Hatteras – May 24, 2018
Ryan, of Hatteras Jack, reports that soundside anglers are having great luck with red drum. Both puppy and a few citation “old” drum are being caught on Carolina-rigged cut baits.
Sheepshead have begun biting well around the Oregon Inlet Bridge and similar structure. Anglers using fiddler crabs and sand fleas on bottom rigs fished tight to the pilings are having the most success.
Surf anglers are finding good numbers of sea mullet and a few smaller flounder. Bottom rigs with shrimp are producing a majority of the bites while fishing sloughs off the beach.
A few tailor bluefish are being caught by anglers fishing cut mullet on a Carolina rig.
Schools of citation red drum are being caught at Cape Point by anglers using Carolina rigs with cut mullet, and anglers bottom fishing at the Point are also hooking large numbers of sharks while waiting for the “old” drum.
The cobia have begun to show up in really good numbers off the Pea Island beaches. Boats have been sight casting to the fish with 2-3 oz. bucktail jigs and 6” curly tail grubs. Most anglers/boats are catching their limit.
Offshore anglers are finding a bunch of gaffer mahi and blackfin tuna. Trolling skirted ballyhoo continues to produce the majority of bites.
Jim, of Rodanthe Pier, reports that the sea mullet are feeding. Double loop bottom rigs with shrimp or bloodworms are getting the most bites.
Sharks and skates are biting well for anglers fishing with cut baits.
A few puppy drum are being caught on Carolina-rigged mullet fished closer to the breakers, and good numbers of tailor bluefish are hitting Gotcha plugs near the end of the pier.
Spanish mackerel are beginning to show up around the end of the pier as well. Anglers working a Gotcha plug or Stingsilver jig are getting a few bites.
Randy, of Frank and Fran’s, reports that pompano fishing has been great in the surf. Casting close to shore with Carolina rigs and smaller pieces of shrimp or sand fleas are getting most of the bites.
Citation red drum are being caught at the Point. Anglers fishing a large Carolina rig and fresh cut bait are finding the most action.
A few puppy drum are biting in the surf and have favored shrimp or mullet on a bottom rig. Smaller flounder (10-14”) are being caught in good numbers by anglers using 1/4 oz. jig heads with Gulp soft plastics.
Cameron, of Frisco Tackle, reports that citation red drum have been biting Carolina-rigged cut baits very well at the Point. Nights with the right conditions are producing double digit fish.
Anglers rigged with casting spoons are catching bluefish and some spanish mackerel around the Point.
Surf anglers fishing double loop bottom rigs with smaller baits are catching sea mullet and pompano. The bigger pompano have preferred sand fleas and bloodworms.
Sheepshead and a few black drum have been caught by anglers using Carolina-rigged sand fleas.
JAM, of Teach’s Lair Marina, reports that mahi fishing is “on fire.” Boats are coming in with limits of gaffer fish being caught while trolling skirted baits. One bull mahi went 50 lbs. this week.
A good number blackfin tuna are hitting the docks as well.
Yellowfin tuna are still mixed in with the daily catch, and they are good-sized (35-50 lbs.) when the captains find them.
The billfish bite has been steady. Boats targeting both blue and white marlin with larger baits are getting a good number of fish in their spreads, including a 690 lb. blue marlin weighed this week for a local tournament.
Anglers bottom fishing local wrecks and live bottom have found large schools of triggerfish very willing to bite.
Cobia have arrived just off the beaches in strong numbers. Easy limits are being made by anglers sight casting 2 oz. bucktails with a curly tail grub.
Joey, of Fingeance Sportfishing, reports that nearshore trolling has produced good numbers of spanish mackerel and bluefish. When the larger schools are busting the surface, casting metal glass minnow jigs has produced bites.
Cobia have officially shown up in great numbers. Sight casting with bucktail jigs has produced easy limits on recent trips.
Bottom fishing in the inlet has generated citation red drum landings, as the big reds continue to push inshore following the bait.
Puppy drum are being caught by anglers sight casting the flats inshore. A great “searching” lure has been a gold-colored Johnson Silver Minnow.
Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that mahi fishing is in full swing. Limits of gaffer-sized fish are quickly filling boxes for happy anglers.
Citation-sized blackfins are being caught on trolled ballyhoo and off kite rigs (when the weather allows).
A few bonito have been caught, but their numbers seem to have dwindled.
Some king mackerel have been landed around live bottom areas while trolling dead bait rigs.
Pulling larger Ilanders lures rigged with horse ballyhoo has produced some good-sized (200+ lbs.) blue marlin releases.
Bill, of Predator Sportfishing, reports that the dolphin bite has been great. Trips are returning to the docks with limits of gaffer-sized fish and a few bulls mixed in. Trolling pink-colored skirts has worked especially well.
Citation blackfin tuna are still being caught in large numbers, and bottom fishing has produced citation-sized tilefish.
Jesse, of Carolina Girl Sportfishing, reports that the mahi bite has been awesome in recent weeks. Limits of gaffer fish and some bulls are being picked off around weed lines and temperature breaks in the area.
Citation blackfin tuna are mixed in the daily counts as well, just adding to all the meat that anglers have been bringing home.
Bigeye tuna have been in the area giving anglers a good fight on skirted ballyhoo.
An occasional wahoo is still being caught on some trips, and they are a great surprise when they tear through the spread.
Billfishing has really picked up, with good numbers of blue and white marlin being reported. The blue marlin are large (300+ lb.) fish. A couple of sailfish have been released as well.
Bottom fishing is producing good numbers of large grouper and blue tilefish.
Jimmy, of Tradewinds Bait and Tackle, reports that strong numbers of sea mullet are being caught in the surf. Fishing a double loop bottom rig with bloodworms or Fishbites artificial bloodworm strips has enticed the majority of the bites.
Schools of tailor-sized bluefish are running the surf zone as well, and they’re feeding on Carolina-rigged cut baits. Some chopper blues are still being reported, though their presence has thinned out.
Anglers fishing the area’s inlets are catching red drum while bottom fishing Carolina rigs with cut mullet.
Schools of spanish mackerel have shown up nearshore and have been caught best by boats trolling Clarkspoons behind planers.