Fish Post

Northern Beaches – November 15, 2018

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Betty, of TW’s Bait and Tackle, reports that large citation drum (to 47”) are being caught along the southern beaches (primarily out at the point) on large Carolina-rigged baits.
Sea mullet have been around in big numbers, and quite a few have been citation-size fish (to 2 lbs.). The majority of the sea mullet action has been focused around Avon and Buxton.
Bluefish (up to 20”) have been biting well in the surf, with most falling for Carolina-rigged cut baits.
Also on the southern beaches, a couple of late-season pompano have been caught by anglers using small pieces of shrimp and sand fleas.
A few slot-sized red drum have been landed on the Nags Head beaches using cut mullet.
When soaking cut bait, there’s always a chance to catch sharks, too.
Anglers fishing soft plastics in the deeper sloughs have been finding speckled trout. Most fish have been just short of legal, but there are enough larger fish out there if you play the numbers game.
A few flounder are being caught on soft plastics fished slowly.
Black drum have typically been in sloughs and holes just past the breakers, and anglers with shrimp are finding some good-sized fish.
Local piers have been seeing a variety of fish, with most caught on bottom rigs. Speckled trout, gray trout, puffers, and black drum have preferred rigs tipped with shrimp. Anglers with cut mullet are hooking red drum and a bunch of bluefish.
Nearshore trips have found spanish mackerel schooled up well, and many anglers have found better success by casting jigs (instead of trolling).
Bluefish are also off the beaches. These fish are in large schools as they slowly work their way south.
Offshore boats have been having tough luck with the weather. When they’ve gotten outside, they’ve been successful with wahoo, mahi, blackfins, and yellowfins.
Inshore boats are finding a bunch of speckled trout in the sound, with some keeper fish mixed in with all the spikes.
Rockfish are around the bridges and deeper holes with structure.
A few flounder have been caught on drop-offs around the inlet.

Jamie Smith displaying a 24″, 4.5 lb. speckled trout. The fish fell for a chartreuse gulp in the surf at Kitty Hawk.

Bridgette, of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, reports that bad weather has hampered the fleet’s ability to get offshore. On the few days of calmer winds, anglers are coming back with good catches of wahoo, some to citation size.
Blackfin tuna have provided the most numbers for offshore trips, with close to double digit fish the norm.
A couple of scattered yellowfin tuna are mixed in, and there was also a recent sailfish release.
Nearshore anglers can find bluefish in big numbers just off the beach.
Inshore trips have been about stripers and trout. The striper action is mostly focused around the bridges and structure in the sound. Speckled trout have been along drop-offs and shorelines as they work their way through to the inlets.

Billy, of Fishing Unlimited, reports that anglers on the little bridge are finding a variety of fish (and some wind protection on days of rough surf).
Speckled trout are being caught on soft plastics and cut shrimp on bottom rigs. Most of the fish have been spikes, but a few larger fish are around.
Striped bass have begun working around the pilings and are being caught on soft plastics fished on 1/4 oz. jig heads.
Anglers fishing the surf are finding good numbers of sea mullet while casting bottom rigs baited with cut shrimp in the sloughs right off the beach, and a few scattered puppy drum have been cruising the surf.

Tammy, of Pirate’s Cove Marina, reports that offshore trips have been catching a mix of yellowfin and blackfin tuna while trolling skirted baits.
Nearshore boats are finding huge numbers of bluefish and schools of spanish mackerel mixed in. Both are being caught while trolling small planers and while casting jigs to feeding schools.

Anthony, of Jennette’s Pier, reports that the sea mullet bite has been great for anglers fishing bottom rigs with shrimp. A good number of fish have been close to citation-sized.
Spot have been mixed in with the mullet, as well as a couple small gray trout. Both have preferred shrimp, but Fishbite strips are catching fish as well.
There have been a good amount of bluefish coming over the rails, and they’re biting just about anything. Anglers are having success with shrimp and cut baits fished on the bottom, as well as Gotcha plugs and Stingsilver jigs worked on top.
A few speckled trout are being caught closer to the shoreline, though most of the fish are short. Bottom rigs with shrimp and soft plastics on jig heads are both working for the trout.
A couple of puppy drum have been hooked by anglers fishing Carolina-rigged cut baits.
Some over-slot drum (to 40”) have been landed by anglers fishing large baits off the end of the pier.

Justin, of Avalon Pier, reports that anglers bottom fishing are catching sea mullet, bluefish, and a few puffers while using shrimp.
On calmer days, speckled trout (around 13”) have been found closer to the shoreline.
Anglers fishing large Carolina rigs off the end have been hooking a few citation-sized red drum.

Alvin Smith, of Elm City, NC, with a 31″ red drum landed in the surf at Cape Hatteras. Finger mullet was the ticket in enticing the drum to eat.

Paul, of Bob’s Bait and Tackle, reports that a lot of speckled trout have been caught in the surf. The majority of fish are 13.5”, but some large fish (to 4.5 lbs.) have been reported. Soft plastics fished in deep holes are producing the bites.
Bluefish have been aggressively feeding, with many fish coming off bottom-rigged baits.
Citation-sized sea mullet have been around and are biting shrimp fished on the bottom.
Red drum (to 28”) are being hooked, but the bite has been very scattered. Days with strong northeast winds have been best.

Keith, of Corolla Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers fishing Carolina rigs with cut mullet are catching puppy drum and good numbers of bluefish.
Sea mullet have been found in good numbers using shrimp fished on the classic double-loop bottom rig.
Speckled trout are in the deeper sloughs, and they’ve been caught better on calmer days using soft plastics on 1/4 oz. jig heads.