Northern Beaches – August, 2020
Betty, of TW’s Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers have been catching good numbers of sea mullet (up to 18”) while bottom fishing with shrimp. Pompano and croakers are also mixed in the bottom bite, with the southern Hatteras beaches seeing more of the larger fish. Bluefish and spanish mackerel are hitting cut baits and glass minnow jigs.
In the sounds, anglers around Oregon Inlet have been catching healthy numbers of speckled trout with live bait and popping cork rigs. Red drum are pushed up onto the flats during higher, incoming tides.
Nearshore anglers are reporting a mix of spanish mackerel, false albacore, and kings while trolling live bait and spoons.
Offshore boats are returning with catches of yellowfin and a few blackfin tuna. Large wahoo (up to 62 lbs.) and mahi are also mixed in the trolling bite.
Bottom fishing is producing tilefish and keeper black sea bass.
Bridgette, of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, reports that tuna fishing has been a mix of yellowfins and blackfins.
Mahi are scattered offshore, but once finding a school, anglers are reporting nice action on bailer-sized fish. Wahoo are also mixed in, but similar to the mahi, the bite is scattered.
Billfishing has been steady, with good numbers of white marlin flags flying, and anglers looking for a break in trolling action have found limits of tilefish.
Nearshore trolling trips are finding a mix of spanish mackerel, false albacore, and ribbonfish.
Inshore, red drum and speckled trout have the spotlight. Anglers are reporting fish on all the go-to methods, from topwater plugs to popping corks with live bait.
Laurie, of Pirate’s Cove Marina, reports that big blue marlin and white marlin have anglers excited as the billfish have been crashing through some spreads.
Some limits of mahi are being found around grass lines, and yellowfin tuna fishing has been steady.
Nearshore trolling trips have been catching limits of spanish mackerel and some bluefish.
Bottom structure has been holding large amberjack, some cobia, and good numbers of flounder (released).
Aaron, of Carolina Sunrise Charters, reports that inshore fishing has been producing strong numbers of speckled trout. Coming off a mild winter has really benefitted anglers with a larger class of fish hitting live baits and soft plastics under corks.
Red drum are broken up onto the flats, where cut baits have been enticing bites.
Off the beaches, cobia are being found cruising through the inlet and around nearshore structure, and scattered citation-class red drum are pushing into the inlets for anglers sight-casting and fishing live bait.
Billy, of Fishing Unlimited, reports that speckled trout are around for anglers fishing early. Both live bait (under corks or Carolina-rigged) and soft plastics are producing bites.
A few puppy drum are hitting live baits and cut mullet.
For those fishing with cut shrimp, there are plenty of croakers keeping rods bent.
Andy, of Nags Head Pier, reports that bluefish are being caught on cut baits and casting jigs when feeding on the surface.
Bottom fishing anglers are reporting spot and good numbers of sea mullet.
Justin, of Avalon Pier, reports that bottom fishing has been good throughout the recent heat wave, with catches of sea mullet (up to 2.5 lbs.), spot, and the occasional smooth puffer.
Some slot to over-slot red drum (up to 33”) are feeding on cut mullet.
Anglers fishing early in the morning are able to find some action on the resident school of striped bass.
Larger spanish mackerel (up to 24”) and bluefish are hitting Gotcha plugs and other heavier casting jigs.
Jeff, of Albemarle Fishing Charters, reports that sound anglers are catching slot-sized red drum up to the inland river mouths.
A few speckled trout are mixed in these same areas, with live bait working best due to warm inshore water temperatures.
Surf fishing has been great in the southern Nags Head area. Bottom fishing has been seeing the most action, including large sea mullet, croaker, and spot. This same stretch of beach down to Oregon Inlet is always able to also kick out a few red drum for anglers fishing cut baits.
Paul, of Bob’s Bait and Tackle, reports that large sea mullet (up to 2.4 lbs.) and pompano (up to 3 lbs.) are being caught in deeper holes just off the sand.
Spot and croakers are mixed in the daily counts, with both fish hitting shrimp or bait strips on the classic two-hook bottom rigs.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are following schools of bait into the surf, and they are striking at casting jigs when in a feeding frenzy. When not on the surface, fishing cut baits has generated some action.
Flounder, though not in season, are being caught on shrimp and soft plastics.
Inshore fishing trips closer to Oregon Inlet have been catching speckled trout and red drum with live bait.