Morehead City/Atlantic Beach – August 29, 2019
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails, reports that large flounder (up to 8 lbs.) continue to be weighed in. These bigger flatties are coming from deeper areas around the Port, AB Bridge, and docks in the ICW. Carolina-rigged live mullet and mud minnows have been best for the inshore flounder.
A good number of puppy drum are scattered throughout the marshes. Anglers anticipate the larger, slot-sized reds moving in from around the inlet to feed on all the shrimp back in the grass in the coming weeks.
Speckled trout fishing continues to have one of the best summers in recent memory. Anglers are reporting fish from Core Creek through Bogue Sound. Topwater plugs are working well early morning on the flats, with live shrimp and mud minnows providing most bites through the afternoon.
Sheepshead fishing at the bridges and around the port wall area has been up and down, with live fiddlers producing most of the fish.
Citation-class red drum are being caught by anglers soaking fresh mullet at night around Cedar Island.
The nearshore ARs have been stacked with flounder. Spro bucktails paired with 4” Gulp shrimp are producing most of the action.
Spanish mackerel reports have been down, but most believe this is just due to roughed-up water having fish pushed over to the Cape.
King mackerel fishing has been best to the east of Cape Lookout. Anglers have been using cigar minnows on Mac-A-Hoos and similar dead bait rigs.
Offshore anglers have begun to land wahoo while fishing around Swansboro Hole and the Rise. Trolling ballyhoo on Sea Witches, Monkalurs, and Big Nic and Fathom Offshore lures are all being successful in getting huge strikes.
Bottom fishing remains good on the east side, with grouper, snapper, hogfish, grunts, and amberjack all coming off cut cigar minnows, squid, and sardines.
Cody, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that inshore anglers are finding good numbers of speckled trout while working the creeks off the ICW. Both live baits and soft plastics under popping corks have been producing near limits of fish.
Red drum are scattered in the marshes, with anglers fishing Carolina-rigged cut and live baits in the deeper channels producing the majority of bites.
Sheepshead are being hooked around docks and the high-rise bridge with live fiddler crabs and urchins.
A few flounder are being landed in the turning basing by anglers dropping live bait.
Nearshore anglers are catching spanish mackerel from the inlet out to three miles while trolling spoons and by casting jigs to feeding schools.
Flounder are holding at the nearshore ARs. They’re falling for bucktails paired with soft plastic trailers.
King mackerel have been scattered around the ARs and in the shipping channel, and they’re hitting slow-trolled live baits and dead bait rigs.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that inshore fishing has been great, with anglers catching a “slam” of fish on many trips.
Red drum have been holding in deeper channels and holes in the marshes, and they’re hitting live baits and soft plastics.
Speckled trout are in the same areas, and soft plastics under popping cork rigs are producing the most hits.
Keeper-sized flounder are in holes out around the inlet. Targeting the deeper areas that also have structure has been key in locating the larger fish.
Further up (around South River), anglers are targeting the “old” red drum bite with popping cork rigs.
Nearshore anglers are finding good numbers of bluefish and smaller spanish around the inlet while trolling or casting spoons.
The ARs have been producing some flounder, gray trout, and black sea bass for anglers jigging.
Slow trolling live baits has been producing citation-sized spanish mackerel and a few kings.
Further offshore, large king mackerel are hitting both live baits and dead bat rigs.
Bottom fishing has been great with large black sea bass, grouper, and snapper in the 80’ range.
Dave, of Cape Lookout Charters, reports that red drum fishing has been good in the marsh areas. Topwater plugs have gotten a little action on the flats in the early morning, with soft plastic baits and Carolina-rigged live baits producing most of the fish during the rest of the day.
Bluefish and spanish mackerel are being caught while casting glass minnow jigs around feeding schools in the inlet.
Speckled trout are holding in deeper holes throughout the marsh, and they’re hitting soft plastics fished on popping cork setups.
A few flounder are staged up along the banks and being caught with soft plastics and live baits bounced along the bottom.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that citation-sized spanish mackerel are being caught around the ARs by anglers slow-trolling live baits. A few king mackerel are mixed in with the spanish, and the kings are hitting the same slow-trolled baits.
Legal-sized flounder are holding tight to the structure at ARs and ledges. Bucktails with soft plastic trailers are great in getting a few fish up to the boat.
Gray trout are hitting Stingsilvers and glass minnow jigs worked just off the bottom in these structured areas.
Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that trolling skirted ballyhoo around the temperature break has been producing some gaffer mahi.
Wahoo fishing has really picked up, with some trips catching close to double-digit numbers of fish while working these same deeper areas with skirted baits. Anglers look forward to the fishing only getting better as the wahoo bite gets more consistent in the coming weeks.
Larry, of Oceanana Pier, reports that spanish mackerel and bluefish are hitting Gotcha plugs thrown towards schools feeding on the surface.
A few red drum are being caught with Carolina-rigged cut baits.
Bottom fishing with Fishbites, sand fleas, and shrimp has been producing sea mullet, pompano, and good numbers of croaker.