Morehead City/Atlantic Beach – July 2, 2020
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails, reports that backwater anglers are catching good numbers of red drum and speckled trout from deep holes around the marshes. It has been a great class of reds this season, with many keepers being on the upper end of slot size limits.
Nearshore anglers are reporting large schools of spanish mackerel from the inlet out to nearshore wrecks. Trolling spoons and Deep Divers are the top producing methods. Those preferring casting action are doing well with Big Nic Spanish Candies and Sam’s Gitter Rigs.
King mackerel (up to 30+ lbs.) are pushing closer to shore. Slow trolling live baits has landed many of the larger kings in the area.
A great class of large gray trout are holding at the nearshore wrecks, and they’re hitting jigs and bottom-rigged baits.
Offshore trips are coming in with strong numbers of gaffer dolphin. Skirted and naked ballyhoo pulled around the scattered grass has been the ticket for mahi success.
Bottom fishing structure in 120+’ has been producing triggerfish and vermilion snapper.
Paul, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that nearshore fishing has been picking up with water temperatures rising.
Spanish mackerel (up to 6 lbs.) are being caught from the inlet out to the nearshore ARs. Trolling Clarkspoons and sight-casting jigs are both producing good numbers of fish.
Jigging Stingsilvers at the ARs has been producing large gray trout.
Offshore anglers had most of their attention pointed to the Big Rock Tournament in recent weeks, but they are currently reporting good numbers of mahi out at the break.
Inshore anglers are targeting black drum and sheepshead around the area’s bridges.
Red drum are being caught with cut baits in holes around the inlet. Some drier weather will have these groups of fish pushing back into the marshes with the bait.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that fish counts are picking up as the weather moves more towards a seasonal norm. Spanish and bluefish are holding in their summer areas from the inlets out to the nearshore wrecks. Trolling and casting have both been producing good numbers of fish.
Bottom fishing with live and cut baits has been hot around structure and ledges. Targeting the 85-125’ range south of Beaufort Inlet has been the most productive.
Slot-sized red drum are showing up well in the ICW, with docks being great starting points.
Speckled trout fishing has been strong all spring. Most of the fishery has recently been focused a bit north in the Neuse.
Justin, of Breakday Charters, reports that nearshore fishing has been great for anglers braving the weather. Large spanish mackerel are being caught around nearshore wrecks with slow trolled live baits.
Jigging these same reefs is producing keeper weakfish and catch/release flounder.
Inshore trips have been finding good numbers of over-slot red drum while bottom fishing around deeper holes and ledges.
Sheepshead and black drum are holding in these similar holes that are close to structure.
Dave, at Cape Lookout Charters, reports that bluefish are moving into Beaufort Inlet in good numbers. Spotting the surface feeding schools and casting 1/4 oz. white colored casting jigs has been getting great action.
Spanish mackerel are schooled up from the inlet out to 40’ of water. Trolling Clarkspoons behind #1 planers has been deadly.
Plenty of redfish and trout are holding in holes from the marshes around the inlet up into the rivers. Anglers have been loving the topwater action in the morning, with a switch to paddletail soft plastics being a productive move as the hot sun rises and pushes the fish down.
Sheepshead and black drum are holding near areas of structure and the area’s bridges.
Thomas, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that good numbers of gaffer-sized mahi are holding out in the Stream, with skirted baits producing the most bites. The weather has had the grass lines in the area pretty scattered, but some upcoming good weather should clump everything back together.
A few blackfins have been chewing and are a nice bonus when mixed in the daily counts.
Blue marlin are out there for anglers looking to fish big baits in deep water outside the weedlines.
Wayne, of Oceanana Pier, reports that good numbers of bluefish and some large spanish mackerel are being caught with casting jigs.
Anglers fishing bottom-rigged shrimp and sand fleas are producing large sea mullet and croakers.
With weather putting a damper on anglers the past few weeks, a run of summertime weather should push more quality fish onto the beaches.