NC Coastal Fishing Report
Published April 8th, 2021
Inshore fishing has definitely started to heat up as we transition into our spring time patterns. Red drum and black drum have been more active and easier to catch with the warmer temperatures. Shrimp and mud minnows are still going to be the best options for now, however lightly weighted gulp and z-man soft plastics can do the job as well. A few trout and reds have started to be caught on topwater on the warmer days. Look for them to be hanging around docks or oyster bars back in the marsh and mainland creeks. Speckled trout fishing has been improving as well with some nice fish being caught, MirrOlure MR 17’s and lightly weighted soft plastics have been getting most of the bites. Sheepshead and black drum can be caught around the jetties as well. Some bluefish have started to show up inshore, especially around the inlets.
Surf and pier fishing has been improving, with more sea mullet, black drum, and bluefish being caught recently. Fresh shrimp is going to be the all-around best bait for bottom fishing. In addition, there have been a few flounder, reds, dogfish, pufferfish, croakers, and speckled trout reported.
The nearshore trolling game has started to fire up. The False albacore have showed up big time in the 3-10 mile range, along with a few Atlantic Bonito, bluefish, and even a few Spanish mackerel. You can throw casting jigs to fish on the surface, or drop the jigs down and vertical jig when the fish are suspended. Trolling with clarkspoons and planers is almost always effective and Yo-Zuri deep divers are another easy option if you want to cover more ground. There are still some opportunities for nearshore bottom fishing, natural ledges and AR’s are holding some black sea bass, grunts, and tautog as well as a few red drum, black drum, and sheepshead.
Further offshore, keeper Black Sea Bass should be stacked up out in about 80’ of water along with some beeliners, grunts, and porgies.
Trolling in the Gulf Stream has been sporadic, some great days and some slower. April isn’t always the best month for numbers of wahoo, but they can be some of the biggest of the year if you can get there. Big blackfins should be around and can be caught on poppers and jigs or on the troll. There have been a few Yellowfin caught locally, but not in big numbers, yet. It is going to be important to check the SST’s when a weather window does come around. The jigging can also be great for the Tunas, Amberjacks, African pompano, and a variety of snappers this time of year