Morehead – May 24, 2018
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, reports that fishing for red drum has been sporadic, with the most predictable action this week found around the Haystacks and Core Creek area. They’re biting best on gold spoons, Redfish Magics, topwater plugs, and popping corks.
Sheepshead and black drum can be found in their usual spots near bridges and the port wall.
On the beach, bluefish, pompano, croakers, and pigfish are being caught, with some red and black drum being spotted as well. Spanish are biting especially well in the surf zone at Fort Macon and are taking heavy glass minnow jigs. The blues are going for Gotcha plugs, and the other species are being caught on a variety of baits on the bottom.
The cobia haven’t been as present as they were this time last year, but the presence of sea turtles have attracted more fish to hang around. Bowed Up custom bucktails, Sea Striker Bug Eyes, and Savage Real Eels are working for artificial baits, while menhaden and live eels with chum have been effective as well.
Spanish fishing has been on fire this week as the fish move in along the beaches. A lot of success has been found right outside of Beaufort Inlet on the bar, with heavy glass minnow jigs and the new Spanish Candy jigs working equally well. Anglers trolling along the Cape Lookout shoals are catching nice spanish on Clarkspoons, squid chains, and Bowed Up spoons. Blues have been mixed in, especially around bait balls.
Bull reds and big black drum have been seen schooling around menhaden, with most of the sightings on the east side of the Cape. The drum have been skittish, but Bowed Up spoons and Sea Striker Bug Eye bucktails will increase your chances of landing one.
A few flounder are starting to show up at the nearshore reefs, with the best action near AR-285 and the best tactic jigging 2 oz. Spro bucktails tipped with Gulp 4” shrimp.
Bonito will be heading out soon, but they’re still being found around AR-315. The bulk of them have been caught by trolling Yo-Zuri Deep Divers or casting Stingsilvers and Epoxy jigs.
Offshore, dolphin fishing is about as good as it gets right now, with fish over 50 lbs. coming in. A good mix of tuna and wahoo are also still biting, and some billfish are starting to get caught as well. The bite for all species has been scattered, with fish being found from north of the Big Rock down to the Rise and as close as the 90’ Drop. Sea Witches, Ilander Jrs, and Sail Lures have all been catching fish.
On the bottom, grouper, sea bass, and triggers have all been prevalent. The best catches are coming from the 240 Rocks and around the 90’ Drop.
Cody, of Freeman’s Bait & Tackle, reports that fish migration is in full swing thanks to water temperatures warming about one degree a day.
Red drum have been readily taking topwater lures, especially when cast near oyster bars and shallow mud flats with a fast retrieve. Speckled trout are spawning, so it’s advised to let them do so until the beginning of June.
Sheepshead and black drum are here, with fiddler crabs on a Carolina rig doing the most damage when fished next to docks and bridge pilings.
Flounder and gray trout are being caught inshore in the ICW and around the Atlantic Beach Bridge, as well as on nearshore wrecks and reefs.
In the surf, black drum, pompano, bluefish, sea mullet, croaker, red drum, and flounder are all biting. The flounder are going for Gulp shrimp on a jig head, while cut shrimp will potentially get all the other fish along the beachfront.
Some nice spanish are being caught at Fort Macon and the Coast Guard Station around to the jetty. Kastmaster spoons, Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows, Breakday jigs, and small plastic jerk shads will all work.
Cobia fishing has started off strong, with the hook of the cape and Beaufort Inlet providing the most action. Chopper blues are just about gone, but they’ve been replaced by spanish mackerel, which can be caught by trolling or casting the same lures.
Offshore, world-class gaffer dolphin fishing has been seen near the Big Rock or anywhere with a good temperature break and grass line. Wahoo, blackfins, yellowfins, sailfish, and blue and white marlin have also been in the mix.
The best bottom fishing has been for grouper in the 120-200’ depth range.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that bonito, spanish mackerel, and cobia have all been biting. The bonito are hitting spoons, as are the spanish (00 Clarkspoons being the best). Spanish are also falling for casting jigs.
The cobia can be found around Cape Lookout and are taking pogies and bucktails.
Dave, of Cape Lookout Charters, reports that the Newport River is holding some nice speckled trout and redfish. They’re being caught on Gulps, fresh cut mullet, and Zara Spooks.
Sheepshead and black drum can be found under the Beaufort high rise bridge, where clams and crabs are working as bait.
Beaufort Inlet is producing bluefish and spanish mackerel, both of which are being caught by trolling Clarkspoons on planers or casting silver spoons and Gotcha plugs.
A few cobia are being found on the bottom near the Cape Lookout Bight. Live shad has been an attractive bait.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that area docks are holding flounder and drum, with mud minnows or jigs working well for both.
Off the beach, spanish and bluefish can be caught by trolling pink-flash Clarkspoons. There have also been a few cobia around, especially near area inlets and around the cape. Bottom fishing with live bait is working well.
Mahi, tuna, and wahoo are all biting offshore. Rigged ballyhoo is the go-to bait for all three species.
Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that dolphin are biting off of the Big Rock in 100 fathoms or so. Sea Witches seem to be the best tactic for the mahi.
There has also been a decent wahoo bite on the Rock in about 40 fathoms of water, and a handful of yellowfin tuna have been found up and down the break.
Luanne, of Oceanana Pier, reports that fishing has been very slow, with the occasional bluefish, spanish mackerel, and sea mullet coming in over the last few weeks.