The offshore fleet had trouble getting out in heavy northeast winds this week, but boats that departed caught lots of white marlin, a few blue marlin and mahi mahi. Near-shore boats reported bluefish. Inshore fishermen caught speckled trout and grey trout, puppy drum and bluefish. Head boats caught gray trout, pig fish, puffer and pin fish. Contact: Oregon Inlet Fishing Center 252-441-6301, www.oregon-inlet.com.
At the point, a 32-inch red drum was reported Tuesday, along with a keeper drum and bluefish. Avon Beach has reported speckled trout and spots. Elsewhere, there have been reports of small spots, small flounder, small sea mullet, small puppy drum and small pompano. Offshore boats have reported blackfin tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, amberjack and barracuda. Contact: Red Drum Tackle 252-995-5414, www.hatterasisland.com; offshore news, Teach’s Lair Marina 252-986-2460.
Beach fishermen have caught a nice mix of fish, including lots of small puppy drum, sometimes two at a time, sea mullet, pompano and some nice, chunky bluefish in the 10-pound range. A few yearling drum, in the 33- to 35-inch range also have showed up. Inshore boats have landed some citation red drum usually during the evening. Also inshore, there has been reports of Spanish mackerel, bluefish and gray trout. Offshore boats have reported wahoo, billfish and amberjack. Contact: Tradewinds Bait & Tackle 252-928-5491, www.fishtradewinds.com.
Cape Lookout/Bogue Inlet
There have been reports of sea mullet at the Port, gray trout at Beaufort Inlet. Surf anglers have caught mullet, small bluefish, keeper flounder and short puppy drum. Piers have reported keeper flounder and pompano. King mackerel have been caught within 2 or 3 miles of shore. In the creeks, there have been catches of red drum and speckled trout. Offshore, there have been reports of wahoo about 35 to 40 miles out.
In the surf, there has been lots of black drum, flounder, pompano, Virginia mullet and a spot here and there. The piers have reported flounder, black drum, spots, lots of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and a few king mackerel. The sound side has picked up red drum, sheepshead and flounder. Contact: East Coast Discount Tackle 910-328-1887, www.eastcoastsports.com.
Wilmington/ Wrightsville Beach
Fall fishing is beginning to heat up with the water temperature dropping. Johnnie Mercer’s Pier has reported good catches of bluefish, Spanish mackerel on most mornings and evenings. In the surf, there has been flounder, black drum, red drum, sheepshead and pompano. Boats have found Spanish mackerel and bluefish along the beach out to Liberty Ship (AR370). The jetty is producing red drum, bluefish and an occasional cobia. Contact: Tex’s Tackle 910-791-1763, www.texstackle.com.
In the surf, there has been lots of puffers, bluefish, sporadic spots and Virginia mullet. On the piers there have been a few red drum and a few Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Offshore, there have been reports of wahoo. Contact: Dutchman Creek Bait & Tackle 910-457-1221; www.yeahrightcharters.com; or www.oifishingcenter.com.
The largemouth bass bite still is slow, though improving. They’re being caught on topwaters, square-billed crankbaits in morning and evening in 5 to 10 feet of water. They also are being caught during the day on plastic worms around the schooling shad. Most fish have been small. The crappie are scattered, but biting. The better ones are in 5 to 10 feet of water around wood structure and bridge pilings. The catfish are doing well on nightcrawlers and dough balls. The white bass are schooling up, up and down the lake on the baitfish. Contact: Outhouse Tackle 919-217-0085; www.wmi.org.
The largemouth bass bite has been oriented to main lake points on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Crappie have taken minnow-tipped jigs in shallow water areas and near the U.S. 64 bridge. Water level: normal 216, Wednesday 216.24, full pool 240. Contact: Wilsonville General Store 919-362-7101; www.crappie.com.
Largemouth bass have been taking spinner baits in shallow and medium depths. Crappie continue to be caught in shallow and medium-depth water around wood and bridge pilings. The catfish bite remains tough, with a few fish in shallow. Striped bass have been biting during the afternoons and evenings on topwater baits. Water level: normal 300, Wednesday 295.23, full pool 320. Contact: Bobcats Bait and Tackle 434-374-8381; www.kerrlake.com.
Shearon Harris Lake
Largemouth bass fishing has been slow. Some success has come finding schooling bass, which have taken topwaters, lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits worked through the school. Quality fish have come on Carolina-rigged plastic in 15 to 20 on secondary points. Medium diving crankbaits have turned up some fish. Suspended fish also might bite on vertical jigging spoons. Crappie also have been tough, with a few found in various depths around structures. Contact: The Tackle Box 919-557-8255; www.wmi.org. (For water levels go to http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/)