Fish Post

Swansboro/Emerald Isle – April 25, 2019

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Jerry, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that drum are swimming in the backwaters, where they can be caught on cut bait, and both Zoom and Gulp soft plastics.

Black drum and sea mullet are being caught from the surf and piers, with sand fleas, sand flea Fishbites, and shrimp getting most of the bites.

Bluefish and bonito are swimming just off the beach, where Yo-Zuri Deep Divers are connecting with both, and metal spoons are working for the bonito that are a little farther offshore.

Caleb Rivers, of Newport, NC, with a healthy sea bass that was caught around the 210 Rock on cut bait. He was fishing aboard the Carolina Princess with Capt. Wayne Dodson.

Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that red drum are still schooled up in the marshes and speckled trout are staging in the creeks. Most of the specks have been small.

Inshore bluefish in the 2-3 lb. range are hitting topwater baits, trolled lures, and spoons, and sea mullet are finally making their way inshore as well, even though they’ve been in Morehead for a month. Clam strip Fishbites and shrimp should both produce.

Bonito and false albacore are biting spoons and Yo-Zuri Deep Divers.

Black sea bass and flounder have been biting on the nearshore ARs, though not in any big numbers. Bucktails and 4” Gulp shrimp should get the job done.


Dallas, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that redfish are biting, if you know where to find them, and it’s still a good idea to go fish at lower tide stages so that you can trap the fish in the shallows. Once you have your fish penned up, throw mud minnows to get a strike.

Speckled trout are biting shrimp in the backwater creeks.

Tripp Murray with a 5 lb. trout he caught in the New River. He was fishing with Capt. Ray Brittain, of Spring Tide Guide Service.

Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that spring fishing has been great inshore. Lots of bluefish and trout have been in the inlet channels, with some flounder mixed in. Jig heads and soft plastics have been the ticket for all three species.

Some trout have been in the river and creek mouths as well, where small suspended lures or soft plastics have been working.

Redfish are schooling in the marshes and mudflats, and they will hit scented plastics and live mud minnows.

Nearshore bonito have been spotty so far this year, but bottom fishing has been more consistent. Jigging has produced bluefish, gray trout, black sea bass, and flounder.


Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that a good push of bluefish have shown up in the deeper channels around the inlets. They’re eating just about anything that you can throw at them, though soft plastics on jig heads and topwater baits have been the two best options.

Other than the blues, inshore fishing remains the same as it has been over the past month. Red drum are on the flats, though they’ve been skittish. Speckled trout are still on the move out of the river creeks. Both the reds and trout will fall for soft plastics on jig heads.


Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that nearshore fishing has been consistent throughout the month of April. Atlantic bonito, false albacore, and spanish mackerel are showing up as close as the pier zone, and bluefish in the 2-3 lb. range are starting to make an appearance as well.

Cobia are still MIA, though it’s only a matter of time at this point. When there is some stability with the water temperature and the bait starts moving in, the cobia will follow.

Kings are swimming out in the 67-68 degree water, where they can be found anywhere that there is bait.

The Gulf Stream is giving up wahoo, in addition to yellowfin and blackfin tuna. Smaller dolphin, with the occasional gaffer in the mix, are biting in greater numbers. No billfish have been caught yet.

The bottom is holding black sea bass, beeliners, triggerfish, and the rest of the usual suspects.


Josh, of Liquid Fire Sportfishing, reports that poor weather conditions over the past few weeks have made trips difficult, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fish out there. Nearshore, more bluefish and spanish mackerel are arriving to complement the false albacore and Atlantic bonito that have already shown up off the beach. Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows and diamond jigs are working for all four species.

Triggerfish and snappers are available on the offshore hard bottom.

The last two weeks have seen an increase in tuna action, with plenty of yellowfins showing up. The wahoo bite has remained steady, and while the mahi are still scattered, they should be showing up in better numbers soon.


Teresa, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that a lot of sea mullet are coming in. Puffers have slowed down some, though bluefish have picked up. A few gray trout and a couple of speckled trout have also been caught.