Fish Post

Swansboro/Emerald Isle – Sep 13, 2018

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Rich, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that flounder have been thick in the backwaters, where both giggers and anglers are finding a lot of success. There have been plenty of redfish around, too, where Gulps, Zooms, or cut mullet will do the trick. Topwaters have been pulling in some reds as well.

Trout are still scarce in the area, but they should be showing up any day now.

In the surf, the main story for anglers making big casts has been spanish and bluefish, while those focusing on the bottom have been finding sea mullet and some small red drum.

There are still some big spanish swimming around the nearshore reefs, in addition to some smaller kings.

While the weather offshore has definitely improved, reports from the deep have still been scarce. With that being said, wahoo action has been picking up nicely.


Jerry, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that not much has changed over the past few weeks, but consistency is definitely a good sign. Redfishing remains solid, with reds just about everywhere from the marshes near Bear Island to the White Oak River. Cut or live mullet and soft plastics are all working equally well, as the reds aren’t picky.

Flounder fishing has been great for quantity, but not so much for quality. If you’re looking for dinner, you can find plenty of 15” fish hugging the bottom, but don’t expect to find many trophy fish in the area at this time.

Speckled trout are continuing to populate the inlets, and that won’t change as the water continues to cool down.

Nearshore, the spanish bite remains steady, with spoon/planer combos and live menhaden accounting for most of the bites.

Jack Jones (right), from Fuquay Varina, with a wahoo that struck while high-speed trolling a ballyhoo/Cowbell lure in 135′ of water south of Bogue Inlet. He was fishing with Capt. Bobby Bourquin, of Teezher Charters. Also pictured: first mate Mickey Patel.

Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that inshore fishing remains slow. Flounder and red drum are the main attraction, and targeting one usually results in bites from the other, as both fish are hanging around ICW docks and various holes in the backwater creeks. Gulp shrimp and other artificial soft plastics are drawing strikes, and Skitterwalks are working for the reds in the early morning.

Flounder are also biting nearshore on the wrecks and reefs. Bucktail/Gulp shrimp combos are putting fish in the box.

Spanish and king fishing remains productive off the beach and a few miles out.


Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that flounder are starting to come in a little more steadily in the marshes, and soft plastics have been getting the most bites.

Red and black drum have been working in deeper channels near the inlet and in the surf, where mullet and shrimp have been the baits of choice.

Spanish and kings are biting strong close to the beach. Trolling live baits and spoons have both produced fish.


Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that red drum fishing remains consistent with what it has been over the past month or two. The reds can be found in the marsh areas inside the inlets, where Carolina-rigged live mullet or menhaden, topwaters, and soft plastics are all getting bites.

Old drum fishing in the Neuse has picked up, with Fathom popping corks and big plastic swim baits getting the most attention. All the hard drop-offs and shoals in the river have been good places to fish.

Nearshore, spanish and kings (6-10 lbs.) have been eating live menhaden on king rigs on all the structure inside of 10 miles. Flounder jigging has been good in the same areas, with Gulp-tipped bucktails continuing to produce.

Caleb McKinley, from Arlington, VA, with an 8.3 lb. sheepshead that fell for a live shrimp in the marsh behind Bear Island. He was fishing with Capt. Rob Koraly, of Sandbar Safari Charters.

Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that the Charlie buoy has been producing goggle eyes, which are a fantastic baitfish more commonly found in Florida. Every goggle eye used has produced a bite, so they are worth looking for when collecting bait.

The nearshore mackerel bite has been hot for citation spanish and a mix of kings, with a lot of the latter weighing in at 20+ lbs. Live baits (especially menhaden and spanish sardines) have been working the best, but dead cigar minnows will produce as well. The mackerel have been found anywhere from 2-15 miles, with the 8 mile range serving as the best place to start looking. A few sails have been found in the same range.

The nearshore bottom has been producing big flounder and keeper black sea bass and grouper in depths of 60-80’ on bucktail combos.

In the Gulf, the wahoo bite has been good overall, but a few slow days have been mixed in here and there. Ballyhoo/Ilander combos in blue and white, black and purple, or black and red have been working best.

Quite a few sails have been seen, but a lot are simply teasing the spread. A few blue marlin have been seen (and caught), and dolphin have been scattered.

On the bottom, expect to find grouper, triggers, black sea bass, and snapper.


Amanda, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that pier anglers are finding a lot of 6-7 lb. slot reds, and five kings have come in over the past two weeks. A lot of spanish, blues, and the occasional black drum have been caught as well. Live sand fleas, shrimp, squid, and Gotcha plugs have been the main baits used. Early morning and late evening are the best times to find fish.