Fish Post

Northern Beaches – November 14, 2019

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Betty, of TW’s Bait and Tackle, reports that the northern beach surf has been seeing a good speckled trout bite, with most fish being caught early and late in the day. Sea mullet and puppy drum are in the mix for anglers casting bottom-rigged baits.

Sound-side anglers have been catching limits of speckled trout with soft plastics under corks and MirrOlure suspending baits. Targeting holes along grass banks and deeper channels out towards the inlet have both been productive tactics. Bluefish are also being caught in channels around the inlet.

Striped bass are showing up in better numbers now that cooler water temperatures are getting fish more active. These stripers have been staged up around areas with structure, such as bridge pilings and docks.

Sheepshead are being landed by anglers fishing baits along the Oregon Inlet Bridge pilings.

Offshore trips have begun to see a push of yellowfin tuna into the region. When conditions have allowed, some anglers are returning with limits of good-sized fish (up to 70 lbs.). Blackfin tuna and large wahoo are mixed in the counts, and all three species are hitting the same skirted ballyhoo.

Mahi made a nice showing, and billfishing has been steady, with releases of both blue white marlin.


Bridgette, of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, reports that some offshore anglers are returning with limits of mahi. Large wahoo (up to 63 lbs.) are hitting skirted ballyhoo fished behind planers, and on some days, anglers are returning with limits of yellowfin tuna (with blackfins in the mix).

Billfishing has produced a blue marlin citation and multiple white marlin releases.

Nearshore trips have been producing false albacore, bluefish, and scattered mahi. Bottom fishing anglers in these same nearshore waters are reporting good numbers of triggerfish and keeper black sea bass.

Inshore trips are experiencing great speckled trout fishing. From inside the inlet heading either north and south, anglers that are targeting ledges, oyster beds, and grass banks are finding sizeable schools of trout.

Puppy and slot-sized red drum are holding in the same areas as the trout, and they’re hitting live baits and soft plastics. Striped bass and sheepshead are being caught around structure in the inlet.

Kathleen Hotte with a 20″ trout caught using live bait at the Oregon Inlet ramp 4.

Aaron, of Carolina Sunrise Charters, reports that speckled trout fishing will remain great through the month of November and into December as these fish work their way into the surf zone. Fishing 3/8 oz. jig heads with Z-Man soft plastics is a great producing setup when targeting little ledges and banks. Another key is adding Pro-Cure scents to soft plastics to really entice the fish to hold onto the baits.

Younger red drum are mixed in with the trout, and the reds are making that same push into the surf zone. Anglers are having success with the reds using similar soft plastics, and the best results are coming from working the baits along the bottom.

Rockfish are beginning to make a good showing at the bayside bridges. Soft plastics also work great in these areas, and the striper bite only gets better as the water cools.


Gerry, of Fishing Unlimited, reports that anglers on the Little Bridge are catching good numbers of speckled trout. Most fish are being landed early and late in the day with Gulp and similar soft plastics.

Striped bass are in the mix, and they’re hitting the same soft plastics. As the sound cools, the striper bite tends to get better.


Laurie, of Pirate’s Cove Marina, reports that anglers have been seeing more limits of yellowfin tuna over the past few weeks.

Large wahoo, mahi, and white marlin releases are also mixed in the daily counts.

Inshore trips have been finding good numbers of rockfish while casting soft plastics along bridge pilings.


Andy, of Nags Head Pier, reports that bluefish are still active as water temperatures begin to drop throughout the area. Gotcha plugs cast to these frenzied schools will land the most fish, but those anglers with cut baits will catch a few as well.

Bottom fishing is producing sea mullet, pompano, and a few black drum for anglers fishing with fresh shrimp.

A handful of speckled trout are being caught early and late, mostly being pulled from the deeper holes outside the breakers.


Laurie, of Jennette’s Pier, reports that speckled trout fishing has been very good, with the best action coming early and late in the day. Large fish (up to 27.5”) are being caught with cut bait.

Puppy drum are hitting these same cut baits fished on Carolina rigs.

Bluefish are feeding on bait schools around the pier, with anglers having success catching them both on the surface and off the bottom. When casting to feeding fish, Gotcha plugs are most productive, with cut mullet working best when fishing bottom rigs.

Black drum are being caught by anglers fishing baits close to the pier pilings.

Bottom fishing has been producing large pompano, spot, puffers, sea mullet, pigfish, and flounder.


Justin, of Avalon Pier, reports that large keeper trout (up to 25”) are coming over the rail from anglers fishing soft plastics and bottom-rigged baits.

Carolina-rigged cut baits are landing puppy drum (up to 27”), and shrimp fished on bottom rigs has been producing black drum, spot, and sea mullet.


John, of Bob’s Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers have been catching citation-sized sea mullet (up to 2.2 lbs.) with shrimp, Fishbites strips, or bloodworms on bottom rigs.

Red drum are hitting Carolina-rigged fresh cut mullet fished in the deeper sloughs between the sandbars.

Speckled trout fishing has been good in the surf zone, too, with anglers having success targeting deeper holes with soft plastics early and late in the day.


Keith, of Corolla Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers are catching bluefish on casting jigs and Carolina-rigged cut baits.

Speckled trout are being landed with both soft plastics and cut baits in deeper sloughs.

Bottom rigs with shrimp has been great in producing bites from sea mullet.