It has been a great month of August for us. The fish have been chewing and the weather has been great. If you haven’t been fishing, you have been missing out on some solid inshore and offshore action.
Inshore: The Bull Drum have made a good showing in Cedar Island and many places in the Neuse River as well. Depressions in the sand/mud bottoms, shallow bays, and river mouths are all great places to explore during the day. Fishing near schools of Menhaden is a great method for finding them during the day as well. Anglers have been catching them during the day with popping corks rigged with either an oversized Zman-Jerkshad (White or Silver colored) or else with a DOA airhead (White/Silver). When fishing for big Drum with a cork, you really want to make that cork explode, resembling the noise an adult Red Drum would make as it exploded on a Menhaden. You also want to make sure you are fishing the right type of cork. You want the oversized cork, with a circular head on it. When you work your cork, you want to sweep your rod as hard as you can downward, and you want to make sure that it is drawing lots of water with it. If you want an easier method of targeting these fish, stop in to the shop and pick up some of our wide selection of frozen baits. Cut Menhaden, Spot, and a variety of others work great for soaking on a fishfinder rig after dark; particularly in about the 18-22 ft range in front of Cedar Island. Make sure you use a circle hook if you are fishing with dead bait, and do not hold them by their gills. Speckled Trout fishing has been ok. There are plenty of fish around, but it’s really tough to get them to chew during the day. Focus on night moves and daybreak moves. Use a topwater in the mornings, use live baits on either a cork or else a Carolina rig after dark. Live Shrimp has been producing well after dark and we do have some here at the shop. Flounder and slot Drum are around our marshes, the slot Drum have been tailing on flood tides in the grass in Tar Landing Bay. If you like fly fishing, or you are just a visual angler in general, it’s a pretty cool “Cat and Mouse” hunt. Flounder have been residing near bridge pilings, Oyster shells, dock pilings, and nearshore wrecks and reefs. Carolina rigs with a 6-8” mullet is your best option for a doormat, smaller Mullet and Mud Minnows is your best option for numbers of fish, but you never know, Elephants eat peanuts. Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, and confused Cobia can be caught live baiting Menhaden up top on wire rigs at Places like NW places, the shipping channel, and even AR 315. Amberjack are thick on any wrecks out past ten miles. They will nail topwater bubble-trail poppers and live baits as well. Sheepshead and Black Drum are all over dock pilings throughout our ICW. Look for piling with black mussels on them, and use a spatula to scrape the mussels off of the piling, this will will create a Sheepshead and Black Drum fiasco. Ladyfish are here now, and they can be extremely fun to catch, you will want to target them only after dark. You will need a live shrimp and light fluorocarbon for them, they have huge eyes and are very particular feeders. A live Shrimp on a plain hook with no weight drifted under a light source after dark will get you a Ladyfish. They really are an untapped fishery and are known as the poor man’s Tarpon. Speaking of Tarpon, a few anglers soaking baits out of Cedar Island after dark for Drum had a surprise, and jumped/pulled off a couple adult Tarpon this past week.
Offshore: The Wahoo fishing has been very strong. There have also been some very large “Alpha Male” sized fish in the mix. Most fish have been averaging 25-40lbs, however a 93lber was taken out of Oregon Inlet recently, and a 67lber was recently taken here, out of Morehead. Most of the bites are coming on the planer rod, but there have also been plenty of fishing skying on the spread up top as well. Pulling Ballyhoo with wire is the name of that game. There have been Sailfish, Blue Marlin, and White Marlin in the mix of Wahoo as well. Grouper fishing has been productive lately, the deeper water is holding the bigger fish; 40-60 fathoms is a good depth to try dropping on some trophy fish. Use your electronics for both Wahoo fishing and Grouper fishing, look for suspended bait for the Wahoo and look for good bottom contours and marks down low for the Grouper. The Blue Marlin are out there, you just have to spend a lot of time to get a bite; pulling plugs, dink fishing, or bait and switching with a rigged Spanish Mackerel can get a Blue one to chew. We do know of a few folks that have made the trip to Swordfish grounds. However, we have not heard of any being caught recently. They are there, you just have to go out and grind if you want to have a shot at one. Amberjack and Barracuda have been annoying anglers pulling Ballyhoo as well. Triggerfish and B-Liners have been plentiful as usual. Red Snapper are accidental bycatch in this fishery, and there are a LOT of them around. Make sure you release all Red Snapper. You will get peppered by the law if you get caught with one!
As always, keep it tight!
Freeman’s Bait & Tackle