By From staff reports
Published in Sports on October 9, 2009 1:46 PM
Ocean: Offshore anglers had fair to good results, catching dolphin, wahoo, and amberjack along with a few Atlantic bonito, little tunny, and skipjack, yellowfin, and blackfin tuna. Billfish catches were slow. Midrange fishing was very slow and uneventful, with the exception of a few king mackerel and in the 15-20 mile range. Anglers caught sheepshead, tautog, triggerfish, spadefish, and black drum on artificial reefs. Near shore anglers caught plenty of keeper-sized red drum, with most catches being in the backwash of the surf zone. Sand fleas and shrimp were the bait of choice. Kingfish, spot, and large croakers were also caught in the same area.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: There were nice catches of spotted seatrout and flounder throughout the area. Flounder catches were best at Oregon Inlet near the shallow areas of the assorted islands and land masses. Spotted seatrout catches were best in the early-mid morning hours and at dusk. Catches were best in the Roanoke Sound off the "little bridge" and underneath the Washington Baum bridge opposite Pirates Cove Marina. Red drum have moved into Oregon Inlet and were caught by almost everyone with a line in the water. Most specimens were in the legal slot limit. Striped bass catches continued to improve, but most specimens were undersized. Bridge structures continue to offer anglers nice specimens of sheepshead and black drum when little else is available.
Piers/Shore: Fishing success rates were similar to the near shore boaters. with catches of red drum being the most consistent. Kingfish, croakers, puffers, and spot were caught in moderate amounts. Assorted other species were caught in low amounts including flounder, weakfish, spotted seatrout, black seabass, puffers, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pigfish, pinfish, red and black drum, banded rudderfish, striped burrfish, lizardfish, skates, and assorted rays and sharks.
Ocean: For those trolling offshore the catch consisted primarily of wahoo. Dolphin have become scarce and tuna have been rare. Bottom fishing was great this past week! Those bottom fishing offshore brought back limits on beeliners, lots of triggerfish, grunts, amberjacks, grouper, and some sea bass that weighed in just under 4 pounds. The bait is still thick just off the beaches. Spanish are still out there too - being caught off the beaches, but a little further out than in past weeks.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: There are still a few good sized Spanish, some weighing in at 3 pounds, in and around Beaufort and Bogue inlets although you will most likely have to go outside to find the bait. A few blues being caught here and there but really nothing to speak of. A few grey trout have turned up in the inlets but this past week they were few and far between. The legal size flounders have been difficult to find lately, but this past week many of the local rivers turned out to be great fishing holes. A number of people fishing the White Oak River went home with 4 to 5 legal flounder on ice! Queens Creek in the Swansboro area turned out to be a great place for black drum! Not only were they large but they were caught in good numbers. There were even reports of one gentleman catching them two at a time this past weekend. Yet again, the Pamlico River and Core Sound produced keeper flounder and some very large red drum. Fishing for sheepshead around the high rise bridges has slowed. The numbers and sizes slowed along with them. The spot fishing was a bit slow this week but the ones that were caught were good sized. Large whiting (Virginia mullet) were caught in the Bogue Sound area.
Piers/Shore: The surf and pier fishing continues to improve. Anglers on piers reeled in lots of Spanish and most of them weighed close to 2 pounds. No inshore kings to speak of though. People were catching good numbers of pompano, whiting, spadefish, puffers, blues and decent numbers of good sized spot. Blues have been sparse, but when caught they have still been good sized.
Ocean: Offshore, the wahoo fishing was good last week. Boats reported multiple hookups and fish over seventy pounds being caught. Bottom fishing remains slow for groupers but there are some very big vermilion snapper being caught right now. Closer to shore the king mackerel fishing really heated up off Southport. The old river channel was the hot spot with most fish being in the mid to upper 20 pound range. Near/shore reefs produced flounder, Spanish mackerel, and an increasing amount of gray trout.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing has been good overall. Trout, drum, and flounder fishing has been good over the last couple of weeks. The Southport/Oak Island area has been producing some really nice trout catches of late. The Elizabeth River and the creeks behind Bald Head Island have been two of the hot spots of late. Fishing has been good in the Cape Fear River up to down town Wilmington. There are some stripers being caught up river as well. The Topsail Island area reports great red drum fishing in the marshes along with some trout starting to show up.
Piers/Shore: All area piers reported some really good spot runs last week. The spots are big for the most part and if you are lucky to be there when a school comes though you can fill a cooler in no time. Along with the spots there are some pompanos, sea mullets, bluefish, and some black drum. Spanish mackerel fishing has been outstanding on some area piers. Surf fishermen are catching a little of everything - pompano, sea mullet, back and red drum, and some keeper flounder. Sand fleas and finger mullet have been the two best baits.