Fish Post

Swansboro/Emerald Isle – November 15, 2018

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Bob, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that red drum and black drum are both swimming around inshore, and speckled trout are also prevalent in the backwaters.
Bluefish and spanish mackerel are hanging out off the beach, while a few kings have been coming from both nearshore and offshore waters.

Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that speckled trout are out in full force, but the ratio of keepers to throwbacks has been about one in twelve. Last year’s fish kill didn’t help, and the fact that all the shrimp were pushed out after Florence put the nail in the coffin.
The good news about the massive amounts of small fish is that since most of them are just barely under the legal limit, next fall should be one of the best speckled trout seasons that the area has seen in a long time, providing the fish survive the winter.
For now, the biggest fish are going for live shrimp or mud minnows, and focusing on the main feeder creeks around the inlets have been the best places to look.
Big red drum are still biting on the beach, where cut mullet or 4” Gulps on 1/4 oz. jig heads are doing the most damage.
Not many boats have been able to make it out of the inlets, but kings are around, as are wahoo and blackfins. Trolling live bait for kings has actually resulted in multiple 24+ lb. tuna coming over the rails, so the bite is definitely on if you can make it to the fish.

Nosara Spainhour, of Asheville, NC, with a 24″ redfish that hit a fresh mullet while fishing the falling tide on Emerald Isle. She reeled in the fish on her own, while her dad, Tony, held the rod.

Jerry, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that fishing in the Swansboro area has been good lately. Trout are biting everywhere from the inlets to the creeks, with the marsh flats holding plenty of fish, too. MirrOlure MR-17s are working well, as are artificial shrimp lures. You can never go wrong with live bait, if you can find shrimp.
Redfish are still biting on the flats on soft plastics, but some of the bigger fish are heading out to the surf as the waters get cooler and bait starts heading out.
The spot bite has dropped off, but you can still find the occasional small school.

Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that a lot of the redfish, flounder, and trout have moved out of the sound and either into creeks and rivers, or out to the ocean. There are a lot of red and black drum in the surf right now, where cut shrimp and Gulp shrimp on heavy jig heads have both been drawing strikes.
The trout moving into the creeks have been aggressively hitting MirrOlures and soft plastics, but there still hasn’t been a big showing of keeper fish. Smaller flounder, reds, and blues have been in the creeks as well.
King mackerel and grouper are biting strong nearshore when conditions allow it, but the weather has kept most of the nearshore water murky.

Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that red drum can be found mostly in the surf, though a few can still be caught in the backwaters, where you may find the occasional flounder as well. Deeper holes and channels are holding the majority of the sporadic fish, where soft plastics from Gulp and Fathom put on a 1/4 oz. jig head will get bites.
Big speckled trout have not made a strong showing yet, presumably due to the inconsistent weather that the area has been seeing lately—it’s simply not cold enough for the keepers to start biting hard. A lot of 13” fish are still coming in, though, so there is action to be found.
Using small metal jigs and flies can still put you on a great false albacore bite when fishing around the Cape Lookout area.
Wahoo are plentiful in the Gulf Stream. Trolling ballyhoo either on the surface or behind planers has been tricking the ‘hoos.

Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that nothing major has really changed over the past three weeks when it comes to fishing in the area. Inshore speckled trout have stayed small but prevalent, with MirrOlures getting the most bites.
Specks can be found in the surf, too, where pompano, bluefish, and plenty of puppy drum are also biting.
Not many boats have been fishing out of Bogue Inlet lately, with most of the action coming from Beaufort Inlet. Kings have been found around the Northwest Places, with 20 lb. fish being the most common. The bigger kings (averaging between 30-40 lbs.), though, are being found on the east side. Spanish mackerel and blackfin tuna have been mixed in, and some decent wahoo have even been caught near the East Rock and 1700 Rock.
Trips to the Gulf Stream have been limited due to rough conditions, but there are plenty of fish swimming around out there. Wahoo, blackfins, and sailfish are making up the majority of the offshore trolling bite.
The offshore bottom is the same as it has been for a month. Grouper, triggers, black sea bass, and beeliners are all readily chewing.

Teresa, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that red drum in the 4 lb. range and black drum in the 2 lb. range have been biting on the bottom. Pompano, mullet, blowfish, trout, and sheepshead are all being caught, too, with bloodworms and shrimp serving as the top baits.