Morehead City/Atlantic Beach – October 11, 2018
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, reports that there’s been some good inshore red drum action lately, which indicates they weren’t harmed by the storm.
Speckled trout fishing should be phenomenal very soon. After the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew last year, local anglers saw one of the best speck seasons in years due to the fresh water pushing all the fish directly into the area, and conditions should be no different after Florence.
Quite a few spot are being caught as well, with bloodworms serving as the best bait.
Surf fishing for red drum has improved after the storm, with new cuts being formed near Fort Macon that are allowing anglers to access deeper water easier. Some big spanish have also been coming from the Fort Macon area by surf anglers throwing casting jigs.
Nearshore flounder fishing has been surprisingly good post-Florence. AR-315 and the Port Wall have been holding fish up to 6+ lbs., and the reefs are holding plenty of flatties as well. Live mullet and Gulp-tipped bucktails have been putting the most fish in the boat. Gray trout in the 2-3 lb. range have also been hanging around AR-315 and hitting the same baits that the flounder are going after.
Albacore fishing had been just about as good as it gets after Florence, with acres of fish ready to be caught. When the eastern wind picked up, the bite slowed, but the fish are still out there and should be thick once a cold front comes through.
Good numbers of spanish and blues are being caught around the Cape. Spanish Candies and heavy glass minnow jigs have been getting bites, with fish responding well to the troll, too. Kings have been sparse.
Offshore fishing has been all about wahoo, with fish as big as 67 lbs. coming in. Blackfin tuna are also starting to bite more readily, and a few mahi have been caught as well.
Paul, of Freeman’s Bait & Tackle, reports that right after Florence passed, fishing was phenomenal, but a strong west wind has put a bit of a damper on the action. Speckled trout were showing up in the marshes, and the surf was full of reds, pompano, sea mullet, and bluefish. While the specks are still in the backwaters, the suds are holding smaller numbers of smaller fish.
False albacore and spanish mackerel were biting strong very close to the beach thanks to the fact that the water cleared up so quickly after the storm, but the bite has since diminished and the fish have moved a little farther away from land.
Offshore, the wahoo bite has been on fire, and some really big yellowfin and blackfin tuna have been caught as well. Mahi have been mixed in.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that inshore fishing has produced flounder and redfish. Most of them are coming in on live mullet while fishing around docks.
Plenty of 3-5 lb. bluefish and false albacore are being caught off the beach from Beaufort Inlet all the way to Cape Lookout. Casting metal jigs and flies has been the trick.
Dave, of Cape Lookout Charters, reports that speckled trout and redfish can be found in the marshes and on the beach. Top Dogs and She Dogs have been productive lures for both species.
Black drum and sheepshead are chewing around area bridges and docks.
The past few weeks have provided clear water and a great bite at Cape Lookout. False albacore, bluefish, and spanish have all been in the mix, with glass minnows producing plenty of bites. Casting spec rigs and small 1/2 oz. spoons has also been fooling plenty of fish.
King mackerel have been swimming on the nearshore reefs and live bottom areas, where live bait has been working well.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that flounder are prevalent in the marshes, sounds, and inlets, especially the closer you get to saltier ocean waters. Jigs, plastic shrimp, live mullet, or pinfish will get the job done around cutbanks, docks, bridges, and jetties. Lure and sinker weights should be just heavy enough to maintain contact with the bottom as required.
Flounder fishing in the ocean on the nearshore ARs and ledges has proven productive as well, especially when using 2 oz. bucktails (preferably with a pearl trailer). The beauty of this technique is that it will also produce such species as weakfish and cobia that inhabit the same structure.
False albacore are getting thick from Beaufort Inlet to the Cape. If you don’t see any birds attacking the surface of the water, troll traditional Clarkspoons or Yo-Zuri Deep Divers as if you were going for spanish. If you see fish busting, use casting jigs in the 1/2 to 2 oz. range.
Most days, it’s more important to match the prey’s size rather than the color, but you can never go wrong with pink.
Wahoo are thick in the Gulf Stream off Beaufort Inlet, and blackfin catches are increasing. Trolling skirted ballyhoo rigged on #9 wire will put you on fish, and it doesn’t hurt to deploy a high speed lure on the way to your favorite deep water fishing hole.
Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that Hurricane Florence had no effect on the great wahoo fishing in 40 fathoms, particularly around the Big Rock. Wire and Sea Witches have been the best method for bringing in a big ‘hoo, which are averaging between 30-60 lbs.