Private boats are primarily catching bluefin tuna using valley fishing rigs about 23-30 miles out from shore. Traces of puppy drum and American shad are appearing along the beaches. The abnormal weather has recently created difficulty for fishing. Contact: Oregon Inlet Fishing Center 252-441-6301, www.oregon-inlet.com.
Inshore, the waters are calm due to the cold water temperatures. However, a few sea bass and bluefish have been caught inshore on shrimp bait and fishing rigs. Contact: 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
The area has been pretty sluggish as far as fishing goes. The freezing weather and strong winds have impacted conditions for fellow anglers and fish. However, sea mullet, trout, and a few puppy drum are being caught inshore using grubs and shrimp bait. Contact: EJW Outdoors 252-247-4725; Portside Marina 252-726-7678; www.ncoif.com.
Pier and surf anglers are catching mostly sea mullet and pufferfish using shrimp bait. Inshore reports of speckled trout, red drum, black drum are being caught using plastic lures and gulp bait. Outshore, sea mackerels are appearing, while out in the gulf, wahoo are being caught using live bait. Contact: East Coast Discount Tackle 910-328-1887, www.eastcoastsports.com.
Wilmington/ Wrightsville Beach
Reports of both black drum and red drum are being reported, along with some flounder, trout, and bluefish by the docks biting on shrimp, and Gulp bait. Out near the surf, sea bass, Virginia mullet, and mackerel are being caught with cup bait, while traces of wahoo still remain out in the gulf. Contact: Tex’s Tackle 910-791-1763, www.texstackle.com.
Fishing has been relatively dormant in the area with the cooler temperatures, but crappies are still biting in the area on minnows, in waters of 5-8 ft. White bass are schooling at Bart Creek, biting on blade bait and spinner baits. Near the shore, bass are biting best on fishing jigs, dropshot worms and jerk bait. The bass are not primarily biting in the shallow waters due to the frigid water conditions, so using these fishing baits will help to catch them, sine they drop down to where the bass are located. Small catfish are appearing as well, biting on dip baits and liver. Water level: normal 251.5, full pool 264.8. Contact Outhouse Tackle Company 919-847-1222.; www.outhousetackle.com.
Mostly crappies have been reported in the shallows and at about 18-20 feet of water, being caught on minnows. Small traces of bass are also being caught using spinner baits. Water level: normal 216.3, full pool 240. Contact: Wilsonville General Store 919-362-7101; Crosswinds Marina 919-387-7011.
At the upper end of the lake, blue catfish, crappie, and stonefish are being caught with spinner bait and cup bait. Striped bass are also being caught in the area using fishing spoons, rubber worms, plastic worms and live bait. Water level: shallow 297, full pool 320. Contact: Bobcat’s Bait & Tackle 434-374-8381; www.kerrlake.com.
Shearon Harris Lake
No report given. Contact: The Tackle Box 919-557-8255; www.wmi.org.
(For water levels go to http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/)