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


June 28, 2019

The 4th of July is upon us, and the water temperature is climbing closer and closer to a pinnacle every day. Bait fish like White Mullet, Striped Mullet, Menhaden and Threadfin Herring are starting to clog up our inshore water bodies. Fishing around the bait source is a great way to find game fish.
Inshore and nearshore the fishing has been stable. Sheepshead fishing has been decent in the ICW, and port wall areas 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 or Sea Urchins can be deadly as well. Red Drum fishing has been solid, but you've got to find the school. The Reds have been in areas like pot holes along the beachfront, marsh areas with good oyster points, shallow water mud flats, and docks along the ICW. Speckled Trout fishing has been good, there are a ton of fish around right now, but in the summertime you really need to focus 100% of your time on the first 30 minutes of daylight if you want to have a shot at a giant. The warm water puts Sea trout into a lock jaw mentality, and that is why morning is the most effective option in the heat of the summer. Slinging top waters at day break along shelly bottoms or grass reefs is the way to go for the Speckled variety.
Nearshore reefs and the ICW have been producing a few Flounder. Live mullet or live shad on a Carolina rig is the best way to target them in warm water. 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/dead 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. Lady-fish are 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, you may have a shot at a nice Flounder or a Red Drum. For those casting spoons or jig plastics, the beach has been providing a few Red Drum, Flounder, Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish.
Offshore there has been some decent reports of Dolphin, a few nice Wahoo, some Blackfin Tuna 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 that is always hit or miss. Bottom fishing is still great on the Grouper.
Have a great 4th of July week everyone!
Tight lines from Freeman’s Bait and Tackle🎣🇺🇸


April 29, 2019

Our inshore and nearshore water temperatures are on a steady rise. The warm, fresh, Southwest Winds are heating up the coast. All sorts of fishing opportunities are starting to bust wide open. We will experience migratory runs of both Southerly and Northerly orientated fish populations passing through our Coastal water bodies, giving local anglers a potluck of Spring time opportunities.
Bluefish, Sea Mullet, Black Drum, Pompano and Gray Trout have been taken by anglers soaking fresh cut shrimp along the suds of the beach, and also at the Beaufort Inlet behind Fort Macon State Park. Pier anglers soaking cut shrimp can encounter the same mix of fish. The Sea Mullet fishing is decent along the beach and areas near the Turning Basin. Red Drum and have been taken by anglers casting plastic swim-baits, and some nice Seatrout are being caught near the Oceanna Pier on Mirrorlures, swim-baits, and
Gulp Shrimp. The Drum along the beach will likely be in a school, so if you locate one, try to continue to stay with the school of fish. Chopper Bluefish are starting to show up around Cape Lookout. Topwater “walk the dog" plugs can entice some very fun and visual strikes. Fish for Blues right up along the whitewash of the beach, if it's calm out you might have a better chance at finding them. Fishing near the Fort Macon rock jetty is a great place to try to catch a few of the first Flounder moving into the sound from the nearshore reefs. The rocks give the Flounder a place to get out of the current and rest up before they make their run into the inshore marshes and ICW. Spanish Mackerel are already being caught, so try throwing a Kastmaster spoon from the beach and you might come tight on a few. When using a
Kastmaster spoon for fishing on the beach, pair your Kastmaster with a snap/snap-swivel and 30-40lb Fluorocarbon leader to prevent bite offs and chafing.
Fishing in the Inter-coastal Waterway, Newport River, and Bogue Sound is beginning to get hot. The baitfish have arrived, and there are tons of Glass Minnows, Half-beaks, Sand Perch, and small Croaker for predators to gorge on. The water temperature is on the rise so the Trout and Red Drum are feeding much more actively, they are following the bait-fish. So if you find some bait-fish in deeper water but they are suspended or on the surface, do not be afraid to fish in the upper portions of the water column. Trout and Drum usually feed on the bottom, but when water temperatures begin to climb they will spread out throughout the water column. Areas like dock pilings near a drop off, Oyster beds with a shell bottom, or shallow flats with Eel Grass & potholes are great areas to focus at this time of the year. The Flounder are also starting to be captured on the inside, however most of them are smaller males. It will not be long at all until the big doormat females will begin to trickle in from the nearshore reefs. Gray Trout are thick, and can be vertically "snap-jigged" with a wide range of soft plastics and jigging spoons. The key to catching the Gray Trout is making sure that you don't horse them in, they have a very soft mouth tissue and applying too much pressure will result in losing your fish. There have been some large schools of Striped Bass in the ICW this spring, and that is a great sign because usually we do not see many of them. The Striped Bass have been by-catch for Trout and Red Drum anglers.
Nearshore fishing is firing on full charge. For the next month we will be seeing a mix of Cobia, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Bonito, Red Drum, and possibly a monstrous Black Drum or two. Searching the beach for fish activity such as; bait balls, oil slicks, and any large creature a Cobia can hide underneath is a great option if you plan on sight fishing. Soaking live/dead baits on a "Knocker-rig" or a “Carolina-rig" near an inlet or deep channel is also an effective option for springtime Cobia anglers. 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. Albacore are still being seen around the inlets and the Cape as well. There are opportunities to find massive schools of 40" inch Red Drum along the beach, but this fishing requires dedication and persistence. On some days the Chopper Bluefish will be in the same areas as the big Drum, and give you something to enjoy for a while. Amberjack and King Mackerel are always an option right now too, slow trolling live Menhaden will do the trick, a good starting point is around the live bottom areas of Northwest Places. Sometimes a massive school of Black Drum randomly appear along the beach in the Spring, but that's just a right place, right time scenario.
Offshore the fishing has been heating up. We have had some Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi, Wahoo and Blackfin Tuna being caught. The Wahoo fishing has been really good, get out there ASAP, because even tomorrow could be too late! Mahi fishing is going to be really good over the next couple of weeks. Bottom fishing remains stable, and a few Swordfish
have been landed.
Make sure to always wet your hands before handling any Seatrout, Red Drum, Striped Bass, or any other species you plan on releasing. Always make sure that you wet down all dry surfaces/measuring boards that the fish is exposed to while out of the water, and for good practice, please don't handle a fish you plan on releasing with a towel. Always support the belly of any fish you release, and never put your hand in 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, Striped Bass, or Flounder taken in our inshore waters to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries tagging program.
Tight Lines from Freeman’s Bait & Tackle!

6th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament

2019 Tournament Dates: OCT. 4th - Oct. 6th

* Required






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