Northern Beaches – July 2, 2020
Betty, of TW’s Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers are catching bluefish with casting jigs from Hatteras up through Nags Head.
Soundside anglers are reporting a strong speckled trout bite around grass flats and ledges. It has been a good class of 20” fish this year, and anglers are excited to see how the rest of the year shapes up.
Red drum are feeding in some of these same holes, with drum anglers having the most success using Carolina-rigged cut mullet.
Closer to the inlet, bluefish and ribbonfish are hitting glass minnow jigs and similar metals.
Sheepshead fishing has been good near bridge pilings, and anglers can target these fish all summer with a mix of fiddler crabs and sand fleas.
Nearshore anglers are having success trolling spoons and casting jigs to the spanish mackerel, ribbonfish, and blues that are just off the beaches.
Schools of citation-class red drum and scattered cobia are cruising around the area. Being rigged with large bucktail jigs is a good plan when fishing nearshore.
Offshore anglers have been reporting “tuna fever.” The past few weeks, though wet, have seen great numbers of yellowfin and large bigeye tuna (up to 215 lbs.).
A few dolphin are mixed in, and some trips are bottom fishing for tilefish to further add to the dock counts.
Bridgette, of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, reports that tuna fishing has been spectacular. Some boats are back at the docks early with tired arms and limits of yellowfin.
Bigeye tuna (up to 160 lbs.) are mixed in, and they’re hitting the same skirted baits.
Mahi and some bonito are scattered in the counts.
A few big blue marlin have been released.
Laurie, of Pirate’s Cove Marina, reports that the area is in the middle of a great tuna bite. Limits of yellowfins and large bigeyes are hitting the dock regularly.
With all the tuna, though, there has been increased shark action. This has turned into more than its share of half tunas.
Mahi and blackfin tuna are also mixed in the daily counts.
Aaron, of Carolina Sunrise Charters, reports that cobia season is still on for anglers sight-casting in the area. Though weather hasn’t cooperated, these fish continue to be seen in good numbers.
Speckled trout have made a great showing this season. A mild winter really allowed some of these larger fish to hold over in the sounds.
Puppy drum are being caught with popping cork rigs and cut bait on the flats.
Fishing sand fleas and small crabs around structure has been producing good-sized sheepshead. These great eating fish are a summertime staple in the area.
As the weather stabilizes, anglers will turn their attention to king mackerel and dolphin moving into the area’s nearshore waters.
Gerry, of Fishing Unlimited, reports that little bridge anglers are finding a good speckled trout bite in the mornings. Soft plastics on lightweight jig heads are working best, especially with a drifting action near the bottom.
Anglers fishing bottom rigs are catching black drum on bait shrimp.
A few white perch are also feeding on the shrimp, but they are likely only in the area due to rains pushing the salinity down.
Andy, of Nags Head Pier, reports that bottom fishing has been the go-to method. Sea mullet, spot, and the occasional flounder are hitting bottom-rigged shrimp.
Anglers fishing cut mullet have been landing puppy drum in the stirred-up waters.
As the water cleans up, anglers anticipate seeing better numbers of spanish mackerel and bluefish pushing back onto the beaches.
Justin, of Avalon Pier, reports that bottom fishing with shrimp and sand fleas has been producing good-sized sea mullet (up to 3 lbs.). Black drum (up to 20”) are also hitting the bottom rigs.
Bluefish are being caught by anglers casting Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs to surface-feeding schools.
Jeff, of Albemarle Fishing Charters, reports that soundside anglers have been catching speckled trout and puppy drum from the inlets up to the mainland rivers. Recent rains have the salinity down, and so the fishing action is now stronger as you get closer to the inlets.
A few flounder are holding on the ledges along the mainland’s soundside.
Surf anglers around Nags Head have had success catching red drum and bluefish with Carolina-rigged cut baits.
Paul, of Bob’s Bait and Tackle, reports that surf fishing has been great on the beaches throughout Duck. Large pompano (up to 2.5 lbs.), croaker, and black drum are being caught with shrimp and sand fleas.
Carolina-rigged cut baits are landing red drum and bluefish.
Another great addition has been a run of good-sized striped bass (up to 30”). Every summer sees this late run of fish as they push up from the inlets to the Chesapeake.
Spanish mackerel are moving back onto the beaches with the arrival of cleaner water, and they’re hitting Gotcha Jigfish glass minnows.