NC Coastal Fishing Report
Published June 24th, 2021
Inshore fishing had been good leading up to all the wind and rain that came with the recent tropical system. Right now, the water clarity inshore is off, but that will hopefully improve over the next week or two. There’s been more bait showing up inshore, mostly consisting of smaller mullet, menhaden, and some shrimp. Red drum, sheepshead, and black drum will still be been hanging around docks and bridges in the water way. The big schools of redfish have started to break up into smaller groups and spread out in the marsh and creeks. Topwater lures and spinnerbaits are two great lures for searching around the flats. Shrimp, fiddler crabs, sand fleas, and mud minnows are all great bait when fishing around structure. There has also been some nice speckled trout caught lately, mostly on topwater plugs first thing in the morning or as the sun goes down. Flounder fishing has been consistent, despite being all catch and release.
Surf and pier fishing has been good, scattered catches of sea mullet, pompano, spot, croaker, black drum, bluefish, and red drum have been reported. Spanish and king mackerel are being caught from the piers along with flounder and sheepshead from around the pilings. Fresh shrimp or sand fleas are going to be the all-around best baits for bottom fishing. The Spanish and bluefish are hitting gotcha plugs and casting jigs. The kings are being caught on live bait.
The nearshore trolling had been good for Spanish mackerel, False albacore, Bluefish, cobia, and some kings within a few miles of the beach. If the water is still stirred up nearshore you may need to push off a few miles to find a better bite. You can throw casting jigs to the Spanish, albacore, and bluefish on the surface, or drop the jigs down and vertical jig when the fish are suspended. Trolling with clarkspoons or drone spoons and planers is almost always effective and Yo-Zuri deep divers are another easy option if you want to troll. Live bait is a great option for targeting bigger Spanish, cobia, and kings. There are still some opportunities for nearshore bottom fishing, natural ledges and AR’s are holding drum, grey trout, black sea bass, flounder, and grunts.
We had reports of Mahi in the 25 mile range and even closer before the storm. That fishing should pick back up once some clean Gulf Stream water pushes in. In the 15-20 mile range, the Gag grouper fishing has been decent along with some Black Sea Bass, bee liners, grunts, triggerfish, amberjacks and porgies. Further offshore in the 40+ mile range the fishing for Scamps, Gags, and Red grouper has been better along with more triggerfish.
Trolling in the Gulf Stream has been producing mostly Mahi and Marlin recently. The key has been finding the formed up weed lines and/or temperature breaks. There has still been a few stray Yellowfins, Blackfins, and Wahoo mixed. The Jigging has been good for amberjack, snapper, and grouper.