Fish Post

Northern Beaches – June 21, 2018

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Betty, of TW’s Bait and Tackle, reports that surf fishing on the southern beaches has been strong. Anglers are finding large numbers of sea mullet while fishing with sand fleas, and large schools of tailor bluefish and smaller spanish mackerel are hitting glass minnow jigs thrown into schools of feeding fish.

Pompano have been biting well and prefer sand fleas. There are flounder being caught as they continue to move in, but most are smaller-sized fish. The southern beach anglers are also reporting some puppy drum taking cut baits on Carolina rigs.

Surf anglers on the northern beaches are landing good numbers of larger sea mullet. In addition, bluefish schools are feeding well in the surf from Nags Head to Corolla.

The piers are catching sea mullet, triggerfish, and spadefish on bottom rigs, while anglers near the ends of the pier are rigged with Gotcha plugs for the spanish mackerel and bluefish as they cruise by feeding on glass minnows. A few cobia have been caught on the piers, but the action has slowed from the last couple of weeks.

Nearshore anglers have found good numbers of spanish mackerel, bluefish, and a few false albacore while trolling just off the areas beaches, and a couple of boats sight casting to fish have found cobia.

Anglers fishing the little bridge in Manteo are reporting large black drum biting on shrimp.

Smaller speckled trout and a few flounder (to 19”) have bitten well on shrimp and shrimp-imitation soft plastics.

Sheepshead are coming in from the Bonner Bridge and are feeding on mostly fiddler crabs.

Offshore boats are catching good numbers of both gaffer and bailer dolphin. Large yellowfin tuna are also being docked by anglers dragging skirted ballyhoo, and a few huge bigeye tuna (to 170 lbs.) have been mixed in with the yellowfins.

A couple citation wahoo have been caught out in the Gulf Stream, and blue marlin are being caught (and released) around the temperature breaks offshore.

Sam Smith with a big red caught on a Meat Hog bucktail off the north end of Oregon Inlet. She was fishing with Capt. Aaron Beatson of Carolina Sunrise Charters.

Norma, of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, reports that tuna have been the main offshore catch, with large yellowfin tuna (to 90 lbs.) hitting the docks. Trolling skirted ballyhoo has been working the best. A few large bigeye tuna are mixed in.

Blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish have all been caught offshore on the same skirted baits in the spread.

Good numbers of mahi are finishing out the counts, with a mixed bag of gaffer and bailer fish.

Nearshore anglers out sight fishing are finding roaming schools of slot to over-slot red drum hitting bucktails.

Trolling off the beach is producing great numbers of spanish mackerel, with a few bonus kings mixed in.

Inshore anglers are finding smaller groups of red drum on the flats, and flounder are pushing through the inlets and staging on drop-offs and channels in the area.

The head boat anglers are hooking good-sized flounder (to 19”), croaker, sea mullet, and spot while bottom fishing with shrimp.


Aaron, of Carolina Sunrise Charters, reports that cobia fishing has slowed down in the area, with only a few smaller fish being caught.

There are some citation red drum just off the beach, though, working bait balls.

Trolling the beaches with Clarkspoons or sight casting with glass minnow jigs has produced big numbers of good-sized spanish mackerel.

Speckled trout season is on again, and there are a good number of fish in the sound hanging around drop-offs.

Stacey Sheldon and Teresa Russell with a mahi that hit a ballyhoo on a blue and white Ilander Jr. while 18 miles off of Carolina Beach.

Nikki, of Pirate’s Cove Marina, reports that large yellowfin tuna (to 110 lbs.) have been feeding well offshore. A few bigeyes are mixed in the count as well. Luckily, the sharks have toned it down in the past week allowing more “full” tuna to make it into the boats.

Mahi fishing has been good as the fish move in with the warmer water. Mostly bailer but some gaffer fish are coming off mixed weeds. A few bigger fish (25+ lbs.) have been found out in the Stream.

Boats had a couple of white marlin releases on skirted baits.

Bottom fishing is producing good numbers of tilefish.

Nearshore anglers are catching spanish mackerel and bluefish while trolling Clarkspoons. Pushing out a couple miles has put anglers in range of the scattered bailer mahi pushing inshore.

A couple of citation-sized red drum are being caught just off the beach by sight casting anglers, and inshore boats have found smaller cobia and good numbers of flounder around the inlet.


Steve, of Jennette’s Pier, reports that sea mullet and croakers have been biting the whole length of the pier. Sand fleas and shrimp have been anglers’ favorite bait.

Sheepshead are biting sand fleas and fiddler crabs fished up against the pilings.

A few flounder are being caught throughout the week, with mixed reports of small to legal (to 16”) fish.

Schools of bluefish are cruising by the pier, and anglers fishing with Sea Striker Jig Fish minnows and Gotcha plugs are getting good bites.


Andy, of Nags Head Pier, reports that sea mullet are biting very well and large numbers of fish continue to come over the rails. Bottom rigs with sand fleas or Fishbites bloodworms strips are both working great.

Spanish mackerel and bluefish are being hooked by anglers throwing Gotcha plugs near the end of the pier.

A few smaller flounder are being caught closer to the breakers.


John, of Bob’s Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers bottom fishing the surf zone are finding a good number of sea mullet and some black drum. The favorite bait has been smaller pieces of shrimp.

Some smaller (10”) flounder are being caught in the sloughs on soft plastics.

Schools of bluefish are biting well on glass minnow jigs and cut baits.

A few puppy drum are being caught by anglers choosing to bottom fish with cut mullet.


Keith, of Corolla Bait and Tackle, reports that bluefish are biting very well in the surf along the northern beaches. Casting Stingsilver jigs and other glass minnow look-a-likes are working great for the feeding schools.

Sea mullet are being caught by anglers fishing with shrimp on a bottom rig.

A few red drum are biting cut baits in the 4×4 area.

An odd schoolie striped bass or two have been reported by anglers fishing soft plastics in the surf.