In business since 1967, Freeman's Discount Bait & Tackle is Atlantic Beach's oldest and best established bait and
tackle shop. We're located on the left just before the Atlantic Beach light, the closest tackle shop to the Oceanana Pier.
NC Coastal Fishing License

Over 1900 square feet of retail space, Freeman's offers the largest selection of Shimano and Penn reels, Custom Key
Largo rods and Shakespear Ugly Stik rods. Inshore and offshore tackle by Iland Lure, Blue Water Candy, Sea Striker,
Berkley Gulp and many hard to find items. Fresh, frozen, live and artificial baits, along with in house rod and reel
Our experienced staff is always on hand to offer free advice and friendly service.
Look for the BLUE bait shop, Freeman's Discount Bait & Tackle, for all your fishing needs.


July 1, 2018

The Crystal Coast is full of life right now, both in the water and off of it. It's the great week of fireworks, festivities, and fish. So come enjoy one of the most beautiful areas North Carolina has to offer this Fourth of July.

Inshore and along the beach the fishing has been great. Sheepshead fishing has been really awesome in the ICW, and there have been some really nice Black Drum to pair nicely with them. Fiddler Crabs have been the go to choice of bait for the Sheepshead and Black Drum, but live shrimp is a great option too, especially if you want a chance at a Seatrout or a Flounder as well. Red Drum fishing has been great. The Reds have been in areas like pot holes along the beachfront, marsh areas with good oyster points, extensive shallow water mud flats, and docks along the ICW.

Speckled Trout fishing has been good, you really need to focus 100% of your time on the first 30 minutes of daylight for them at this time of the year. They just do not like to chew a whole lot in the heat of the day. Topwaters along shelly bottoms is still the way to go for the Speckled variety.

Nearshore reefs and the ICW have been producing good numbers of Flounder. Live mullet or live shad on a Carolina rig is the best way to target them in the heat of the Summer. There have been some keeper flatties being taken along the beachfront by surf fisherman as well.

Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel and Dolphin have been keeping those live baiting nearshore areas very busy. The King Mackerel fishing is actually really good right now. Tarpon are still being sighted in random stretches along the beach all the way from Bogue inlet to the point of the Cape. Ladyfish are still biting live shrimp after dark, and so are a few nice Speckled Trout. Spadefish are still rooting around nearshore wrecks.

Surf fishing with shrimp has been great for Sea Mullet, Black Drum, Croaker, and a few Pompano. For those fishing the surf with live bait, spoons, or soft plastics on a jig, the beach has been providing a few Red Drum, Flounder, Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish.

Offshore there has been some good reports of Dolphin, a few nice Wahoo, some Blackfin and a few White Marlin for those trolling Ballyhoo. However you never know when you might encounter a Blue Marlin in your spread at this time of the year! There have been a few guys trying out the Swordfish but haven't heard of any caught just yet, it might not be long until someone dials them in. Bottom fishing is still great on the Grouper.

You cant catch fish on the couch, so go make something happen. Have a great 4th of July week everyone! God bless America!

Tight Lines from Freeman's Bait & Tackle 


June 14, 2018

Summer fishing is upon us, with warm offshore water scattered everywhere. At this time of the year you have a shot at more species of fish than any other time. A few of them that are very noteworthy and fun to target are species like Tarpon, Barracuda, Spadefish, Blue Marlin and Ladyfish. These 5 species are very focused on the warmest times of the year only.

Inshore fishing has been steady. The Flounder fishing is really starting to heat up as of lately. The flatties are being taken on nearshore wrecks, in the sound, and in the ICW. The Sheepshead and Black Drum fishing is also very hot right now along the docks of the ICW.
Ladyfish are being caught after dark on live shrimp under the AB bridge lights, and they are known as the poor man's Tarpon. If you havent ever fished for them it's really fun and worth giving a try. Just free line a live shrimp on the surface, that simple! There are Spadefish on the wrecks, and these are very picky feeders and can be tough to capture. The King Mackerel fishing is as good as it gets right now, along with some very nice Spanish to pair along with them. These fish are being taken live baiting Menhaden or dead baiting cigar minnows on the slow troll on nearshore wrecks and in the shipping channel. There have been some nice gaffer Mahi being reported as close as the Sea Buoy, and also a report of a Sailfish hookup at the Sea Buoy as well. Tarpon are rare, but have been caught in the last week, they are migrating down beaches right now. Pier anglers generally catch them as bycatch while pin-rigging for King Mackerel on the piers. Top bait choices for a Tarpon would be either a small live Bluefish or else a live pinfish. Amberjacks are thick on the wrecks and are nailing topwater plugs and live baits. Speckled Seatrout is about to open, so it's fair game to target the gators soon. The topwater bite is the best way to catch a trophy trout in the summer, and that bite will almost always occur in the first 30 minutes during sunrise. Places that have good grass and shell bottom are ideal to try for the big Trout. Red Drum fishing has been great, lots and lots of slot fish are being captured in a variety of places. Tar Landing bay and the Haystacks are two great starting points to try for them. Barracuda are "all you want" on the nearshore reefs, you can catch them with tube lures or live baits.

Surf fishing has been good, with a variety of species being caught. Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Flounder, Red Drum, Croaker, Pompano, and a few Sea Mullet is the report on the beachfront.

Offshore most people are either Blue Marlin fishing or else bottom fishing for Grouper. The Mahi are much more scattered out now, but they are available. Many of the Mahi are moving more inshore, making places like the 90 foot drop and even closer than that great options to try. Look for good grass lines when Mahi fishing. The Gag Grouper fishing has been good, with some really nice fish being caught. 100-150 feet will be just fine for Gag fishing, even areas like Northwest Places are holding some nice Gags. We've not heard
many reports of anglers pursuing Swordfish recently, but think there will be some fish boated after the Big Rock tournament finishes up.

As always,

Tight Lines from Freeman's Bait & Tackle


5th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament

2018 Tournament Dates: OCT. 5th - Oct. 7th

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