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.


November 17, 2017

The weather is getting chilly, and the inshore fishing is getting redhot. If you want a chance at getting into a late fall fishing "pep-fest” then go ahead and go.

Inshore: Fishing has really been firing on all cylinders. Right now, all of our predatory inshore species are trying to eat a lot and move a lot. The marshes are full of Speckled Trout, and these visual feeders are chewing best when the water is clean and clear. The best places to target Speckled Trout right now will be places with one of the following: shelly/sandy bottom topography, live structure and current, small depth changes along the beach, rock jetties, marsh point or oyster beds. False Albacore are commonly coming within casting range for surf fisherman on the beachfront near Fort Macon State Park. They are chasing very small baitfish, so a “Stingsilver” pencil spoon would be a great bait to throw. The Atlantic Beach Bridge has been seeing plenty of nice Gray Trout. Flounder have been moving into our ocean and there are a lot of them along the beachfront right now. “Berkley Gulp” shrimp on a jighead is a great combo to throw on the beach at this time of the year for Red Drum and Flounder. The slower you fish it, the better off you are. King Mackerel Fishing has still been good but the water is really starting to cool off so you may need to run out until you find some in the 68 F range. Nearshore reefs are still holding some Flounder, Gray Trout, and even a few Red Drum. There have been massive schools of upper slot Drum running the beaches as well. Shallow reefs and grass beds in the sound that are surrounded by deeper water have been holding some really large Speckled Trout, the really large Trout are being caught in the shallower waters after dark. The Striped Mullet are at the peak of their annual migratory run along our beaches. Speckled Trout, Flounder, Red Drum, Black Drum and Pompano are all enjoying the suds of our beachfront. Water temperature today along the beach is around 63 Degrees Fahrenheit, and Speckled Trout are on the move. Speckled Trout are going to be abundant in our inshore waters in high biomass from now until about the end of January. Red Drum, Trout and Flounder can be taken fishing the beach with baits such as: “MR 18 Mirrorlure”, “Trout Trick”, “Rapala X-Rap”, “Halo-Shrimp”, and a variety of other hard and soft baits. As far as fishing with cut shrimp along the beach goes; there are plenty of SeaMullet around, as well as some really nice Black Drum, Pompano, Red Drum, and there have even been some Sheepshead caught as well.

Fly Fishing: Fly Fishing opportunities are at a peak right now. On a calm day, you can walk the beach with a fly rod and wait for a shot at close range for False Albacore. Near Fort Macon is a great place to go on the look for them. You do need to be a fairly avid caster to try this, however. Speckled Trout, Red Drum, and Flounder can all be taken along the beach on the fly at this time of the year. “Match the hatch” and use a 5-6” really meaty “Deciever” pattern with color schemes such as a finger mullet. Walk the beach and blind cast until you get tight, that’s what it’s about at this time of the year.

Offshore: The Wahoo fishing is slowly starting to taper off right now, but fish are still to be had. Snapper and Grouper of all sorts are still being caught very well. The Triggerfish are still firing aggressively and so are the turbo sized Sea Bass. Grouper can be taken on live bait or whole frozen baits, and same with the Snapper. There have been a few Sailfish caught for the anglers who have been going Wahoo fishing. King Mackerel are moving further offshore right now with the cold so there will probably be a few of them in the mix too.

As always, Tight Lines from Freemans Bait and Tackle


October 11, 2017


The water temperature is still hovering in the low 70’s after this stretch of Southwestern winds. When the next cold front moves into our backyard and it pushes that water to the upper 60’s fish will be on the move, and fish will be chewing. So, make sure your gear is ready because our inshore fishing is about to absolutely go off!

Inshore: Inshore fishing has been decent, but it has not really been firing on all of its cylinders yet. Be ready, because all it’s going to take is one more Northeaster, and the Speckled Trout, Red Drum, and Flounder will begin flooding up and down our beaches, marshes, and our Intercoastal Waterway. Speckled Trout are going to be really aggressive when the water temp hits around the 67-69 Fahrenheit range. You can nail them on baits like the “Storm Swimshad”, “Trout-Trick”, "Berkley-Gulp Shrimp” and “Mirror-lure” (MR18 MR52 MR17 and MR27 models). Focus on areas with a shelly bottom for Speckled Trout at this time of the year. Broken up shell, Oyster Points, and bottom compositions that won’t absorb too much heat are where our Specks like to reside in the early to mid-fall patterns. Flounder fishing is going to get really solid off of the beach. The surf-zone is overlooked by many anglers, but a live Mullet on a Carolina Rig, or else a Gulp Shrimp on a Jig will catch many nice fish off of the beach at this time of the year. Also, places like the Newport River and ICW would be great places if you planned on staying close to home. Red Drum will also be available along the beach. Cut Mullet, Gulp Shrimp, or Live Mullet on a Carolina Rig will all catch Red Drum from the beach. A Mirror-lure off the beach could get you a bite from just about anything that’s following the Mullet, so always carry a few hard baits with you if you are fishing the surf-zone. False Albacore fishing is really good right now; “Breakday Jigs” “Stingsilvers” and “Kastmaster Spoons” are all good choices for the Albertos. You will want a fast and steady retrieve if you are throwing metal spoons for False Albacore. There have been some Pompano, Sea Mullet, Spot, Croaker, Bluefish and Black Drum for the anglers bottom fishing the beach. There are some very large Spanish Mackerel out towards the Cape that are firing off, many of them are over 4lbs. Live-lining a live Mullet on thin wire with a #8 treble hook will do the job for the bigger Spanish. Sheepshead are still here, they are still on bridge and dock pilings chewing away on Sea Urchins and Crabs. Amberjack and King Mackerel fishing has been good, with some really nice Kings showing up in the Shipping Channel, and the Amberjack in areas like Northwest Places and other nearshore live bottoms.

Fly Fishing: Red Drum are available to be taken from the beach on a calm day at this time of the year. Fly fishing the beaches of Bogue Inlet and Browns Inlet are great places. Also, don’t overlook the Fort Macon Rock Jetty, you might get lucky and have a nice Speckled Trout as bycatch. Meaty “Baitfish-Emulator” flies with a lot of orange/chrome/gold flash are great meat whistles to deploy along our beachfront for a hungry Red Drum. Retrieve with a “Strip-Strip-Pause” cadence, it is also important to “strip-set” while you retrieve your fly line. This essentially means that you are setting the hook with every strip of the fly line (you do this so you don’t miss a hook set on a fish). False Albacore are all over the place, the bigger and more aggressive fish have been behind shrimp trawlers, and these fish will also eat a meatier sized fly. The smaller schools of Albies on the beach are fixated on Bay Anchovies, so you’ll want a smaller fly, something like a tan Clouser-Minnow tied on a size 10-12 hook would be a great fly option. Flounder can be taken on the fly right now as well. Focus on fishing calm days on the beach for them with a white-chartreuse colored Clouser-Minnow, or else focus on oyster beds and shelly bottoms along the ICW.

Offshore: Right now the Wahoo fishing has been good. There will be some really large ones caught in the next couple of months. Trolling Ballyhoo with wire is your best option, although we often wonder what a guy could do if he tried slow trolling some live Shad. Sailfish and White Marlin are still chewing for the offshore fleet as well. Bottom fishing for Grouper has been good, but there are a few guys around town who have really been burning them up (We have some really talented Grouper fisherman in this area). Before you know it, all the offshore crowd will be four miles off the beach fishing for Bluefin Tunas! If you are new to offshore fishing, use your electronics and trust them, also never overlook any life in the area.

As Always,

Tight Lines from Freemans Bait and Tackle 


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