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.


May 15, 2018

The water temperature has been climbing rapidly, at roughly a degree a day pace with this recent push of Southwest wind. The migration of life has arrived.

Cobia fishing has started off on a very strong note. Sight fishing has been good and bottom fishing has been good as well. Come in and ask if you are interested in Cobia fishing and we will get you set up with everything you need for a day of soaking baits. The hook of the Cape and Beaufort Inlet is where most of the activity has been occurring. You will need to weed through the sharks and rays, but you will have a shot at a big Cobia. The chopper Bluefish are about gone now, and are being replaced with schools of Spanish Mackerel. There are lots of Spanish around, and you can catch them in a variety of ways. Casting jigs, flies, or spoons are all great options. However, you can always go old fashioned and troll spoons or some Yo-zuri crystal minnows. Flounder and Gray Trout are being captured on nearshore wrecks and reefs, as well as inshore at places like the AB bridge and the ICW. Red Drum are blasting on topwater lures like the Rapala Skitter Walk. Fish your topwater lure around oyster bars and shallow mud flats, fish fast and cover as much water as possible. The Red Drum are more spread out now with the warmer water, so that’s why it is important to cover lots of water to find them. The Speckled Trout are spawning, so even if you are a catch and release fisherman just let them spawn until the start of June. Sheepshead and Black Drum have arrived, and we have Fiddler Crabs for bait. Fish them on a Carolina Rig next to docks or bridge pilings.

Surf Fisherman are starting to enjoy the warm weather and good fishing. Black Drum, Pompano, Bluefish, Sea Mullet, Croaker and Red Drum are some of the species you might catch soaking cut shrimp along the beach right now. Casting the beach with a jig and Gulp Shrimp can produce bites from Flounder, Puppy Drum, and sometimes a Speckled Trout. The 4” Natural or else Molting color are great options paired with a ¼ Jighead. You can also catch some very nice Spanish mackerel at Fort Macon, go for a walk and start at the Coast Guard Station, cast your way along the beach until you hit the rock jetty. Kastmaster spoons, Yo-zuri crystal minnows, Breakday Jigs, or small plastic jerk shads will all work. Remember to always wet your hands and never grab any fish by the gills that you plan on releasing.

Offshore is producing world class gaffer Dolphin fishing at places near the Big Rock and anywhere else with a good temp break and grass line. Wahoo are in the mix, so are Blackfin, White Marlin, Blue Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, and Sailfish. Bottom fishing has been great
for Grouper, with a lot of nice fish in the 120-200foot depth range.

Until next time,

Tight Lines from Freeman's Bait & Tackle


May 5, 2018

It's the time of year when everyone wants to have a fishing pole in their hand. We are waiting for our annual Cobia migration, and these fish will likely arrive in the next couple of weeks, the water temp along the beach is currently 67 degrees.

As far as things go along the beachfront, it's the place to be at this time of the year. For the next month we will be seeing a variety of Cobia, Bluefish, and Red Drum that can make a fun day on the water for those who find them. Searching the beach for fish activity, bait balls, and slick spots can prove effective for the Blues, Cobia and Drum. Soaking live/dead bait Carolina Rigs near our inlets is an effective option for these species. Albacore are still being seen around the inlets and Cape as well. Keep your eyes out for any tagged Cobia this May, and if you do get one, please report your tag to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. Flounder are making a showing at the Port Wall, and nearshore reefs. Although surf fishing can be good right now, it can also be frustrating so you need to keep at it and study the beach. There have been some really nice Black Drum being caught on fresh cut shrimp. Remember that most of the fish on the beach tend to ambush prey in the whitewash of waves.

Fishing on the inside and the ICW has been producing a mixed bag of slot Red Drum, Flounder, and Speckled Trout. There are still Gray Trout chewing at the Atlantic Beach bridge, too. Remember to practice proper handing protocol with all fish you release. Wet your hands and wet down whatever surface the fish comes in contact with, never pick up a fish you plan on releasing by the gills. The Red Drum have been exploding on topwaters on flood tides on mud flats and in shallow spartina grass and oyster beds. Flounder have already been caught around a few of the deeper dock structures in Bogue Sound. Bucktail/Gulp Shrimp or live mullet/mud minnows is a good option for the Flounder. Black drum paired with adult sized Sheepshead are starting to creep around ICW pilings and Bogue Sound pilings.

Offshore fishing has been really good, especially for those trolling Ballyhoo. The Mahi have started to show up well, and can make for an action packed day. Wahoo are still being caught, paired nicely with Blackfin and Yellowfin Tuna. Grouper season is now open, so bring some bottom fishing gear with you if you want to make a few drops while you are out there.

Time to get out there folks!

Tight Lines from Freeman's Bait and Tackle 


5th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament

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

* Required




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