Hatteras/Ocracoke – October 25, 2018
Irvin, of Hatteras Jack, reports that big red drum (averaging 35-40”) have shown up in the surf, and there are still plenty of bluefish, flounder, and sea mullet to be caught.
Speckled trout are making their way out of the sound, though some can still be caught on the sound side, too. Most of the specks are just short of the legal limit, but a few 2.5-3 lb. fish are being landed as well. Mullet have been the most popular bait all around.
Up around Oregon Inlet, boats are hooking sheepshead under the bridge.
Debbie, of Rodanthe Pier, reports that puppy drum (and a handful of the 42-48” bull reds), bluefish, sea mullet, pompano, and a mixed bag of other species have been coming in. Most anglers are using fresh shrimp and mullet.
Stephanie, of Frank and Fran’s, reports that some speckled and gray trout are being caught in the sound, but for the most part, all the action has moved over to the surf. Plenty of slot puppy drum are feeding up and down the beaches during the day, with bull reds being caught overnight at the Point.
Bluefish and sea mullet in mixed sizes are coming in, and anglers can still take advantage of a good pompano bite.
Spots are making runs here and there, but most of the fish have been smaller. Fresh mullet and shrimp have been great baits, and bloodworms are always a solid go-to.
Tobi, of Avon Pier, reports that bull reds in the 42” range and puppy drum in the 22” range have been pulled over the rails in the early morning.
In the evenings, spot, pompano, sea mullet, bluefish, and speckled trout are all being landed. Shrimp, bloodworms, and mullet are the top three baits.
Beverly, of Frisco Tackle, reports that bluefish and puppy drum have been making up the majority of the surf catch, and while not many sea mullet have made an appearance yet, they should be on the way.
On the sound side, there are plenty of finger mullet in the water, and speckled trout and puppy drum are chasing them. If you can’t get your hands on the finger mullet, shrimp and bloodworms are excellent baits as well.
Terry, of Teach’s Lair, reports that inshore and surf anglers alike are finding puppy drum. The surf is also producing plenty of bluefish and pompano (up to citation size). Mullet have been the best bait all around.
Boat trips have been limited due to the weather and water conditions, but one nearshore half day boat was able to bring in a mixed bag of over 100 bluefish and spanish mackerel.
Joey, of Fingeance Sportfishing, reports that the slot red drum action in the area has been fantastic, with cut mullet and Pro-Cure working well to catch big numbers in the murky water.
Keeper speckled trout have been hard to find, but there are massive amounts of 13-13.75” fish around, so late fall is shaping up to be highly productive.
Big numbers of spanish mackerel have been coming from the waters just off the beach, with casting and trolling both working well.
Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that the last two weeks have been plagued with high winds and rough water, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fish biting. Blackfin tuna and wahoo up to 75 lbs. are readily available, and mahi can still be found around floats.
Sailfish are being picked up as well, and the occasional barracuda or false albacore may strike at any moment.
Bill, of Predator Sportfishing, reports that the wind has been tough to deal with lately, but a few trips have been possible. Lots of wahoo have been coming in, with Ilanders on planer rods accounting for most of the action.
A planer rod was also responsible for a 40 lb. bull dolphin.
Blackfin tuna are starting to show up in good numbers, and kings are making an appearance as well. Most days see 2-4 kings in the 20+ lb. range, but those numbers should drastically improve come the beginning of November.
On the bottom, plenty of triggerfish have been biting. Chunks of squid work well, but just about any kind of cut bait should draw attention.
Jessie, of Carolina Girl Sportfishing, reports that there are still some mahi around, and wahoo fishing has been outstanding, with many citation fish being landed.
Kings have been showing up around bait, and it’s only a matter of time before the big king bite kicks in.
Both blackfin and yellowfin tuna have been scattered.
Ken, of Tradewinds Bait and Tackle, reports that fishing has been great, and this is the best time to come take advantage of it. The drum run has started, and fish of all sizes are patrolling the beach (with most of the over-slot fish coming in at night).
Despite being late in the season, spanish and pompano are still being caught, too.
Black drum and sheepshead are biting mostly on the sound side, and sea trout and bluefish are just about everywhere you look. Cut and frozen mullet are working well for bait, but bloodworm Fishbites have also been successful.