Swansboro/Emerald Isle – September 26, 2019
Hannah, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that bluefish are hitting Carolina-rigged cut bait and casting jigs thrown in the surf. Sea mullet are biting sand fleas and shrimp fished on bottom rigs.
A handful of red drum are hitting cut baits in the surf, with anglers reporting better numbers on days with a little wind chop.
Spanish mackerel are scattered, but anglers are landing a few in the early morning hours and days with clear water.
Sound-side anglers are finding red drum in holes throughout the marsh, and speckled trout are scattered due to water temperatures still being high.
Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that surf anglers are catching bluefish and sea mullet while bottom fishing.
Inshore anglers are finding good numbers of red drum in the marshes and around ICW docks. Carolina-rigged live and cut baits work well, with anglers also successfully fishing topwater plugs in early mornings.
Speckled trout are being caught on soft plastics fished in creeks off the ICW.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are schooled up around the inlet, and they’re both hitting casting jigs.
Chris, of Pogie’s Fishing Center, reports that red drum fishing has been good in the marshes behind Bear Island. Warm water temperatures have the fish scattered in small schools, but finding a few bites hasn’t been too difficult.
Speckled trout and flounder are showing up only a little in inshore waters, but both species have been scattered and inconsistent in numbers.
Bluefish are being landed as by-catch when fishing live baits and soft plastics for other species.
Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that inshore fishing has been great the past few weeks, with lots of mullet schooling up around the inlets.
Speckled trout are being caught along grass banks and deeper creek channels with soft plastics on 3/16 and 1/4 oz. jig heads. Upper-slot red drum are holding in deep channels throughout the marshes. They are feeding on the bait moving around. Topwater plugs are getting action early, and only high winds have seemed to dampen the action as the day wears on.
Black drum are being caught around structure such as docks, bridges, and oyster beds. Carolina-rigged shrimp have been the best bait. Good-eating sheepshead are feeding around these same structured areas, and they’re hitting shrimp and live fiddler crabs.
Spanish mackerel are schooled up just inside the inlets, and casting jigs to feeding schools has been effective. Searching for Spanish action has been easier on the high tides when cleaner water pushes into the inlet.
Jonathan, of On Point Charters, reports that anglers are experiencing an excellent speckled trout bite from the inlet back into creeks off the ICW. Soft plastics and live baits fished under corks are both producing strikes.
Red drum are mixed in the counts. Though many fish have been taken off live baits, topwater plugs have been a great search lure in the mornings when working flats in the marsh. Flounder are staged along deeper ledges from the inlet to the ICW, and they’re hitting Carolina-rigged live mullet.
Sheepshead are being caught by anglers fishing live fiddler crabs around the area’s bridge pilings.
Bluefish and spanish mackerel are hitting glass minnow jigs cast to feeding fish inside the inlet.
Off the beach, anglers are finding king mackerel around ARs and rocks in the 10 mile range. Cigar minnows on dead bait rigs and slow trolled pogies are both producing multiple bites. Large spanish mackerel (in the 5 lb. range) are present on these same structured areas, and they’re mostly keyed in on the live bait offerings.
Bobby, of Teezher Charters, reports that nearshore anglers are landing spanish mackerel from areas around the inlet out to 5 miles.
Just outside the 5 mile range, king mackerel are hitting slow-trolled live pogies.
Offshore trips have been landing mahi and a few large wahoo.
Bottom-fishing has been spectacular, with snapper, large black sea bass, amberjack, and grouper all hitting cut baits.
Josh, of Liquid Fire Sportfishing, reports that offshore trips are finding good-sized wahoo while pulling high speed lures and skirted baits. Mahi are out in the Stream, too, though the schools have been small and scattered. Locating weed lines and floating debris has helped produce a few gaffer-sized fish.
Large king mackerel are holding in the 15-25 mile range, and they’re hitting dead bait rigs and live baits.
Bottom fishing has been producing huge black sea bass around rocks in the 15+ mile range.
Closer to the beach, large spanish mackerel are hitting live baits.
Teresa, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that there has been a nice run of spanish mackerel and bluefish, likely a result of all the mullet pushing through the area. The blues and spanish are being caught with Gotcha plugs and glass minnow jigs cast to the surface-feeding schools.
Bottom fishing has been producing good numbers of sea mullet for those anglers dropping down fresh shrimp and Fishbites strips.
King mackerel are in the area, and anglers fishing off the end expect to see more bites as the water continues to calm.