NC Coastal Fishing Report
Published November 9th, 2018
The smaller Speckled trout have been everywhere for the last few weeks, which is a great sign. There are keepers to be caught, and some big fish are around in the same areas. The cold weather will get the bait moving and we should start to see more big trout being caught. Schools of fish can be found moving into the inlets and working their way through the waterway toward creeks and marshes. Z-Man, Gulp, and Blue Water Candy soft plastics have all been working. Colors like Opening Night, Bad Shad, Christmas Tree in clear water and Electric Chicken and chartreuse in stained water. Mirrolure 17 MR’s, 18MR’s, and 52MR’s, in the Capt. Jot Custom colors and other baits that include green, pink, purple, and/or silver flash. A lot of fish are being caught on topwater baits, especially early and late in the day. The areas where trout congregate can become crowded, don’t be afraid to look for fish in new areas. Flounder fishing has been great in the inlets and back in the creeks, anglers are catching them with bucktails, Gulp, and live mullet. The schools of slot sized red drum are starting to move off the flats, look for them in deeper water around docks or other structure. The fishing for Black Drum and Sheepheads has been good around the docks as well.
Surf fishing has been great over the last few weeks as well. Cut mullet has been producing a good number of reds, flounder, bluefish, and the occasional speckled trout. Fresh shrimp, sand fleas, or Fishbites bloodworm have been catching some nice sized pompano, black drum, sea mullet, and a few spot. The big drum are biting on the beach south of Wrightsville Beach.
Fishing in the Cape Fear River has started to bounce back. Big Flounder, Red Drum, and Black Drum are all being caught. Topwater plugs have been working early and late in the day. Gulp, Vudu Shrimp, and Billy Bay Halo Shad have all been doing well. There are also some striper being caught on swimbaits and topwater plugs.
Rough seas have kept most anglers from going out in the ocean recently. When you can get out, fishing for King Mackerel will be great right along the beach and at structure out in the 10 mile range. There are a few schools of false albacore still around, as well. For the Kings, live bait, dead cigar minnows, and drone spoons will put fish in the boat. There has still been good fishing for flounder and Grey Trout at the nearshore AR’s. Most anglers are fishing with live bait on a Carolina rig or a 2oz bucktail tipped with a Gulp.
Gags are being caught in better numbers, closer to the beach. Live pinfish and live or frozen cigar minnows are among the best baits to send down. Barefoot Decoy Jigs are an easy way to fish live or dead baits. Bottom rigs with strong 8/0 – 10/0 circle hooks will also work. Jigging with Bluewater Candy Roscoe’s and Dawia SK jigs with long pauses close to the bottom can produce as well. Keeper sea bass have moved in to ledges closer to the beach as well. If you want to add a few kings to the box, throw out a light-line while you are bottom fishing.
No reports from the Gulf Stream, but it is time to go! The Wahoo should be thick. High Speed lures are a good way to locate the fish before deploying a spread of ballyhoo and traditional trolling plugs. Fishing in a nice temperature break will produce the best bites. The bigger blackfin will be around as well. They should respond to poppers, cedar plugs, and Green Machines. Sailfish will also be in the same areas; medium ballyhoo with seawitches, Islander and 6″-8″ trolling plugs will produce.