Fish Post

Morehead City/Atlantic Beach – July 4, 2019

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Matt, of Chasin’ Tails, reports that spanish mackerel and bluefish are in huge schools around the inlet, especially at high tide. Casting Spanish Candies has been great in boating some fish.

Large spanish mackerel (up to 5 lbs.) are being caught on dead bait rigs with cigar minnows at the nearshore reefs. King mackerel (up to 30 lbs.) are hitting the same cigar minnows on dead bait rigs, as well as Big Nic Mac-A-Hoos.

A large variety of sharks are feeding around the shrimp boats.

Offshore anglers are reporting a scattered mahi bite from the 14 Buoy out to Big Rock. With the water temperatures rising, the fish have spread out and some smaller schools are as close as 20 miles. Skirted ballyhoo and Monkalurs have both been very successful producers.

Wahoo and a few scattered tuna are out around current breaks in the Stream, and blue marlin are offshore for anglers trolling horse ballyhoo and large plugs.

Bottom fishing has been producing a good variety of amberjack, snapper, black sea bass, and triggerfish. Some large groupers are being caught with cut baits on the east side of the Cape.

Inshore anglers are catching red drum on cut baits around the high rise bridge.

Large speckled trout (up to 6 lbs.) are being caught on live shrimp and topwater plugs around docks and grass flats.

Surf anglers are casting metal jigs to spanish mackerel and bluefish, and a few slot-sized red drum are hitting live mud minnows and shrimp. Keeper flounder are feeding on Carolina-rigged live baits fished in these deeper holes along the beach, and bottom rigs tipped with shrimp or bloodworms has been producing good numbers of spot, sea mullet, and croakers.

Alice Braswell (age 6) with a 15″ spanish mackerel caught on a #0 gold clarkspoon on a #1 planer while fishing off Atlantic Beach.

Cody, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that spanish mackerel fishing has picked up for anglers trolling Clarkspoons off the beach. A few bluefish are mixed in with the spanish, though most fish seem to be around tide lines in the inlet.

King mackerel are hitting cigar minnows fished on dead bait rigs in the 4+ mile range.

Offshore anglers are reporting a scattered dolphin bite, with some fish as nearshore as NW Places and Big/Little 10.

Red drum have moved into the marshes of Newport and North rivers. Carolina-rigged live baits and soft plastics are both catching their share of fish. Topwater plugs are getting action early and late in the day.

Speckled trout are starting to stage up in deeper holes with the water temperatures rising. Soft plastics fished on 1/4 oz. jig heads in creeks and the Haystacks are producing keeper-sized fish.


Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that king mackerel fishing has been great in nearshore areas out to 12 miles. Trolling dead bait rigs with cigar minnows has been a popular setup for the better numbers of fish.

Bottom fishing around live bottoms and wrecks in 80’+ of water is producing grouper on cut bait.

A few cobia are being caught around the same bottom structure with large live and cut baits.

Citation-sized spanish mackerel have moved in around the ARs and nearshore structure in 50-75’ of water.

Bottom fishing with jigs around the nearshore ARs is producing large gray trout, and flounder are hitting bucktails bounced around AR structure.

Hunter Hondros from Greensboro, NC with a black drum caught off the dock in Pine Knoll Shores using shrimp on a bottom rig.

Dave, at Cape Lookout Charters, reports that red drum and a few speckled trout are being caught from deeper holes in the marsh areas with soft plastic swimbaits.

Sheepshead are feeding on live fiddler crabs around the high rise bridge and port wall.

Nearshore anglers have been enjoying hot action on spanish mackerel just outside the inlet, with all trips finding their limits.

Flounder are staged up at nearshore ARs, and they’re hitting bucktails with soft plastic trailers. Fishing baits tight to structure has been key in finding a limit of keeper fish.


Justin, at Breakday Charters, reports that flounder (up to 23”) are being caught at the ARs on Breakday bucktails.

Spanish mackerel (up to 3 lbs.) are in large schools from the beach out to 5 miles. They’re hitting trolled Clarkspoons and casting jigs as the spanish feed on the surface.

King mackerel fishing has been great this summer, as good numbers of fish continue to be caught by anglers trolling dead bait rigs over ARs and live bottoms.

A few false albacore are mixed in with the kings off the beach.

Offshore anglers have been catching large king mackerel (up to 35 lbs.) and scattered mahi in the 20 mile range. A few sailfish have hit baits in the same area, and the hot water temperatures can bring a surprise billfish on any day.

Inshore trips have been finding limits of red drum and speckled trout while fishing topwater plugs early, and then moving to deeper holes with soft plastics as the day wears on.


Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that mahi fishing has been good, with many trips finding close to double digit numbers of fish while pulling skirted ballyhoo.

A few blackfin tuna are mixed in, with most coming from areas away from all the grass.

Big blue marlin are in the area, and they’re hitting horse ballyhoo and large plugs.

Bottom fishing anglers are pleased with the large numbers of triggerfish around.


Larry, of Oceanana Pier, reports that bluefish are being caught with Gotcha plugs near the end of the pier when anglers spot them schooled up. A few spanish mackerel are mixed in, though it’s been the early and late hours that are more productive.

Bottom fishermen are catching flounder and spot.