Morehead City/Atlantic Beach – May 9, 2019
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails, reports that surf anglers are catching good numbers of bluefish with south winds pushing in warm, clean water. Casting Stingsilvers and Spanish Candy jigs to feeding schools has been the most productive method.
Spanish mackerel have shown up, mixed in with the blues. Anglers on the piers are catching the better numbers of spanish.
Black drum are hitting shrimp fished under bottom rigs in deeper sloughs close to the shoreline, and anglers casting soft plastics early and late in the day have caught a few speckled trout.
Inshore anglers are finding good numbers of smaller speckled trout in the creeks while throwing topwater plugs and MirrOlure MR-17s.
Red drum are pushing inshore and are being caught around bridges and docks with Carolina-rigged cut bait or live mud minnows.
Sea mullet and a few gray trout are feeding around the Turning Basin.
Sheepshead are hitting fiddler crabs around the Atlantic Beach and Beaufort High Rise bridges.
Nearshore anglers are catching good-sized bluefish (to 6 lbs.) while trolling Clarkspoons just outside the breakers.
Atlantic bonito are being reported around AR-315 and AR-320. They’re hitting deep diver plugs and glass minnow jigs.
Spanish mackerel and false albacore are mixed in from the beach out to 5 miles. Casting glass minnow style jigs to feeding schools has been productive in hooking these fish.
Flounder are staged at the local wrecks as they begin their push inshore.
A few king mackerel showed up in the 5-7 mile range and were caught by anglers trolling spoons.
The opening day of cobia season started off hot, with a 69 lb. fish weighed in and more fish being spotted by anglers in the area. Sight-casting around bait schools with 2-3 oz. bucktails and soft plastic trailers is the preferred method. Some cobia may also be caught by anglers fishing Carolina-rigged cut baits around Beaufort and Barden’s inlets.
Offshore boats are finding good numbers of dolphin on skirted ballyhoo. Anglers look forward to the numbers getting better as the first real wave of fish comes through the area.
Yellowfin and blackfin tuna are mixed in around temperature breaks. They’re also hitting trolled baits.
A few sailfish are being reported in the area, a nice addition early in the season, and large wahoo are hitting baits pulled behind a planer.
Cody, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers bottom fishing in the surf are catching black drum, sea mullet, pompano, and gray trout while using bait shrimp.
Speckled trout are biting MirrOlures and Gulp shrimp around Oceanana Pier.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are chasing baits into the surf zone, and anglers throwing Kastmaster jigs are catching some of these feeding fish.
Anglers fishing the flats around Cape Lookout are landing some chopper bluefish on topwater plugs.
The Cape Lookout jetty is holding a few smaller flounder as they push their way into the inlets.
Atlantic bonito, spanish mackerel, bluefish, and false albacore are schooled up off the beaches, being caught by anglers both trolling spoons and casting glass minnow jigs.
Anglers are reporting schools of large black drum and red drum (to 40”) in the area while sight-casting bucktails.
Cobia are moving closer to the beaches and can be caught by bottom fishing around the inlets or sight-casting to cruising fish.
Inshore anglers are finding good numbers of sea mullet while bottom fishing around the Turning Basin.
Striped bass made a rare showing in the ICW this winter, and a few fish are being hooked around docks with soft plastics.
Speckled trout and red drum are in the creeks and deeper marsh areas around docks, drop-offs, and oyster beds.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that bonito, spanish mackerel, and bluefish have made a strong showing off the beaches
Large gray trout are hanging around local wrecks and hitting jigs.
Good numbers of black sea bass and triggerfish are feeding at local wrecks and ledges.
Cobia are moving into the area, and sight-casting larger bucktails with soft plastic trailers should be very successful for anglers in the coming weeks.
Inshore anglers are catching speckled trout and red drum around structure in the creeks on smaller soft plastics.
Dave, at Cape Lookout Charters, reports that spanish mackerel and bluefish have made a strong showing from the beach to 3 miles.
Cobia have shown up in the area and are being found around the bait balls just off the beach. Sight-casting bucktails to cruising fish will only get more productive as more fish move into the area.
Justin, at Breakday Charters, reports that spanish mackerel are being caught in good numbers while trolling spoons and casting jigs to feeding fish.
Smaller bonito are mixed in with the spanish, feeding on smaller baits off the beach.
Cobia showed up just in time for opening day of the season. Sight-casting bucktails to cruising fish and around menhaden schools is the best method.
Bluefish have been schooled up just outside the breakers. Trolling Clarkspoons will catch better numbers of fish, but casting jigs provides faster action.
Fishing jigs around bottom structure is producing good numbers of black sea bass and large gray trout.
Legal-sized speckled trout (to 20”) are being caught on soft plastics in local creeks.
Black drum and flounder are being landed while bottom fishing around the bridges and Port Wall.
Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that mahi are being caught on skirted and naked ballyhoo, with many trips finding double-digit numbers of fish.
Limits of large, citation-sized wahoo (to 50 lbs.) are feeding on baits fished under a planer.
Yellowfins are mixed in with the wahoo.
Swordfish are out in the Gulf Stream for anglers looking to target them.
Larry, of Oceanana Pier, reports that Atlantic bonito and bluefish are hitting Gotcha plugs and glass minnow jigs thrown to feeding schools.
Bottom fishing with shrimp is producing sea mullet and a few smaller flounder close into the breakers.
Speckled trout are being caught in the mornings with soft plastics fished in the deeper holes near the shoreline.