Fish Post

Swansboro – May 10, 2018

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Jerry, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that most of the fishing action in the area is currently being found in the surf and off local piers.

Bluefish of all shapes and sizes have been readily biting, and a few red and black drum are being caught as well. Sea mullet can be found depending on water clarity, with anglers having the best luck at night. Overall, though, the water temperature is not quite where it needs to be for fish to really start biting hard.

Nearshore, kings are one of the species waiting for that warm water, and while there are a few sea bass on the bottom, not a lot of really good catches have been reported yet.

Offshore, dolphin and wahoo are biting, and yellowfins in the 65 lb. range can be found, too.


Jerry, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that redfish are still schooled up in the marshes but are starting to break into schools of about 10-20 fish. Artificial soft baits, cut bait, and topwater lures are all good choices to fool the reds.

Chopper blues can be found in the surf, which makes for a really fun day of fishing. Gotcha plugs or anything flashy will work for the blues.

Bonito, false albacore, and bluefish are biting nearshore, where casting jigs and spoons will do the trick for all three species.

Ray Miller with a 21.5″ drum that inhaled a live pinfish in a marsh near Swansboro.


Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that red and black drum have been hitting hard in the marshes off oyster points. Fresh cut shrimp and Gulp baits are the most effective for both species.

Big bluefish are still around some of the area flats and are eating topwater baits, while sea mullet are running in the deeper channels and are being caught on Fishbites and cut shrimp.

Spanish mackerel and bonito are showing up on nearshore reefs. They’re falling for spoons and metal jigs.


Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that sight fishing for red drum continues to be productive, and plenty of chopper blues have been in the mix as well. The reds and bluefish, in addition to speckled trout, are all biting soft plastics rigged to Fathom jig heads and topwater plugs.

In the Neuse River, stripers, flounder, redfish, largemouth bass, speckled trout, and more are all readily biting.

Bonito are still going strong on the nearshore rocks and ledges within a few miles of the beach. They can be caught by trolling or sight casting to schools of breaking fish.

Cobia should be showing up any day now thanks to warmer water temperatures, and right behind the cobia expect to see amberjack, spanish mackerel, flounder, and sheepshead.

Masa Hirata, of Michigan, with a 25 lb. gag grouper that went for a 300 gram blue/silver long jig in 120′ of water while fishing with Capt. Mike Jackson of Live Line Charters.


Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that nearshore fishing has improved now that the water temperature has warmed up a bit. Bonito are the main target, and while they can be caught trolling small Drone spoons or Yo-Zuri diving plugs, it’s more fun to cast to them. Use a Stingsilver, Hopkins lure, or any flashy type of light casting jig, and if you see birds on the surface or a busting school of fish, start throwing it out.

Plenty of bluefish and spanish mackerel are mixed in with the bonito, and they will fall for all the same lures.

On the bottom, black sea bass are biting, and now that grouper season is open, head to your favorite spot and expect them to be hungry.

Kings are in the 25-35 mile range currently and will be moving in soon, but not until the water temperature reaches the high 60s/low 70s. When the temperature does rise and more bait starts to show up, expect to see the cobia follow and come in alongside the kings.

In the Gulf Stream, blackfins, yellowfins, and wahoo are all running hot, and a few sailfish and even a blue marlin have shown up. Mahi are starting to bite as well, with some decent-sized gaffers mixed in with the catch. Expect the action to only get better over the next couple of weeks.


Tammy, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports a mixture of small and big bluefish coming in (with the largest weighing in at 11 lbs. 6 oz). Gotcha plugs are doing the most damage.

Some mullet, pompano, and black drum are also being found in the water around the pier.