Fish Post

Hatteras/Ocracoke – August, 2020

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Ryan, of Hatteras Jack, reports that surf fishing has been fairly slow due to the recent heat wave. Anglers are having the most success while fishing Carolina-rigged cut mullet for red drum that are moving in and out of the inlet. Most of these fish are puppy to slot-sized, with a few over-slot fish being caught south of Rodanthe.

Soundside fishing remains good for anglers wading and kayak fishing. Speckled trout and red drum are holding on the drop-offs from the flats to the channels. Soft plastics on lighter jig heads and under popping corks are producing most of the strikes. The lighter weight is allowing the baits to be worked slower for enticing these sluggish fish. Getting out early and late in the day is helping find more action, as the slight change in temperature gets the fish active.

Jim, of Rodanthe Pier, reports that anglers fishing live bait off the end are landing king mackerel, blacktip sharks, and a couple tarpon.

Spanish mackerel and bluefish are being caught with diamond jigs and Gotcha plugs cast into surface-feeding schools.

Sheepshead are being caught in good numbers from anglers fishing shrimp and sand fleas up against the pilings. Bottom rigs with shrimp have been producing pompano (up to 2 lbs.), sea mullet, spadefish, and spot.

Heather, of Frank and Fran’s, reports that sea mullet fishing has been great in recent days, with citation-class fish (up to 2 lbs.) hitting cut shrimp in the wash. Pompano and spot are mixed in the same areas as the sea mullet.

Carolina-rigged cut finger mullet is producing bluefish. Around Buxton, these cut bait rigs are catching sharks and puppy drum.

Spanish mackerel moved in close to the beach around ramp 32, within casting distance of surf anglers.

Sound-side anglers are reporting good speckled trout fishing while using scented soft plastics under popping cork rigs.

Cameron, of Frisco Tackle, reports that bottom fishing in the surf has been producing sea mullet and pompano.

Anglers choosing to fish with cut baits are landing red drum and bluefish.

Artificial and cut baits fished along deeper ledges and holes in the sound have been catching red drum and speckled trout.

Lee, of Teach’s Lair, reports that offshore trips have been returning with good-sized wahoo (up to 46 lbs.) and mahi.

Bottom fishing the deeper structure has been adding tilefish and grouper to the box.

Nearshore trips are finding schools of spanish mackerel and bluefish from the beaches out a couple miles. This same range has still been producing stray cobia.

Surf anglers are bringing in citation-sized pompano and sea mullet.

Joey, of Fingeance Sportfishing, reports that recent trips have been catching a lot of good-sized spanish mackerel and bluefish. Casting metals on lightweight tackle has been the top producer.

On windy days, inshore anglers are getting into good numbers of red drum with Carolina-rigged cut baits.

Speckled trout are also around, with Z-Man paddle tail baits under popping corks getting the most fish to strike.

Jay, of Bite Me Sportfishing, reports that dolphin fishing has been steady, with the majority of fish seeking shelter around scattered grass patties. Sailfish, blackfin tuna, and skipjack tuna are mixed in the counts for trips out to the break.

There have been some big blue marlin around, though getting them to hold onto baits has been tough.

Deep dropping around bottom structure is producing limits of tilefish and grouper.

Jeremy, of Calypso Sportfishing, reports that billfishing has been the hot ticket with recent trips. Finding the right conditions offshore has been producing strikes from big blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish.

Schools of mahi are in the offshore mix, with anglers doing well while working sections of grass lines.

Several large wahoo are pulling up from deep to hit the trolled ballyhoo, with the action best in the bluewater offshore of the grass lines.

Bottom-fishing is producing grouper, tilefish, vermilion snapper, and triggerfish for anglers looking for breaks in long days of trolling.  

Jessie, of Carolina Girl Sportfishing, reports that billfishing has been great, with anglers enjoying these fish crashing the spreads. A few trips are returning to the dock with multiple release flags.

Around the break, citation-class wahoo and blackfin tuna are hitting skirted ballyhoo.

There have been some limits of mahi. Finding a good weed line really makes a difference.

Bottom fishing has been hot, with a good mix of triggerfish, vermilion snappers, silkies, grouper, and tilefish all coming off deeper structure.

Alan, of Tradewinds Tackle, reports that anglers are landing citation-class pompano from deeper holes in the sound out into the surf zone.

Some upper-slot red drum (up to 26”) are hitting cut baits on the beach around ramp 63, and a few specked trout are mixed in the surf counts, with anglers having the best luck early or late in the day.

Inshore anglers are catching puppy drum and citation-class reds along ledges and shoals near the inlet. Speckled trout (up to 4.5 lbs.) are holding near grass lines and inshore channels.

Nearshore anglers have had a blast battling huge amberjacks at the local wrecks.