Morehead City/ Atlantic Beach – Aug 2, 2018
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, reports that fishing overall has been slow due to the bad weather that’s been plaguing the coast, but anglers fishing the Neuse River have seen success when targeting all the main summer species.
Flounder and red drum are biting live minnows, and the reds (along with speckled trout) are also going for live shrimp under popping corks along the grass banks. A few old drum have showed up, too, and that bite should be busting loose very soon.
The Taylor’s Creek docks are providing some speckled trout action for anglers using live shrimp, and flounder can be found in and around the ICW as well.
The sheepshead bite hasn’t been affected by the weather at all, as some 9 lb. fish are still biting in all the usual spots, with fiddler crabs, sea urchins, and Fiddler Crab Jigs all fooling fish.
Outside, the spanish have slowed down considerably along the beach, but they should pick back up once the waves calm a little.
A little further out, the Cape Lookout area is holding some big schools of bluefish that are biting just about anything thrown at them, and the port area is producing some nice flounder on live minnows.
Offshore fishing has been all but impossible because of the weather, but expect action to return to normal when the weather allows it, with mahi and billfish making up the majority of the Gulf Stream catch.
Paul, of Freeman’s Bait & Tackle, reports that if you can find a window of clear skies and calm winds, you can take advantage of an awesome red drum topwater bite. The reds have been getting all the way into the spartina grass on flood tides, and they can be sight casted to as well, though they are very easily spooked in shallow water.
Speckled trout can be found in the earliest parts of the morning, and topwaters are the go-to for them as well.
Flounder are biting from dock pilings in the ICW out to the nearshore wrecks, and Carolina-rigged mullet minnows will do the trick when it comes to getting a bite.
Sheepshead and black drum have been showing up in good numbers around dock and bridge pilings in the ICW. Fiddler crabs remain the go-to bait.
Surf fishing has been productive for anglers soaking cut shrimp, squid, or mullet. These baits are attracting croaker, spot, black drum, sea mullet, pompano, red drum, and small flounder. Live baiting or casting artificials has been producing flounder, spanish, and red drum. A few pods of tarpon have been sighted running the beach in front of the Cape, but Fort Macon State Park near the Coast Guard Station is the most consistently productive place to look for fish in the surf.
Spanish and king mackerel, as well as some mahi, are scattered around the nearshore reefs and the sea buoy. Live baiting with menhaden or dead bait cigar minnow rigs are the way to go.
Offshore, things are slow, but it won’t be long until an awesome wahoo bite starts picking up. A few swordfish and blue marlin have been hooked as well.
Bottom fishing for grouper and triggers has been great over the last few weeks, with most of the grouper being caught in 65-70’ of water.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that fishing has been tough, but it’s not impossible to find fish if you know where to look. Inshore fishing has been all about red drum, which can be caught on shrimp under popping corks in shallow water and Carolina-rigged live mullet in deep water. Inshore flounder can be found using live bait as well.
There is still a good showing of bluefish off the beach, as well as some spanish that are responding well to metal jigs, and flounder can be found on the nearshore ARs when the weather cooperates.
Dave, of Cape Lookout Charters, reports that slot and over-slot redfish are coming from the inshore waters, where topwater Super Spooks and She Dogs are attracting the most attention. Some big speckled trout have been hitting the topwaters as well.
Some black drum have come in from the Atlantic Beach Bridge and the range markers in the inlet. Blue crabs have been the bait of choice. You’re also likely to bring up a sheepshead or two when targeting the big black drum, but the best sheepshead fishing has been near the community college.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that flounder and red drum are swimming around inshore structure, docks, and banks. Live mullet is working well for both.
It’s time for trophy drum in the Neuse, and a few are already coming in on popping corks rigged with 6″ swim baits. Dead baits fished both during the day and at night along shoal drop-offs will get the job done as well.
Nearshore, downsizing terminal tackle will draw strikes from big spanish.
School-sized kings are still thick on nearshore hard bottoms and reefs. Baits can be dead or alive.
The wahoo bite is picking up, and rigged ballyhoo on #9 wire is the ticket.
With the brown shrimp running, you can beat the heat with night time fishing along lighted docks and bridges. Trout and drum will be the main target, but don’t be surprised to find some ladyfish in the mix. Plastic shrimp imitations from Vudu will get the job done in the dark.
Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that fishing has been very slow, but when the weather allows for offshore fishing, a few wahoo have been found around the Big Rock and in 40 fathoms of water. Using medium ballyhoo on #9 wire should do a good enough job of fooling a big ‘hoo.
Julie, of Oceanana Pier, reports that a couple of black drum have come in, as well as a few puppy drum, though that bite is slowing down. A 2 lb. flounder was landed, but there are a lot of pinfish stealing any type of bait that’s dropped down to them.