Inshore continue to haul in good numbers of speckled trout, sea mullet, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and early flounder. Near-shore anglers are reporting plenty of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, sea mullet, as well as small king mackerel. Deep-sea expeditions have been returning loaded with mahi mahi, blackfin tuna, snappers of all varieties, and a few more swordfish that were caught and released. Contact: Oregon Inlet Fishing Center 252-441-6301, www.oregon-inlet.com.
Fishing has been slow recently with the main bite coming from bluefish right off the surf. The bluefish are accompanied by a few small Spanish mackerel and red drum. The story is the same on the sound-side with the only real bite coming fro the local speckled trout population. Contact: Red Drum Tackle 252-995-5414, www.hatteras-island.com; offshore news, Oden’s Dock 252-986-2555, www.odensdock.com; or www.hatterasharbor.com.
Cape Lookout/Bogue Inlet
Shore and pier anglers are catching large Spanish mackerel, good-sized bluefish, flounder, and sea mullet, which have finally finished their trip from the sound to the sea. The backwater fishing is finally into its true seasonal form as it is loaded with red drum and trout. Offshore trips have been yielding the usual catches of Spanish mackerel and snapper, but the king mackerel and cobia bite is starting to come to life. Contact: EJW Outdoors 252-247-4725; Portside Marina 252-726-7678; www.ncoif.com.
Standard seasonal fishing remains in place all across the area. Pier and Surf anglers have been hauling in fantastic numbers of bluefish and sea mullet with a few Spanish mackerel and keepable flounder mixed in between. Their sound-side counterparts are also catching great numbers of fish, usually red drum and speckled trout. Boats that have gone offshore have been returning with above average hauls of king mackerel, grouper, and sea bass. Those that have made it to the gulf stream have been bringing back some large mahi and black fin tuna to spice up their regular catch as well. Contact: East Coast Discount Tackle 910-328-1887, www.eastcoastsports.com.
Wilmington/ Wrightsville Beach
Backwater fishing has become more red and black drum and less speckled trout. Surf and pier anglers continue to haul in bluefish, Spanish mackerel, red drum, sea mullet and flounder. Offshore trips are still consistently returning with snapper, grouper, and Spanish mackerel. Those venturing to the Gulf Stream have been rewarded with big hauls of sea bass, snapper, blackfin tuna and a couple of trophy swordfish. Contact: Tex’s Tackle 910-791-1763, www.texstackle.com.
Many boats continue to return with above average catches of black bass, silver and gray snapper, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and a king mackerel. Shore-side anglers continue to report strong bluefish bites mingled in with the seasonal Spanish mackerel, sea mullet. Anglers are also reporting a good amount of red and black drum up around the legs of the pier and all down the surf. Contact: Dutchman Creek Bait & Tackle 910-457-1221; www.yeahrightcharters.com; or www.oifishingcenter.com.
Bass have returned to the topwater and are biting on soft plastics. The crappie are still in 6 to 10 feet of water biting on minnows near the brush piles, and the catfish have been biting steadily in the deeper waters on large minnows and dip bait. Water level: normal 251.5, Wednesday 251.4, full pool 264.8. Contact Outhouse Tackle Company 919-847-1222.; www.outhousetackle.com.
No Report Given. Water level: normal 216, Wednesday 215.1, full pool 240. Contact: Wilsonville General Store 919-362-7101; Crosswinds Marina 919-387-7011.
Bass fishing is slowly picking up, especially in the mornings and evenings when they have been biting on soft plastics and jigs in anywhere from 2 to 10 feet of water. The crappie have gotten more active around the brush piles as well, biting on live minnows and even the occasional worm. Catfish remain in the depths and are biting on dip bait and night-crawlers. Water level: normal 300, Wednesday 298.8, full pool 320. Contact: Bobcat’s Bait & Tackle 434-374-8381; www.kerrlake.com.
Shearon Harris Lake
The crappie fishing has really picked up around the lake. Most of the fish have been hauled up near the brush piles and in shady areas. The bass fishing remains on the slow side, but a few have been caught on the topwater using soft plastics. Catfish can also be found in the deeper waters around the lake, but the bite has been slow, with just a few fish getting hauled up caught late at night on cut-bait. Contact: The Tackle Box 919-557-8255; www.wmi.org.
(For water levels go to http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/)