Gulf stream anglers are catching yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna and mahi. The shore fishing bite consists mainly of bluefish and sea mullet, but a few flounder and Spanish mackerel can’t be ruled out. Most bites are coming on cup bait and jigs. Inshore, a strong black drum and speckled trout bite has set in. Contact: Oregon Inlet Fishing Center 252-441-6301, www.oregon-inlet.com.
Anglers are reporting a strong Spanish mackerel bite around the point and near ramp 55. The mackerel bite has also been very good around the newly formed Shelley Island, but shark sightings and hazardous waters have limited the number of reports. A few citation pompano and croaker have been caught this week on the surf, and the bite overall remains strong. The sound-side fishing remains fruitful as well. Many speckled trout, puppy drum, and a few nice-sized flounder have been caught in the last week. 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 bite is still mostly Spanish mackerel, bluefish and a few sea mullet. Beyond the coast, boats are catching snapper, grouper, king mackerel and a few blackfin tuna. Contact: EJW Outdoors 252-247-4725; Portside Marina 252-726-7678; www.ncoif.com.
The pier and surf bite has fallen into a more seasonal pattern. The Spanish mackerel and black drum are biting hard near the pier on plugs and casting spoons. Also biting up and down the shore are bluefish, sea mullet, red drum and a few flounder. Inshore fishing has quieted down, with just a light flow of speckled trout and drum throughout the day, with the flounder still biting hard in the evenings. Although only a few boats have made it out this week, those that have were rewarded with really nice catches consisting of sea bass, albacore, tilefish, king mackerel, grouper and even a few mahi. Contact: East Coast Discount Tackle 910-328-1887, www.eastcoastsports.com.
Reports of red drum have skyrocketed inshore alongside the seasonal flounder, trout and bluefish near the rocks and docks. Most fish are biting on shrimp and Gulp bait. On the surf, sea mullet and Spanish mackerel are being pulled in with shrimp and jigs, respectively. King mackerel are biting on wedgie rigs and large minnows. Yellowfin tuna are biting strong out in the gulf, along with wahoo and a few mahi-mahi. Contact: Tex’s Tackle 910-791-1763, www.texstackle.com.
Inshore anglers continue to haul in speckled trout and bluefish on shrimp. On the pier, a very strong Spanish mackerel bite continues to be the talk of the town. Several citation fish have been caught in the last week and the bite appears to be here to stay. Other activity includes sea mullet, bluefish, black drum and a few pompano. Boats headed further offshore can expect good catches of mahi and sea bass. Contact: Dutchman Creek Bait & Tackle 910-457-1221; www.yeahrightcharters.com; or www.oifishingcenter.com.
Bass fishing is still strong, and the fish have finally settled down. The fish are occasionally biting on the top water in the morning but can be found mostly in 10-15 feet of water near ledges and brush. The fish are still biting well on crank baits and Carolina rigs, but have also taken a liking to Texas rigs and top-water baits in the morning. The white bass are schooling more infrequently in the mornings and evenings but are still biting on spoons just outside of the creek mouths. Catfish activity remains steady, with bites reported on night crawlers and dip bait in about 20 feet of water. The crappie bite is back once again, this time on brush piles and ledges using jigs and minnows. Water level: 251.58, normal 251.5, full pool 264.8. Contact Outhouse Tackle Co. 919-847-1222.; www.outhousetackle.com.
The crappie bite is still steady in 3-10 feet of water using minnows. The brim bite is still strong near the edges of the lake on crickets. The best time to fish for bass is in the morning and the evenings using jigs in about 13 feet of water. Water level: 216.13, normal 216, full pool 240. Contact: Wilsonville General Store 919-362-7101; Crosswinds Marina 919-387-7011.
The large-mouth and white bass are biting on plastics and crankbaits near brushpiles and ledges, mostly in the evenings. The crappie and striper bite is still consistent using minnows on brush piles in 15 to 20 feet of water, and the catfish have been biting on dip bait and night crawlers in 20 feet of water. Water level: 300.31, normal 302, full pool 320. Contact: Bobcat’s Bait & Tackle 434-374-8381; www.kerrlake.com.
Shearon Harris Lake
Crappie are biting in 14 to 20 feet of water, nibbling at minnows near the brush piles in the main lake. The bass activity has picked up a lot, especially in the morning and evening. The fish are biting on Carolina rigs and soft plastics in 12-14 feet of water. Contact: The Tackle Box 919-557-8255; www.wmi.org.
(For water levels go to http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/)