Morehead – April 26, 2018
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, reports that a decent amount of sea mullet have been caught when the wind dies down enough for anglers to get on the water. The Morehead side of the Turning Basin and around the 25 Buoy toward the Beaufort Inlet have been the best for the mullet, where bouncing around from spot to spot has produced the most fish. Gitters lures tipped with bait shrimp have been the most successful method.
Chopper blues are here, both along the beaches and inside the hook at Cape Lookout. Huge schools of fish have been seen in the 10-15 mile range, and they’re heading this way. Topwater chuggers are excellent at attracting blues, and some anglers have been finding success trolling Bowed Up spoons just off the shoals.
False albacore fishing has been decent and should improve with the weather. The albacore will come up to the surface to feed, making them easy to spot, and the Cape Lookout area has provided the best fishing. Bonito have been scarce but will likely start showing up around AR315, where trolling Yo-Zuri Deep Divers should do the trick.
Some really nice sea bass have been found in the 8 mile range just off the beaches, especially on AR285 and around the Atlas Tanker. Northwest Places are also providing some good action, as are hard bottom areas closer to the beach.
In the surf, sea mullet are starting to run, and Fishbites shrimp are doing the most damage to them. Red drum on the beaches are hitting cut mullet and finger mullet on bottom rigs. Chopper blues are showing up in small numbers, as are a few spots, croakers, and blowfish. Live baits are working for all of these species.
Offshore fishing has been difficult due to the weather, and it won’t get consistently good until the weather does. A few wahoo, some blackfins, and yellowfins have come in.
Bottom fishing has been producing triggerfish in the 30-40 mile range on hard bottoms and ledges. Plenty of sea bass and snappers are coming in as well. Nice grouper are also being found, though they can’t be kept until May 1.
Paul, of Freeman’s Bait & Tackle, reports that black and upper-slot/over-slot red drum are showing a strong presence both inside and around nearshore shoals. Shrimp are working for the black drum, while mullet is better for the reds. Sight casting to surface feeding fish has also been effective. Use a classic lead/grub combo or topwater lures such as Top Dogs, Top Pups, or Spooks.
Big bluefish are falling for the same baits that anglers are using for the drum, with cut mullet being their favorite. The blues are thick in the surf, off area piers, and just off the beach.
Playing catch and release with the many speckled trout that are still in area creeks makes for a great day of fishing, with artificial baits giving you the best chance of finding a big speck.
False albacore and sea mullet are biting just inside the inlet. Shrimp and yellow/chartreuse shrimp-scented Fishbites are the baits of choice for both species.
Nearshore reefs and rocks are holding a decent number of black sea bass. Offshore has been slow due to the wind, but once that dies down anglers can look forward to cobia season, which kicks off soon. The next two weeks should also bring an influx of spanish mackerel.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that there are plenty of chopper blues hanging in 50-75’ of water nearshore. The reefs are holding blues in the 3 lb. range and 12-16” gray trout. The blues are biting bucktails, and the trout are falling for jigs.
Atlantic bonito can be found in the same depths as the blues, where Stingsilvers work as the best bait. Some nice black sea bass can be found in 60-90’ of water, where bait-tipped bucktails will do the trick.
Dave, of Cape Lookout Charters, reports that big bluefish are in the surf, sounds, bays, and creeks. Topwater Spooks and Top Dogs are both fantastic baits to use for the blues.
Sea mullet, blow toads, and red drum are all being caught using shrimp fished on the bottom, and plenty of reds are also hanging on the wrecks and to the east side of Cape Lookout. Mullet, shad, and bucktails will do a great job of fooling them.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that there are still plenty of speckled trout in the marsh, where light jig heads with soft plastics or MirrOlure MR17s will give the best chance of getting a bite.
Flounder are starting to show up in 60’+ of water, where bucktails tipped with Gulp or Z-Man soft plastics should get the job done. Chopper blues are off the beach, and your best bet of finding them is to troll deep diving plugs or spoons on planers around nearshore wrecks. Jigging spoons and bucktails will work as well.
The chopper blues will be moving to the beach soon, but whether you’re fishing from the shore or in the boat, use topwater plugs, spoons, or cut bait to get your fish.
Springtime is the best time for bonito, and while the fish haven’t shown up in force yet, get ready to start trolling Yo-Zuri Deep Divers and Clarkspoons. When you find busting fish, start casting jigs.
Gray trout and sea mullet should also start biting heavily within the week. Fishbites and shrimp on double drop rigs will get the fish.
Offshore (when the wind is cooperating), yellowfin and blackfin tuna action is heating up, and wahoo are out there as well. Keep your lines tight and troll rigged ballyhoo, Green Machines, and cedar plugs to find the fish.
Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that the weather has been bad offshore, which has made fishing difficult. When the wind allows it, though, yellowfin tuna are making up the majority of the catch. They’re biting small ballyhoo on mono and Sea Witches, which are also working for the wahoo that can be found east of the rise.
Robin, of Oceanana Pier, reports that small blues are biting early in the morning and anglers are finding plenty of puppy drum and larger reds.