Swansboro/Emerald Isle – October 25, 2018
Bob, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that the sound has been producing some drum and flounder, in addition to a lot of speckled trout. The speckled trout, though, are mostly small.
In the surf, fishing has been great, with a number of bluefish and pompano being caught, in addition to the occasional spanish and big red drum. The flounder bite in the suds has picked up as well.
Off the beach, king mackerel fishing has been decent.
Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that the keeper speckled trout bite has finally picked up, with plenty of 18-20” fish biting MirrOlure MR18s and DOA Golden Brems on 1/8 or 3/16 oz. jig heads. A few specks have even come in on early morning Skitterwalks.
Focusing on the feeder creeks coming in from the inlets has been productive, especially when you can find a deep channel with swift water. You will still have to wade through plenty of short fish to get a keeper, but the bigger fish are definitely out there in good numbers.
A few flounder have been hooked in the same areas, and slot drum are scattered on the beaches, where cut mullet will draw strikes.
The Gulf Stream is holding plenty of wahoo, where medium ballyhoo on Sea Witches and other traditional ‘hoo setups will get bites. Blackfin tuna have moved in and are being caught in good numbers, and there are still dolphin around as well.
Jerry, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that trout are starting to be landed in big numbers around the Swansboro area. Fishing the holes closer to the inlets has been the most productive, with the majority of the fish being right at the legal size limit. Live shrimp has been the top bait, but live mullet or soft plastics will work as well.
Spot fishing has heated up, with bloodworms and Fishbites providing the best action.
Flounder are around inshore docks and structure.
Red drum are biting well in the marsh and the surf, with soft plastics and live mullet accounting for most of the catch.
Off the beach, false albacore and spanish are being found in schools just off the beach. Casting jigs and spoons will work for both.
Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that red drum, bluefish, flounder, and speckled trout have all been working schools of mullet close to the inlets. During higher tide stages, you can also find the fish at the mouths of the creeks and rivers. Soft plastics and finger mullet alike have been working well for all of the inshore species.
The nearshore bite has picked up, as the spanish and king mackerel have started to move back closer to shore. Finding clean water is key, and once there, use live baits to fool the biggest of the mackerel.
Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that not a lot has changed over the last few weeks. A few red drum are being found inside, but most of them have moved to the surf. There are still some flounder being picked up in the backwaters. A lot of small (roughly 13”) speckled trout have been swimming around the backwaters, though every once in a while, a keeper speck around the 23” mark will come in. Those bigger trout should become more plentiful as the cold weather continues to move into the area.
The best baits for all three inshore slam species have been Gulp and Fathom soft plastics combined with 1/4 oz. jig heads, and the deeper holes and channels have been the best places to look.
Around the Cape Lookout area, false albacore fishing has been productive when using small metal jigs and flies.
In the Gulf Stream, trolling ballyhoo on the surface, or behind planers, has continued to bring in plenty of wahoo.
Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that the surf zone has been producing decent numbers of pompano, bluefish, and puppy drum.
King fishing has been slow out of Bogue Inlet, as most of the action is coming from just off Shackleford Banks and the nearby rock jetty. Menhaden has been the best bait, and the shad haven’t been too hard to find in the month after Florence. Good populations are regularly being caught in the waterway and near Harker’s Island.
Most of the kings that have fallen for the shad have been over the 20 lb. mark.
Offshore fishing is still going strong. Wahoo and blackfin tuna are responsible for the majority of the bite, but the occasional mahi has been coming over the gunnels as well. There has also been a strong sailfish bite for anglers who prefer billfishing.
Nothing has changed on the offshore bottom, with grouper, triggers, snapper, and beeliners all consistently chewing.
Teresa, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that speckled trout, flounder, and pompano (all averaging about 2 lbs.) are being caught, in addition to spanish, bluefish, spots, and croaker. Puppy drum in the 3-6 lb. range have also been coming up.