We still haven't quite had our annual spring push of fish yet. There have have been small windows of good weather that start to increase the water temp, but we keep getting cold fronts and chilly nights to knock us right back down. However, it wont be long until our annual early species like Gray Trout, Sea Mullet, Bluefish, Black Drum, Red Drum, and even our overwintered Seatrout begin their start of Spring tendencies. It will be any day now that the Sea Mullet will show up in biomass in areas like the Turning Basin and around the Port Wall. Fresh shrimp will do the trick for a tasty plate of fried Sea Mullet. Gray Trout will be in areas similar to the Sea Mullet, but you will want to fish with either a jig and plastic, or a jigging spoon. Bluefish will soon begin to flood our inlets and beaches, look for birds and commotion on the surface. Big topwater "walk the dog" baits are really fun to fish with for the Chopper Blues. Yet, you can really throw anything you want at a bluefish, they aren't particularly picky. Large schools of Bull Red Drum should start appearing around the back of Shackelford Banks and the Cape within the next 2 or 3 weeks, if not sooner. There are also usually a couple schools of monster Black Drum out there in the same area every spring. You have just got to get lucky to find them, and a boat with a tower really helps a lot too. Sight casting to both adult Red and Black Drum can be achieved with a bucktail/twister grub combination. They will be schooled up and in competition mode as soon as they see the presentation.
Offshore the fishing has been pretty slow lately. There have still been the typical culprits like scattered Wahoo and Blackfin, but the fishing should start to heat up very soon. Bottom fishing for Sea Bass and Triggerfish has been good lately.
If you have any interactions with a tagged fish, please report all information to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. It is important data for numerous tagging programs and it is used as one of our states platforms for collecting vital data for a range of priority species.
Tight Lines from Freeman's