Fish Post

Swansboro/Emerald Isle – July 2, 2020

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Randy, of The Reel Outdoors, reports that surf anglers are catching black drum, red drum, and pompano with bottom-rigged shrimp.

Bluefish are in the area, but numbers are scattered. As a result, most of the bluefish have been more responsive to Carolina-rigged cut bait.

Spanish mackerel are also in the mix, though dirty water has numbers down from typical summertime levels. Some stable weather should push better numbers back to the beach and within casting distance of anglers with glass minnow style jigs.

Inshore anglers are finding smaller speckled trout in the deeper holes off the ICW. The best action has been coming while casting soft plastics.

The inshore Emerald Isle and Swansboro bridges are holding sheepshead, black drum, croaker, spot, and flounder.

Stanley Dancy and Lori Szegedy, from Zionville, NC, with a catch of red and black drum caught on live shrimp in the marshes near Swansboro. They were fishing with Capt. Rob Koraly of Sandbar Safari Charters.

Dale, of Dudley’s Marina, reports that red drum fishing has been very good throughout the inshore areas. These redfish are sitting in holes and shallow bays in the marsh, and they’re feeding best on the falling tides. Fishing 4” white Gulp shrimp on light weight Blue Water Candy jig heads is a go-to setup. Another fun lure to utilize are spinner baits, which are also hooking up a few flounder.

Nearshore anglers are catching good numbers of spanish mackerel while trolling Clarkspoons from areas around the inlet out to two miles.

Smaller king mackerel are mixed in with the spanish, but the bigger kings are holding out around 60+’ of water. Slow trolling live baits around structure is providing most of the king action.

Rob, of Sandbar Safari Charters, reports that rain and lower than average temps have inshore waters cooler than usual, and these conditions have required different summertime methods.

Red drum are responding well to Carolina-rigged cut baits, Gulp shrimp, and topwater plugs around shallow marsh banks, docks, and oyster beds.

Black drum are mixed in the deeper holes, with fresh shrimp on the bottom working best in getting strikes.

Flounder are in some of these channels and creeks, though avoiding them is just a good idea in anticipation of the opening season.

Some smaller speckled trout and bluefish are staged up in the mainland creeks. Oyster beds, points, and docks are currently holding the bait they feed on.

Nearshore anglers are finding good action on king mackerel, amberjacks, and large black seabass in the 10+ mile range.

ason Slone, from Hampstead, NC, with a mahi caught about 75 miles outside the Topsail Inlet while fishing with Jeff Boyce. The fish hit an Ilander.

Johnathan, of On Point Charters, reports that inshore anglers have been focused in on the good red drum numbers in the area. High winds have had anglers targeting fish mostly with Carolina-rigged cut shad and live baits, rather than throwing Gulp soft plastics. As the weather settles, anglers will switch back to artificial baits fished on lightweight Fathom jig heads.

Nearshore anglers have been thrilled with the spanish mackerel numbers coming from trolling Clarkspoons behind planers. Sight-casting jigs has also worked well when stumbling onto fish breaking the surface.

Amberjack are holding on structure in the 10-20 mile range, and they’re falling for live shad.

King mackerel are out in the same zone, with free-lined or slow trolled live shad getting strikes.

John, of Early Riser Fishing Charters, reports that inshore anglers are seeing a good bite on red drum from deeper holes around the marsh. Speckled trout can be caught around structure anywhere from the inlets into the ICW.

Off the beaches, the bite is red hot for kings in the 5-10 mile range. Slow trolling live baits is the most productive method for seeing some great spooling runs from 30+ lb. fish.

Structured areas in the same depths are holding large numbers of amberjacks and some really big cobia.

Mahi are being found from the break inshore to 100’ of water. Numbers are solid, but many of these fish pushing in are smaller than the previous month’s and the bite is getting scattered.

Gulf Stream anglers are seeing good action with billfish this year, with a lot of pretty water holding abundant signs of life.

Josh, of Liquid Fire Sportfishing, reports that nearshore fishing has been very good for spanish mackerel. Slow trolling live baits has been producing large fish (4-7 lbs.) anywhere from the inlet out to around areas of structure within three miles.

King mackerel are still holding on ledges in the 10+ mile range, with the quality in size of fish making up for the need to make the longer runs.

Teresa, of Bogue Inlet Pier, reports that pompano, sea mullet, croakers, and spot are hitting bottom-rigged shrimp.

Black drum (up to 3 lbs.) and angelfish are feeding on shrimp and sand fleas fished closer to the pilings.

A few speckled trout have been landed by anglers fishing early in the mornings, and puppy drum (up to 5 lbs.) are being caught with Carolina-rigged cut mullet.

King mackerel (up to 36 lbs.) are pushing into the area, and anglers anticipate seeing better numbers of fish as the water settles and cleans up.