucktails near bait balls and other nearshore structure. Then when the wind is up or it’s too cloudy, anglers have had success bottom fishing with menhaden.

Spanish and bluefish have been holding 1-3 miles off the beach, with anglers trolling Clarkspoons landing good numbers of keeper-size spanish and small bluefish.

Anglers fishing the surf have been hooking a few drum on cut mullet. Blacktip sharks have also been feeding in the surf zone, for anglers looking for a good pull.


Jordan Atkins (left), of Trinty, NC, with a swordfish caught in over 1000’ of water off of Cape Lookout. According to a source at NCDMF, this is the first swordfish ever caught off the North Carolina coast by a lady angler. She was fishing on the “Sensation” out of the Morehead City waterfront with Capt. Dale Britt and Mate Patrick Dufour.


Perry, of Pogies Fishing Center, reports that anglers chasing redfish in the marsh have had no problem putting double digits in the boat. The tide hasn’t really seemed to affect the bite in the marsh on these reds (in the 16-24” range). Anglers throwing soft plastics are having the most luck on Zoom and Gulp jerk shads in white or Gulp shrimp in pearl or pearl with chartreuse tails. Early in the day anglers are having success tossing topwater plugs. Rapala Skitterwalks and Skitter Vs have been the ticket.

Flounder have been feeding well in the marsh, and anglers tossing pearl Gulp shrimp on a jig head or tipped on a white bucktail have been putting solid numbers in the boat. The flounder have mostly ranged from undersized to around 16”, but fish in the 4-5 lb. range have been weighed in as well. A few speckled trout have also been landed while flounder fishing.

The sheepshead bite around the Swansboro Bridge has been producing well for anglers dropping fiddler crabs. Anglers targeting the slack tide have been finding the best numbers of fish, and some fish pushing the 6 lb. mark have been landed.

Nearshore, spanish are feeding right off the beach, and anglers trolling Clarkspoons is attracting the most action. In the 3-10 mile range, boats are hooking good numbers of kings. Most are on the small side, but there is plenty of action and good numbers of fish being landed.

Mahi are also feeding inside the 10 mile mark. Most have only been around 5 lbs., but boats are able to fill the coolers with them.


Kenny Ray, of Durham, with a chopper blue landed in the Atlantic Beach surf on cut mullet.

Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that anglers have been having some great topwater action on the redfish. The reds have been more scattered and hanging around oyster rocks in the shallows. When the reds won’t feed on top, throwing Gulp shrimp and jerk shads is working. Most have been in the 17-21” range, with a few overslot fish mixed in.


Black drum and sheepshead have been holding around area bridges and oyster structure. Both species have been willing to take fiddler crabs or live shrimp. Anglers are finding most of the larger sheepshead are staging near oyster bars in the flats, and they are having luck throwing a live shrimp with a small split-shot weight.

Flounder are showing up more and more each day. Most fish are being caught on Gulp soft plastics while redfishing, but some anglers are having luck with live mud minnows and menhaden near creek mouths and in the shallow bays. The flounder have been mostly 16-18”.

Nearshore anglers are finding plenty of action with spanish in the 13-16” range while fishing 1-3 miles out. Anglers choosing to go a bit further out (in the 5-10 mile range) are being rewarded with quality spanish pushing the 5 lb. mark. Live menhaden have been working best for the larger spanish.

Jigging around the nearshore reefs, anglers are starting to boat quite a few keeper flounder. Bucktails tipped with pearl white Gulp shrimp or ripple mullet has been the ticket.

In the 5-10 mile range, kings have been scattered.


Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that the inshore sheepshead bite has stayed consistent. Fishing live fiddler crabs around docks and bridges has produced the most fish.

Redfish have been cruising the shallows in smaller numbers looking for a meal. Anglers have stayed busy tossing MirrOlure Top Dog Jrs and Rapala Skitterwalks for the reds. When the redfish can’t be tempted to eat on top, cut mullet on a Carolina rig has done the trick.

Flounder have also made their way inside in better numbers. The best tactic has been fishing live finger mullet on Carolina rigs and bouncing Zoom jerk shads off the bottom.

Nearshore, anglers are trolling Clarkspoons on #1 planers and hooking plenty of 1-3 lb. spanish. Cobia have been feeding around bait balls, and anglers tossing bucktails tipped with 8” soft plastics are finding success.


Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that the nearshore bite continues to provide anglers with plenty of action. Right off the beach, anglers are casting to schools of spanish and bluefish with Stingsilvers, and they’re also trolling Clarkspoons to fill the cooler.

Cobia have been scattered in the area, but fishing Barden Inlet with dead baits on the bottom has provided anglers with some action. When the conditions are right, anglers can also sight fish to cobia off of bait balls with Hogy baits.

Out to the 10-12 mile range, anglers fishing the bottom have connected with plenty of keeper grouper. In the 15-20 mile range, kings and smaller dolphin are being landed trolling cigar minnows and ballyhoo.

The Gulf Stream is producing a great blue marlin bite while trolling Ilanders in the 500-600′ range. Dolphin are feeding out at the Stream on rigged ballyhoo, and red/black and pink/blue have been the hot colors. There have also been some scattered wahoo and blackfin in the area.


Mike, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that anglers fishing with fresh shrimp have landed some nice pompano, sea mullet, and flounder. Bluefish and spanish have been feeding near the top, and Gotcha plugs and Stingsilvers have been the way to go.

A large cobia was hooked on the pier using a bluefish, but it was not landed.