Fish Post

Morehead City/Atlantic Beach – September 12, 2019

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Matt, of Chasin’ Tails, reports that inshore fishing has been steady. Red drum are being caught in deeper holes near the inlets and back into the marsh flats. There has been a large amount of bait back in the grass, and the high tides have had the fish actively attacking baits on the flats.

Speckled trout are staged up around deeper docks and creek mouths off the ICW. Soft plastics and shrimp imitation lures have been very successful setups.

Large flounder are being hooked around the port wall and docks throughout the turning basin. Carolina-rigged live baits have been responsible for most of the bites.

Nearshore anglers are trolling and casting spoons for spanish mackerel and bluefish.

King mackerel are in the 50+’ depths, and they’re hitting cigar minnows on dead bait rigs.

Offshore anglers are reporting scattered mahi, but large wahoo have produced most of the excitement recently.

Cousins Lawson Roberts, of Richmond, VA, and Finn Ward, of Birmingham, AL, with red drum caught on a Carolina rig near Brown’s Inlet. They were fishing with Capt. Rob Koraly of Sandbar Safari Charters.

Cody, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers are targeting spanish mackerel and bluefish as they feed on bait schools from the inlet down the length of the island. Glass minnow jigs have been the top producing lure, but it’s been important to get on the sand early or late in the day.

Bottom fishing has been enjoying a mix of croakers, spot, red drum, and flounder.

Nearshore anglers are trolling Clarkspoons and similar spoons for limits of spanish mackerel.

Flounder are being caught out at the ARs, with the bite being hit or miss in the past few weeks.

Offshore anglers are bringing in wahoo, mahi, and king mackerel.

Cooper Wert with an under-slot puppy drum caught on cut bait while fishing off a dock in Oriental, NC.

Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that inshore anglers have been doing great when targeting red drum in the area. These fish are being caught from deeper holes around the inlets all the way back into the marshes. Carolina-rigged live and cut baits are successful when working docks and deep holes, while anglers find more bites (and better coverage) with gold spoons, soft plastics, and topwater plugs in the marshy flats.

Citation-class red drum are pushing into the inlets, especially north around Portsmouth Island, and the reds are staging from the sound up to South River.

Speckled trout are being caught in deeper areas off the ICW. Soft plastics on jig heads or under popping corks has been the most productive. Live shrimp is also an amazing bait, though with the water still so warm, many bait stealers will be around.

Flounder are being found around the turning basin and along docks in the ICW. Carolina-rigged live mullet and mud minnows are best when targeting the flatfish.


Dave, of Cape Lookout Charters, reports that red drum fishing has been improving in the last few weeks, with more fish pushing into the sounds to feed on bait. Topwater plugs have been great in the mornings for anglers who work the grass lines and flats in the marsh. Once the sun is up higher or the tides fall out, switching to soft plastics and Carolina-rigged baits has been key in staying on the bite. These reds are falling into the deeper holes and around docks to ambush baits, and anglers are most successful when mimicking these movements.

Flounder are mixed in, and they’re mostly hitting the bottom-rigged live baits.

A few speckled trout are being caught in the ICW and connecting creeks.


Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that inshore anglers have been seeing a good mix of the top three species (trout, red drum, and flounder) while working deeper channels in the marsh. Live baits have been the top producer, but it has been advantageous for anglers to fish soft plastics and move around a bunch with the major tide swings.

Nearshore anglers are catching large spanish mackerel from the inlet out to five miles.

Flounder are out on the nearshore ARs and rocks, with bucktails and soft plastic trailers producing most of the bites.

Further out in the 10+ mile range, anglers are successfully pulling live baits and dead cigar minnows to target king mackerel.

Bottom fishing is strong in the 15-20+ mile range, with anglers seeing a good variety of grouper, snapper, and large black sea bass.


Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that wahoo fishing has been good, with many trips finding close to double digit numbers of fish while pulling ballyhoo and high-speed lures.

Gaffer-sized mahi are hitting the skirted baits, and with the high water temperatures, they are almost surely to be scattered and pop up just about anywhere.

Bottom fishing anglers are reporting large grouper and triggerfish.


Larry, of Oceanana Pier, reports that red drum are making runs by the pier. They’re hitting Carolina-rigged cut baits.

Anglers bottom fishing with shrimp and Fishbites are catching sea mullet, spot, croaker, and a few small flounder.