Fish Post

Swansboro/Emerald Isle – October 24, 2019

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Hannah, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that bluefish are chasing bait balls inside the breakers, and they’re striking casting jigs worked near these schools of fish. Bottom fishing from the surf with shrimp and Fishbites strips has been producing sea mullet, pompano, and a few spot.

Anglers in the sound have been finding speckled trout in deeper holes throughout the marsh. Soft plastics fished under popping corks and live baits have been providing a majority of bites.

Slot-sized red drum are back in the marshes as well. The higher tide cycles have spread the fish out into the grass, with topwater plugs being successful early. As the water recedes, the holes just off the grass banks have been holding fish.


Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that anglers bottom fishing the deeper holes in the sound are catching spot with bloodworms and shrimp.

Bluefish and a few schools of spanish mackerel are schooled up in the inlet, with casting jigs and Gotcha plugs being the most productive lures.

Speckled trout fishing has been good, with anglers finding fish with soft plastics and topwater plugs around creek mouths and in the marshes. Red drum are being caught in the area, too, though the water is a bit warm to see the fish really begin to school up.

Mike Mattice with a 7.5 lb. speckled trout caught on topwater in the New River.

Chris, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that spot are staged in deeper holes along the ICW and around bridge pilings. Bloodworms fished on bottom rigs with 2 oz. weights are a classic setup when targeting the spot.

Speckled trout fishing has been great, with anglers finding limits of trout (18”+) around the mouth of White Oak River and various creeks along the ICW. Soft plastics, MirrOlures, and topwater plugs have all been producing strikes.

A few flounder (released) are being caught on baits worked along the bottom and near grass banks in the marsh.

Red drum are in the marsh channels, and they’re hitting Carolina-rigged live baits and topwater plugs early in the morning.

Trey Wall, from Knightdale, NC, with a 35 lb. wahoo caught near the Swansboro Hole.

Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that speckled trout fishing has been fantastic around creek mouths and some of the deeper grass banks.

Upper-slot red drum are holding in these same areas. They’re taking live baits, soft plastics, and some topwater plugs in the early mornings.

Some large flounder (released) are hitting baits in these same areas.

Spanish mackerel are holding from the inlet out to three miles. Casting Stingsilvers and similar glass minnow style jigs has been the preferred method when targeting the surface-frenzied fish.


Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that nearshore anglers are targeting spanish mackerel from the beaches out to 5 miles as the fish feed on plentiful bait balls in the area.

False albacore have been cruising in this same area (out to 10 miles). Casting jigs on the edges of these surface-feeding fish has been most productive in getting hook-ups. It’s been key to cast from a distance, as these schools tend to be spooky and quickly disappear if ran up on.

King mackerel are working their way onto the beaches, with cigar minnows on dead bait and king rigs being the most popular setups.

Inshore anglers are experiencing a great speckled trout bite. Limits of good-sized fish are holding in deeper holes and channels from the inlet up into creeks off the ICW. Live shrimp is always a killer bait for the trout, with Gulp soft plastics holding their own when working the banks for bites.

Some thick slot-sized red drum are mixed in the daily counts, and they’re hitting the same live and artificial baits intended for the trout.


Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that king mackerel fishing has been on fire, with the fish in the midst of their fall push nearshore. Just about any rocks or ledge out to 10 miles has been holding a few smoker kings (up to 40 lbs.). Slow-trolling live menhaden has been the most effective method for some of the larger fish, with cigar minnows pulled on Big Nic and Pirate Plugs also being productive.

Large spanish mackerel (up to 7.5 lbs.) are hitting the same slow-trolled live baits, with anglers also successfully casting jigs to surface-feeding schools. Schools of false albacore are scattered from the beach out to 10 miles. Casting smaller glass minnow jigs has been most productive in getting strikes.

Grouper fishing has been steady around hard bottoms and wrecks in the 60-70’ water depths. A few cobia have been landed around the same deeper structure.

Offshore anglers have been seeing a great wahoo bite, with blackfin tuna and sailfish mixed in the counts.


Josh, of Liquid Fire Sportfishing, reports that king mackerel fishing is in its full fall swing. With king tournament season ongoing, anglers are targeting ledges and live bottoms from the beaches out to 12 miles with cigar minnows on dead bait rigs and live pogies. Some huge fish have been landed on the east side of Cape Lookout.

Offshore anglers are seeing a great wahoo bite out in the Stream with skirted ballyhoo.


Teresa, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that anglers live-baiting off the end have been landing large king mackerel (up to 27 lbs.).

Good-sized spanish mackerel (up to 4 lbs.) are hitting Gotcha plugs cast at surface-feeding fish. A few schools have run by the pier in the mornings, and some stable, cleaner water should see this bite get a bit better. Bluefish are in the mix, and they’re hitting casting jigs and some of the smaller cut baits.

Black drum (up to 6 lbs.) are being caught with Carolina-rigged fresh shrimp. The red drum bite has been scattered, but anglers fishing Carolina-rigged mullet are finding a few fish to bite.

Spot fishing has been slow in the last week, but anglers have bloodworms on hand if some good water pushed the fish back into the beaches. Pompano (up to 2 lbs.) are feeding on sand fleas and shrimp in holes closer to the breakers.