Fish Post

Swansboro/Emerald Isle – August 29, 2019

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Hannah, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that surf anglers have been catching sea mullet and spot while bottom fishing with fresh shrimp and Fishbites bloodworm strips.

Bluefish and a few spanish mackerel are being fooled by casting jigs being thrown from the beach, but most of the bite has been focused early or late in the day.

Sound-side anglers are finding smaller groups of red drum in holes throughout the marsh and near deeper docks in the ICW. Carolina-rigged cut and live baits have been producing the majority of fish.

A few flounder are around ICW and creek docks, and they’re hitting Carolina-rigged live mud minnows and mullet.

Speckled trout have been scattered, with most fish being caught on cork rigs near grass banks and creeks off the ICW.

Nehemiah Phillips (age 4), from Jacksonville, NC, with a 21.5″ redfish that fell for a live finger mullet on a Carolina rig near an oyster bar in Swansboro, NC. He was fishing with his uncle Curtis Morton (pictured) and his cousins Hana Morton (pictured) and Caleb Morton.

Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that red drum fishing has been good in the bays and channels throughout the marshes. Anglers have had success with both topwater plugs and Carolina-rigged live baits.

Flounder are hitting the same live baits fished in the marsh and along deeper docks in the ICW.

Bluefish and spanish mackerel are from the inlet out to ARs in the three-mile range. Casting glass minnow style jigs has been very productive when spotting surface feeding schools.

A few king mackerel are being caught around the ARs with slow-trolled live baits.


Chris, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that anglers fishing fiddler crabs around bridge pilings and docks are hooking nice-sized sheepshead and black drum.

Legal-sized flounder are being caught around ICW docks and back into channels in the marshes behind Bear Island. Carolina-rigged live baits have been the most successful when targeting the flounder.

Red drum are holding in the same holes as the flounder, and they’re hitting live and cut baits, as well as soft plastics. High tide cycles have the fish pushed up onto the flats, and timing this with the early morning has produced a great topwater bite.

A few speckled trout have been landed. Most of the specks are coming from areas around New River.

Chris Harrison, of Greenville, NC, with a 26 3/4” speckled trout caught on a Rapala Skitter Walk V and released in the Pamlico River in the Aurora area.

Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that large spanish mackerel are staged up at the nearshore ARs. Slow-trolling live menhaden has been great in getting these fish to strike.

King mackerel are around ledges and structured areas from 5-15 miles. Both dead bait rigs and slow trolled baits are producing good-sized fish (up to 20 lbs.).

Inshore anglers have been finding good numbers of red drum broken up in smaller schools throughout the marshes. Targeting deeper channels and grass banks with live baits and soft plastics has been key in locating fish.

Live fiddler crabs, shrimp, and urchins fished against bridge pilings and docks has been producing sheepshead and black drum.

Speckled trout are holding along the deeper grass banks and areas around oyster beds. Soft plastics fished under a popping cork is a great setup in the summer to scout for the small groups of trout.


Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that inshore red drum fishing has been good for anglers fishing the deeper holes around ICW docks and in the marsh channels.

Speckled trout are being caught around creek mouths along the ICW with soft plastics, and a few flounder are around and mixed in while targeting the reds and trout, though many fish are just short.

Black drum are hitting shrimp and crabs fished on bottom rigs around pilings.

Spanish mackerel are being caught from the inlet out to ARs in the three-mile range. Clarkspoons pulled behind a planner will fool good numbers of fish, but casting jigs and live baits have produced the larger spanish.

Legal-sized flounder are holding tight to structure at these nearshore ARs.

King mackerel have been caught in good numbers in the 10-mile range.


Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that citation-class spanish mackerel are being caught with slow-trolled live baits at the nearshore ARs.

King mackerel (up to 30 lbs.) are being hooked over rocks and ledges in the 10-mile range with live and dead bait rigs.

A few mahi are scattered in the counts for anglers getting out in the 100+’ depth range.

Bottom fishing has produced grouper, snapper, and large black sea bass.


Josh, of Liquid Fire Sportfishing, reports that king mackerel fishing has been great, with some trips easily finding double-digit numbers of fish. The larger fish (up to 35 lbs.) have been holding out on deeper ledges in the 15+ mile range.

Mahi are in the same areas, and they’re hitting skirted baits.

Closer to the beach, citation-class spanish mackerel are falling for slow-trolled bait over structured areas.


Teresa, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that spanish mackerel fishing has been productive despite the rough water conditions. Large fish (up to 7 lbs.) are hitting Gotcha plugs and glass minnow jigs worked through bait balls hanging around the pier.

Scattered ribbonfish have been mixed in with the spanish.

Anglers live baiting at the end are reporting king mackerel in the area, and they anticipate cleaner and calmer waters bringing strike numbers up.

Those bottom fishing with shrimp and sand fleas are catching pompano, sea mullet, and croaker.