Swansboro/Emerald Isle – May 9, 2019
Rick, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that spanish mackerel have moved into the area now that water temperatures are rising. Most of these fish have been 2-3 lbs., and casting glass minnow jigs from the shore to feeding schools has been productive.
Smaller bluefish are mixed in with the spanish, and Gotcha plugs get great reaction bites.
A few black drum are being caught in deeper sloughs on Carolina-rigged cut bait and shrimp.
Sea mullet are biting sand flea-scented Fishbites in the surf, though most anglers report finding better numbers at night.
Offshore boats are hooking wahoo while trolling skirted ballyhoo behind planers.
Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that speckled trout have been biting well in the ICW and connecting creeks. Anglers fishing Zoom and Z-Man soft plastics under popping cork rigs are catching a majority of the fish, but MirrOlure MR-17s and soft plastics fished with lighter, 1/16 oz. jig heads are producing some large trout (to 22”) as well.
Red drum are in the local creeks, and fishing 4” soft plastic shrimp in white or chartreuse colors has worked well.
Anglers fishing topwater style plugs in the mornings and overcast days are getting action from both speckled trout and red drum
Bluefish are schooled up in the deeper channels inshore. Casting jigs work best when you see the fish feeding on the surface, but the blues will also bite soft plastics used for targeting other species.
Nearshore anglers are catching spanish and small king mackerel in the 3-7 mile range. Trolling spoons under planers has produced good numbers of fish.
Atlantic bonito are mixed in with the spanish mackerel and are hitting Yo-Zuri deep diver plugs.
A few flounder are staged on the local ARs as they push inshore.
Chris, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that the speckled trout bite has been great in the New River. Popping cork rigs have been the unanimous favorite, as it allows anglers to search the grass banks and points for the smaller schools of fish.
Redfish are being caught in the creeks and marsh areas behind Bear Island.
Smaller flounder are being found around the deeper ledges, with most fish being around 13”.
Medium-sized bluefish (2-4 lbs.) are around the deeper channels and shorelines. The blues haven’t been picky and will hit most any bait presented near them. A few choppers (8-10 lbs.) have been mixed in with the smaller fish.
Nearshore anglers with casting jigs are targeting the Atlantic bonito and false albacore schooled up off the beaches.
A few king mackerel are hitting trolling spoons around Divers Rock.
Spanish and bluefish are also off the beaches. They’re feeding on the bait schools as they push their way inshore.
Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that Atlantic bonito have been schooled up 2-5 miles off the beaches and anglers are getting strikes while both casting Stingsilvers and trolling deep diver plugs. Spanish mackerel and smaller king mackerel are mixed in with the bonito, and the same methods have been productive.
Bottom fishing around structure with live bait and Spro bucktails are producing flounder, black sea bass, and grunts.
A few schools of large black drum (to 40+”) are in the area, and sight casting to the fish with bucktails is probably the best tactic for generating a bite.
Cobia are being spotted around bait schools and turtles. Anglers casting larger 2-3 oz. Spro bucktails with soft plastic trailers will be getting bites in the next few weeks.
Red drum are being caught in the marshes and creeks inshore. Carolina-rigged cut baits and soft plastics are catching these fish as they stage up on the flats.
Speckled trout are hanging out around oyster beds and deeper grass banks.
Small bluefish are holding in the same areas as the trout.
Flounder are moving inshore from the local ARs, and fishing jigs around deeper drop-offs and banks has been productive.
Jonathan, of On Point Charters, reports that nearshore anglers are finding a good mix of bonito, spanish, and king mackerel while trolling spoons and deep diving plugs off the beach. When the fish have been feeding on the surface, casting glass minnow-style jigs to the schools is also productive.
Speckled trout have been feeding well in the ICW and connecting creeks. Soft plastics fished under lighter jig heads are catching a majority of the fish.
Red drum are pushing in through the inlet and staging on mud flats in the marsh.
Bluefish and gray trout are in deeper channels around the ICW. Anglers are catching them both while casting and jigging glass minnow jigs.
Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that nearshore fishing has been great, with bluefish, spanish mackerel, and bonito all hitting trolled spoons and casting jigs near local artificial reefs.
King mackerel are holding around hard bottoms in the 7 mile range.
Offshore anglers are finding yellowfin tuna and nice-sized wahoo while trolling skirted ballyhoo.
Mahi are moving into the area, and anglers anticipate seeing even better numbers in the coming weeks.
Josh, of Liquid Fire Sportfishing, reports that there have been some yellowfin tuna and plentiful numbers of wahoo around the Swansboro Hole and The Rise.
Bottom fishing for grouper has been very strong along hard bottoms and ledges.
Nearshore anglers have been finding good numbers of bluefish and spanish mackerel feeding on bait schools within three miles of the beach.
Atlantic bonito are being caught around the artificial reefs outside of Bogue Inlet.
Teresa, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that spanish mackerel are being caught in good numbers now that cleaner water has pushed inshore.
Bluefish are mixed in with the spanish, and they have preferred Gotcha plugs.
A few false albacore are hitting casting jigs closer to the end of the pier. Anglers have had the most success early in the morning.
Sea mullet and pompano are biting shrimp and Fishbites strips fished on bottom rigs.
Flounder are being caught closer to the breakers, though most fish have been short.
Anglers have landed a few nice-sized black drum (to 4 lbs.) with Carolina-rigged cut bait