Swansboro/ Emerald Isle – October 11, 2018
Harris, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that overall, fishing has gone back to normal after Hurricane Florence. The biggest hurdle you may find while inshore fishing is locating clean water, though it is there and changes by the day. If you can find a good, clean hole, expect to pull in the same numbers of flounder and red drum that were being found before the storm.
Speckled trout are also starting to show up, and look for that bite to only get better.
In the surf, spanish and blues can be found by anglers casting out past the suds.
Offshore, wahoo fishing is really picking up steam.
On the bottom, nothing really changed. Red snapper and assorted other bottom fish are chewing as expected.
Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that the inshore waters in the area are finally starting to hold decent amounts of trout, and though most of them are small, there have been fish up to 4-5 lbs. mixed in. The specks are hitting a number of different artificial baits, including Billy Bay Perfect Sinkers, Zoom Golden Brem, Gulp pink shine jerkshads, MirrOlure MR18s, and Skitterwalks. Any of these fished around the main channels coming from the inlets should get attention.
The few flounder that have been caught in the area over recent weeks have come from the same holes on the same baits.
Red drum are hanging out in the deeper drop-offs and haven’t moved back into the bays yet, but anglers should be able to get a bite anywhere that there’s a channel with a little bit of a ledge to it. Cut mullet, live mullet, and soft plastics will all work.
Spot are starting to show up, and while they’re a good enough size to be edible, the bigger yellow bellies haven’t made an appearance yet.
While the spanish bite is still hot nearshore, the flounder bite isn’t, presumably because the bottom is still churned up in the wake of the storm.
King mackerel action has gone temporarily cold, but offshore bottom fishing has been productive, particularly for grouper and black sea bass.
The 40-45 mile range is holding plenty of wahoo and blackfin tuna.
Jerry, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that the water in the Swansboro area is still quite dirty and murky, but redfish and trout action is starting to heat back up. Fishing in the marshes and trout holes near area inlets has provided the best action, and using live mullet or shrimp, as well as soft plastics, has been productive.
Off the beach, spanish and false albacore fishing hasn’t slowed down a bit.
Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that mullet are thick on the creek edges near the inlets as well as on the beach, and plenty of reds are following them. The best tactic has been to throw a live mullet or Gulp bait to get a bite.
Black drum have been swimming in the same areas, and they’ve been partial to shrimp.
The trout bite has been hit or miss, and most of the specks have been small. Both sizes and numbers should improve as the weather cools off a little more.
Spanish and bluefish have been roaming the inlets at high tide as well as patrolling the surf throughout the day.
Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that inshore fishing in the wake of Hurricane Florence has been steadily improving. While most of the redfish have moved to the surf, there have still been a few found inside.
A good number of speckled trout have made an appearance, but most of them have been on the small side, with only one out of ten being legal. Most of the trout are in the 13” range, while the keepers have been around 23”. Some flounder have been mixed in as well.
Almost all of the fish being caught inshore have been found in the deeper holes and channels near the inlets. They’ve all been hitting Gulp and Fathom soft plastics fished on 1/4 oz. jig heads.
Just off the beach, the albacore fishing around Cape Lookout has been great, with the fish readily attacking small metal jigs and small flies.
The wahoo bite has been fantastic in the Gulf Stream, with most of the action coming from ballyhoo trolled both on the surface and behind planers.
Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that a decent king mackerel bite has picked up on the Shackleford Banks and right outside of Cape Lookout, with plenty of pretty fish being caught over the last week.
The best action in the ocean is definitely coming from the Gulf Stream, though, where boats are easily limiting out on 70-80 lb. wahoo, with 12-15 fish days being the norm. Medium ballyhoo/Ilander combos in blue/white, black/blue, and anything with some flash have been getting the most attention. Putting a larger Ilander (in black/purple or crystal) on the planer rods can make the difference.
Plenty of blackfin tuna and sailfish have been sighted and caught in the Stream as well. If you want to focus on the sailfish, dredging is doing the most damage, but beware of them getting in the way if you hook a ‘hoo.
Teresa, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that since the pier reopened, a few spots and puppy drum have come through, in addition to a handful of flounder and some spanish.