WELCOME TO FREEMAN'S BAIT & TACKLE

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
repair.
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.

FISHING REPORT


April 21, 2018

 

It is a great feeling that from now until the end of December we will have the luxury to choose from a number of different great fishing opportunities. We will experience migratory runs of both Southernly and Northern orientated fish populations passing through our unique area of a "migratory fish interstate". The start of it all are the large schools of Chopper Bluefish and Bull Drum along our beaches, and they have made their presence known, let the season begin!

There have been clouds of Bluefish along the surf in certain areas of beach, specifically from Fort Macon out to the Cape. There have been hit or miss schools of 40+" Red Drum along the shoals area of the Cape to pair nicely with the Chopper Bluefish, making for some exciting days. The Sea Mullet fishing is getting in its peak along the beach and areas near the Turning Basin. The Gray Trout are here as well, with most of them in deeper structure along the ICW and turning basin areas. Flounder fishing is just getting started, and a few early arrivers are already being caught in Bogue Sound and at most of our nearshore reefs. The big Sheepshead usually arrive just after the first batch of Flounder push inshore, so pretty soon we will be seeing the "fully-grown convicts". Black Drum fishing has been solid around the Fort Macon rock jetty and the Cape jetty. False Albacore have made a strong showing just a couple miles off the beach as well.

The marsh has been holding more and more slot sized Red Drum as every day grows warmer. They are becoming very active, making topwaters a top choice at this tranistion time of the year. Speckled Trout are known to choke a topwater as well, and all signs are showing that we will still have a healthy fishery here along our beloved Crystal Coast. If you do catch a Trout, please just take one extra minute to wet your hands before handling it. Always make sure that you wet down all dry surfaces/measuring boards that the fish is exposed to while out of the water, and please dont handle a fish you plan on releasing with a towel. Always suppport the belly of any fish you release, and never pick her up by the gills. If all fisherman practiced proper handling skills, it would make more of a difference than anyone realizes. Don't forget to report any tagged Red Drum, Speckled Trout or Cobia taken in our inshore waters to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries tagging program.

Offshore the fishing has been heating up. We have had some of the best Yellowfin Tuna fishing that boats of Morehead/Atlantic Beach have seen in a very long time. If you want to try to catch a few Yellowfin, get out there ASAP, because who knows how long this bite will last. The Wahoo are starting to chew a little bit better, and we are seeing a few scattered gaffer sized Dolphinfish prematurely arriving, in a couple of weeks the Dolphin fishing will be world class. Bottom fishing remains stable, and Grouper opens back up in May for recreational anglers to target again.

Tight Lines from Freeman's Bait and Tackle

 


April 10, 2018

 

On the beach there have been schools of Bull Drum along the shoals at the Cape. There will be a school of adult Black Drum out there at some point this month as well; it seems to happen every April.

The chopper Bluefish have made their first appearance. We have heard of a couple of them caught near the Coast Guard Station. There will likely be some good schools of chopper Bluefish at the shoals if you can get a good weather day to get to them. Sea Mullet are showing up along the beach as well as Black Drum for those fishing with fresh cut shrimp from the surf zone. False Albacore are available in places like the Shipping Channel and the Cape. Slot sized Red Drum have been schooling in the whitewash of the beaches in front of Atlantic Beach and Fort Macon, if you have the right weather you can sight fish for them.

There have also been Red Drum in large schools in the marsh. The schools of Drum that have been in the marsh this Spring are upper slot sized fish. These fish are starting to become more active with the water temperatures now in the low 60's. Look for them around oyster beds and in the back of grassy bays when you have high tide conditions. Speckled Trout are now starting to feed up before they spawn. This is the time of the year when you have opportunities at a gargantuan female. Remember, Speckled Trout are not to be kept, and if you catch one, treat her like a lady and make sure she is taken care of properly. Wet your hands, do not grab the gills, and support the belly. Never use a rag to handle any fish that you plan on releasing, and this goes for all species. Black Drum and Sheepshead are starting to chew near dock pilings on the ICW. There have been a few early Flounder around in deeper pockets in the marsh and artificial reefs. The Gray Trout have made their arrival known, and are feeding at the turning basin and the Atlantic Beach bridge.

Offshore fishing has started to pick up. Anglers are having good luck on Wahoos, Blackfins, and even Yellowfins. There have also been a few beautiful Swordfish taken for those that have been targeting them these last couple of weeks. Grouper are still closed, but bottom fisherman have been doing well on Black Sea Bass, Triggerfish, Jacks, and a few Beeliners.

Until Next Time,

Tight Lines from Freemans Bait and Tackle

 

5th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament

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

* Required






TIDE CHART

 

FISH CALCULATOR

Enter the length and girth of the fish and press the Calculate button.
If you do not know the girth, leave it blank and we will estimate it for you.
Length is measured from the V-notch in the tail to the tip of the lower jaw.

 
Fish Weight Calculator
Length:  Inches
Girth:  Inches
Weight*:  Pounds
*This is only an estimate