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.


March 21, 2018

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.

As always,
Tight Lines from Freeman's



March 2, 2018

INSHORE: The water temperature inshore is on the rise. There have been large schools of slot Drum in the marshes, from Emerald Isle down to Atlantic Beach. The fish now know that spring has arrived, and they are finally chewing again. The first sign of good baitfish running the sound have been spotted, like Menhaden and Glass Minnows in the marsh. There have been a few accidental Speckled Trout caught, so that's a good sign that the cold stun did not wipe out our beloved fishery. The Gray Trout should start to make a showing here any day now. Places like the turning basin and the Atlantic Beach bridge should be holding a few of them. Jigging a stingsilver type of lure (we recommend a Breakday jig or cast) or a soft plastic will get them to chew. Soon the Sea Mullet will begin their annual spring run. In front of the Coast Guard Station, and the turning basin are both good places to soak some shrimp. Black Drum are around many of the dock pilings throughout the ICW, they can be caught on fresh cut shrimp. There are plenty of Red Drum hanging along the beach, but remember, they are tightly schooled up so you will need to move around a lot to find them. The Bluefish should show up sooner rather than later.

OFFSHORE: Wahoo fishing has been decent on the days that boats have been able to fish. Trolling Ballyhoo has also produced a few Blackfin and small Dolphin as well. Sailfish are around too, and can be taken trolling. There are lots of King Mackerel hanging further offshore and schooling with the Wahoo. Bottom fishing has remained consistent throughout all of the winter, because the temperature at such depths does not fluctuate as much as the surface temperature. There have been lots of nice Sea Bass being caught, and even a few accidental Cobia. Fish are on the move and its time to go out and pursue them.

Remember to always keep an open eye for tagged fish, and report tags to The Division of Marine Fisheries for your reward.

Tight lines from Freeman's Bait and Tackle                                                                                                                                                                                           


5th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament

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

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