Fish Post

Northern Beaches – September 12, 2019

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Betty, of TW’s Bait and Tackle, reports that bluefish are hitting cut baits fished the whole stretch of the island (from Carova to Oregon Inlet). Spanish mackerel are in the northern beach areas, too, with most coming within casting distance on days with clear water.

Nearshore anglers have been pulling spoons and catching a variety of ribbonfish, spanish mackerel, and bluefish.

Speckled trout fishing has been spectacular in the sound, with many anglers finding limits of fish while casting Gulp and Z-Man soft plastics. A few smaller flounder are holding in deeper holes throughout the sound, and they’re hitting live baits and soft plastics worked along the bottom.

Offshore trips have seen a rise in billfish releases while trolling ballyhoo out around temperature breaks at the Stream. Nice-sized wahoo and mahi are mixed in the same areas offshore.

Michael Mooneyham, from Fuquay-Varina, NC, with a spanish mackerel caught on live mullet at the Point.

Bridgette, of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, reports that offshore trips saw a good mix of yellowfin and blackfin tuna while pulling skirted ballyhoo, and weed lines provided anglers with close to limits of mahi (both while trolling and bailing fish with strip baits when they school up at the boat).

Several white marlin and blue marlin releases have been made.

Tilefish are hitting cut bait fished over ledges and live bottoms.

Nearshore anglers have been trolling spoons and bringing in good numbers of ribbonfish and spanish mackerel.

Inshore anglers have been experiencing a great speckled trout bite coming from channels and grass banks all the way up to Wanchese. Puppy drum are in the same areas and taking live bait.

The inlet trips have been bringing home spot, croaker, sea mullet, gray trout, and bluefish while bottom fishing.


Aaron, of Carolina Sunrise Charters, reports that speckled trout fishing has seen many trips finding limits of 20” class fish. Topwater plugs have been the go-to lure during the morning and evening hours, with popping corks and soft plastics on jig heads working well throughout the day.

Puppy drum are hanging on flats around the inlet, and they’re feeding on Carolina-rigged cut mullet.

Sheepshead are biting fiddler crabs dropped along the bridge pilings.

Nearshore trips have been sight-casting bucktails to schools of citation red drum outside the inlet. Fishing live bait and bucktails around bait balls has also been producing a few cobia that are hanging around the area.


Gerry, of Fishing Unlimited, reports that bottom fishing for croakers and pinfish has been steady. Classic two-hook bottom rigs tipped with shrimp have been getting a majority of the bites.

Speckled trout fishing has been very good early and late in the day by anglers casting Gulp soft plastics.

A few flounder and bluefish have been landed by anglers soaking baits, but numbers of both species aren’t great.


Laurie, of Pirate’s Cove Marina, reports that billfishing has been great, with many days seeing double-digit numbers of releases from anglers pulling large plugs and skirted bait out past the current break.

A few large yellowfin tuna and wahoo were mixed in, and they’re also hitting the larger baits.

Gaffer-sized dolphin are going after the spread of ballyhoo, with some smaller fish being pulled in from under grass patties and floating debris.

Inshore anglers are landing speckled trout, red drum, and bluefish while casting soft plastics and Carolina-rigged live baits in holes from the inlet up to the marina area.


Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that trolling skirted ballyhoo has been producing good numbers of mahi. Targeting floating weed lines has also been great in finding bailer mahi to hit cut baits. A few false albacore are mixed in.

White marlin are being seen with more consistency. They’re jumping into the spread after a teaser and then grabbing some of the skirted offerings.

Bottom fishing has been producing tilefish and grouper.


Andy, of Nags Head Pier, reports that large spanish mackerel are being caught on Gotcha plugs and live baits. Bluefish are hitting cut bait and shrimp fished on the bottom. Casting jigs and plugs work as well.

Bottom fishing has been producing spot, sea mullet, croakers, and spadefish.

Anglers fishing next to the pilings have landed some nice-sized sheepshead.

King mackerel are being hooked off the end with live bait.


Laurie, of Jennette’s Pier, reports that spanish mackerel and bluefish are being caught with Gotcha plugs and cut bait.

Red drum (up to 24”) are hitting Carolina-rigged cut mullet.

Spadefish are schooled up around the pilings, and they’re feeding on sand fleas and fresh shrimp.

Bottom fishing has been producing a good variety of sea mullet, croaker, spot, and pigfish.

Pompano are being caught closer to the breakers with sand fleas.


Justin, of Avalon Pier, reports that anglers fishing live baits off the end have been catching large king mackerel (up to 31 lbs.).

Spanish mackerel and bluefish are hitting Gotcha plugs.

Bluefish are being caught using Carolina-rigged cut bait, and bottom fishing with fresh shrimp has been producing spot.


John, of Bob’s Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers have been catching slot-sized red drum. Carolina-rigged fresh cut mullet has been best when cast into channels between the sandbars.

A few flounder are hitting soft plastics worked along the bottom in deeper holes off the sand.

Sea mullet, spot, and croakers are being caught with shrimp and Fishbites strips on bottom rigs.

Sound-side anglers are enjoying a hot speckled trout bite from the Manteo area down to the inlet. Live baits and soft plastics fished under corks are producing limits of fish.


Keith, of Corolla Bait and Tackle, reports that bottom fishing has been good in the surf. Sea mullet, spot, croakers, and pinfish are all taking smaller pieces of bait shrimp.

A few red drum and bluefish are hitting Carolina-rigged cut mullet.

Nearshore anglers have been finding limits of spanish mackerel and bluefish while trolling and casting spoons from just beyond the breakers out to three miles.