Morehead City/Atlantic Beach – Aug 16, 2018
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, reports that sheepshead fishing is getting back to normal thanks to the water starting to clear up, and a few fish over 5 lbs. have come in from area bridges, docks, and the port area. Sea urchins and fiddler crabs are working best, especially when fished on live fiddler crab jigs.
Even with the dirty water, flounder fishing remains strong along the port area and railroad tracks. Live minnows have been top producers. Some huge bluefish have also been coming in from anglers targeting flounder.
Old drum season is getting into full swing, with plenty of fish starting to show up in the river. Night anglers are having luck bottom fishing with fresh mullet, while artificials are working during the day. Along with the big drum, plenty of slot fish have been caught around Cape Lookout and the Core Creek area, mostly on live shrimp under corks. Gold spoons and topwater plugs along the grass edges and oyster bar areas are also pulling in fish. The railroad tracks and bridges are producing slot reds on live mullet, too.
Spanish fishing is back to what it was before the wind and rain, and the best action right now is up around the Cape Lookout area, since the water is the cleanest there. Trolling Bowed-Up Spoons and Clarkspoons have been working the best, and for the schooling fish patrolling the shoals, Spanish Candies and glass minnow jigs are great for sight casting. There have also been some spanish around Beaufort Inlet and along AB Beach, though they’ve been harder to catch. In addition, AR-315 and AR-285 have been good places to look, where there are plenty of bluefish around, too.
Some nice kings (close to 50 lbs.) have come in from east of Cape Lookout, as well as around AR-315. Slow trolling live baits or dead cigar minnows on Mac a Hoo’s and dead bait rigs has been producing the most fish.
Plenty of flounder have come up from the nearshore ARs over the last few days, where 2 oz. bucktails tipped with 4” white Gulp shrimp are still by far the best choice for attracting them.
Surf fishing has been slow, but it’s starting to pick back up. Anglers have primarily been finding red drum on fresh mullet, and catching sea mullet on fresh shrimp. The surf action should only continue to improve in the coming weeks and months.
Offshore, wahoo season is definitely kicking off, especially from around the Big Rock area. A few dolphin have also been in the mix.
Bottom fishing on the east side of Cape Lookout in 100’ of water has been great for grouper, and the opening of red snapper has been productive on the east side and around the 14 buoy. Squid wings, cigar minnows, sardines, and mackerel are all fantastic bait choices.
Paul, of Freeman’s Bait & Tackle, reports that topwater fishing for red drum has been excellent. The reds have been hanging around areas with high concentrations of striped mullet, which is typically on shallow mud or shell flats with some oyster shells nearby.
The speckled trout bite has been hit or miss. Live bait and artificial Vudu and Gulp shrimp have been producing specks, and your chances are always high when topwater fishing at dawn.
Flounder fishing has been strong, with Carolina-rigged live mullet as the best way to target them.
Sheepshead and black drum are hanging around the Port Wall, AB Bridge, and local docks and marinas, where fiddler crabs will attract a bite.
Surf fishing is starting to pick up, with a lot of spanish and blues being caught on plugs, and black drum, pompano, sea mullet, croaker, and red drum coming from the bottom on dead baits. Flounder, red drum, and the occasional speckled trout are coming in on both live and artificial baits.
Nearshore fishing has been solid, with plenty of kings and a few scattered dolphin being caught from the Sea Buoy and NW Places. A few cobia have still been around as well. Some nice spanish and flounder are being pulled in from the waters around AR-315, and amberjacks and barracuda have been out in force.
Offshore fishing has been slow, but some nice wahoo have come in on the troll, and plenty of sailfish and white marlin are hanging around the Big Rock. On the bottom, grouper fishing has been excellent.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that inshore redfish and flounder fishing has been steady, with Gulp/bucktail combos and live baits producing fish in all the normal places.
Nearshore bottom fishing has been the most productive, though, with squid and cut bait working great for triggers, grunts, and beeliners in 100-115’ of water to the south of Beaufort Inlet.
Dave, of Cape Lookout Charters, reports that the red drum action has been excellent, with most of the fish measuring in the 25-33” range. Fresh cut mullet and shad have been the best bet. The Newport River, North River, and middle marsh have all been the go-to places to look, and you’ll find some trout and flounder mixed in as well.
The spanish and bluefish bite has been strong at the Cape Lookout shoals. Trolled spoons and small casted spoons and jigs have been working great.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that nice bull reds have been swimming in the Neuse. A 6” Z-Man SwimmerZ or DOA Airhead on a 1/4 oz. jig head hung under a Blabbermouth cork is the best setup, and don’t worry too much about color, because the reds won’t. The main river points and shoals that are holding bait will be the best places to look, but work any sign of bait that you find, especially menhaden.
Inshore and nearshore flounder action changes by the day, but more fish are starting to show up overall. Use your favorite speck jig for the inshore flatties and Z-Man or Gulp-tipped bucktails for the ones in the ocean.
Live and dead baiting has been producing kings anywhere from the beach out to nearshore structure, and live bait on downsized rigs gets the nod for some stud spanish.
Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that good wahoo fishing can be found around the Big Rock in 30-40 fathoms on wire and medium ballyhoo with Sea Witches. A few sailfish have come in on the same setup.
Wayne, of Oceanana Pier, reports that fishing has been very slow due to a lot of fresh water around the pier, but over the last weekend anglers have produced 3-4 lb. (and one 6 lb.) spanish, blues, and sea mullet. Plugs, spoons, and live bait are working for the spanish and blues in the early mornings and evenings.