NC Coastal Fishing Report
Published October 8th, 2019
Fishing inshore has really started to improve with the arrival of cooler weather and water temperatures that have finally dropped below 80 degrees. The speckled trout fishing has been good around the inlets and deeper grass banks in the marsh. Topwater fishing has been producing redfish and trout at first light and on the overcast days. The trout have been hitting a variety of soft plastics and suspending hard baits like X-Raps and MirrOlures. Drum fishing has been good around waterway docks and back in the creeks, lots of small under-slot drum are being caught. There’s plenty of finger mullet and some shrimp around right now, and either one makes a good go-to bait if the artificial bite is slow. The sheepshead and black drum are still being caught on fiddler crabs, sand fleas, and shrimp around the docks and bridges.
There have been some good reports coming in from the surf over the past few weeks. Strong numbers of undersized to over-slot redfish are being caught along some good numbers of spot, croaker, whiting, pompano, and black drum. There’s also been a few nice speckled trout caught in the surf. Anglers fishing with large cut bait especially at night have been catching sharks and rays. There should be some opportunities to catch the big red drum in the surf as well.
We have also seen the arrival of some big schools of false albacore right off the beach. When you find them chasing bait on the surface you can catch them sight casting with small jigs with spinning tackle or you can always troll Yo-Zuri deep divers and clarkspoons with planers. There have been some big citation sized Spanish caught over the last few weeks as well. Light lining with live mullet is a good way to catch the bigger fish.
There has been some really good nearshore king mackerel fishing starting to fire off for boats pulling live baits. The bite has been good off of Southport, but is also starting to happen for the boats and piers around Wrightsville Beach. There are also some kings to be caught at the offshore wrecks and ledges. The bottom nearshore is holding some big red drum, cobia, grey trout, and flounder. The latest reports of good sized mahi were from about 40 miles out. The bottom fishing has also been good out in these areas, Gag Grouper, Scamps, and the other usual bottom fish have been cooperating. Keep in mind that the Red Grouper season has closed.
Gulf Stream trolling has been a little bit tougher lately. Boats have been reporting some decent wahoo fishing, but not the double digit catches that we were seeing. Don’t let that stop you from going, we are coming up on the full moon cycle and the bite could fire off at any time. There has been a handful of nice blackfins mixed in, quite a few sailfish, and an abundance of smaller mahi. Bottom fishing and jigging has been producing amberjack, grouper, beeliners, and triggerfish.