Fish Post

Northern Beaches – May 24, 2018

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Betty, of TW’s Bait and Tackle, reports that Cape Point surf fishing has been great recently. Large schools of citation-sized red drum have been running the surf especially well around sunrise and sunset, and double digit numbers have not been uncommon for anglers fishing large, Carolina-rigged cut bait.

Puppy drum and bluefish are also being caught on cut bait around the Point by the same anglers waiting for schools of “old” drum. Though it’s not common from shore, a 36” cobia was caught, too.

Sea mullet have been biting well on double loop bottom rigs with pieces of shrimp and sand fleas.

Puppy drum are being caught on Kill Devil Hills area beaches with Carolina-rigged cut baits.

The area’s piers have been seeing large numbers of sea mullet and a few gray trout landed by anglers fishing shrimp on double loop bottom rigs.

A few smaller striped bass are in the surf around the piers.

Bluefish are being reported all around the northern Nags Head beaches. Fishing cut baits on a Carolina rig or casting Gotcha plugs at feeding schools has worked well.

Nearshore anglers have been finding huge numbers of cobia. Sight casting anglers are seeing double digit fish each day and haven’t had a problem catching their limit.

Large schools of bluefish are just off the beaches and biting well on casting spoons.

Inshore anglers fishing the little bridge in Manteo have reported catching puppy drum, black drum, speckled trout, and spot.

Offshore boats have continued to report huge numbers of gaffer dolphin caught on their trips. Yellowfin and blackfin tuna are mixed in with the dolphin, and they’re all hitting the same ballyhoo with a Sea Witch skirt.

A few larger bigeye tuna (to 150 lbs.) have been brought to the docks in the last week.

A couple of wahoo and sailfish were reported being around the temperature breaks in the Gulf Stream.


Laurie, of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, reports that boats continue to experience excellent mahi fishing. Large schools of gaffer-sized fish are being caught around weed lines and other floating debris. There have been a few bailers mixed in, but anglers are pleased with the mostly larger fish in their boxes.

A few bigeye tuna (to 118 lbs.) have been caught on trolled Sea Witch skirts rigged with ballyhoo.

Blackfin and yellowfin tuna have been filling up anglers’ coolers. The schools have been concentrated around temperature breaks out towards the Stream.

The cobia fishing has been great for nearshore anglers. Sight fishing south of the inlet has worked well for most boats going out, and catching limits has come easy.

Anglers bottom fishing on the head boats have been landing good numbers of sea mullet, spot, and pigfish. A few flounder and gray trout are taking smaller cut baits as well.


Tyler Sylvia with a speckled trout caught and released near Kill Devil Hills.


Aaron, of Carolina Sunrise, reports that the cobia fishing is “on fire” right now out of Oregon Inlet. Huge numbers of large fish are being spotted while sight casting, with most trips seeing no less than 30 fish in a day. Meat Hog bucktail jigs with a curly tail have been enticing bites when fish are found cruising the surface or under the rays. Limits are coming in on all trips, and most fish hooked are 40+ lbs.


Nikki, of Pirate’s Cove Marina, reports that cobia fishing has been excellent this week. Boats going out sight casting bucktails at fish are getting easy limits. Most have been larger (40+ lb.) fish, and seeing 20+ fish in a day has been common.

Spanish mackerel and bluefish are schooled up nearshore and biting well on smaller casting spoons.

Offshore boats are seeing great numbers of mahi on most trips. Gaffer-sized fish have been feeding hard around the breaks.

Tuna continue to bite well on trolled ballyhoo, with blackfins, yellowfins, and bigeyes all being reported on daily trips.

A few sailfish are being caught around the breaks and have been a bonus fish on some trips.


Steve, of Jennette’s Pier, reports that tailor-sized bluefish have been biting extremely well for anglers fishing Gotcha plugs around the end of the pier.

Huge numbers of sea mullet are being caught on smaller pieces of shrimp fished with a double loop bottom rig. Some anglers have caught triple digits of fish in a day’s work.

Skates and rays are biting Carolina-rigged cut baits fished around the middle of the pier.

A few black drum are biting shrimp fished on a Carolina rig. One fish recently went 24” and was caught right behind the breakers.


Andy, of Nags Head Pier, reports that sea mullet are biting well for anglers bottom fishing with double loop bottom rigs. Shrimp and bloodworms have been the best producing baits.

Bluefish have been feeding well on Carolina-rigged cut baits. The schools that have been feeding on top are falling for silver-bodied Gotcha plugs.

A few flounder are being caught bottom fishing with shrimp or on soft plastic jigs.

Pier anglers have been rigged and ready for the cobia bite that should arrive any day.


John, of Bob’s Bait and Tackle, reports that sea mullet have been feeding in the surf. Double loop bottom rigs with shrimp or bloodworms have worked well.

Good-sized black drum (to 24”) are being reported taking the same cut baits. They’ve been sitting in the deeper sloughs just off the beach.

Large schools of tailor bluefish are running throughout the surf as well. The blues working baits on the surface have been caught on casting spoons, but a majority are still biting bottom-fished cut bait.


Keith, of Corolla Bait and Tackle, reports that red drum have been biting in the surf of the 4×4 area beaches. Carolina-rigged mullet has been the best producing bait for these slot-sized fish.

A few over-slot drum (up to 35 lbs.) have been caught using the larger Carolina rigs.

Good numbers of sea mullet are biting in the surf. Double loop bottom rigs with bloodworms or shrimp have produced.

Bluefish to 30” have been feeding well on the Duck and Corolla beaches. Casting spoons and Gotcha lures work very well when the fish are schooled on the top of the water column. Fishing a Carolina rig with cut bait is another great option to catch a few.