The Crystal Coast is full of life right now, both in the water and off of it. It's the great week of fireworks, festivities, and fish. So come enjoy one of the most beautiful areas North Carolina has to offer this Fourth of July.
Inshore and along the beach the fishing has been great. Sheepshead fishing has been really awesome in the ICW, 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 is a great option too, especially if you want a chance at a Seatrout or a Flounder as well. Red Drum fishing has been great. The Reds have been in areas like pot holes along the beachfront, marsh areas with good oyster points, extensive shallow water mud flats, and docks along the ICW.
Speckled Trout fishing has been good, you really need to focus 100% of your time on the first 30 minutes of daylight for them at this time of the year. They just do not like to chew a whole lot in the heat of the day. Topwaters along shelly bottoms is still the way to go for the Speckled variety.
Nearshore reefs and the ICW have been producing good numbers of Flounder. Live mullet or live shad on a Carolina rig is the best way to target them in the heat of the Summer. 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 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. Ladyfish are still 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, spoons, or soft plastics on a jig, the beach has been providing a few Red Drum, Flounder, Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish.
Offshore there has been some good reports of Dolphin, a few nice Wahoo, some Blackfin 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 haven't heard of any caught just yet, it might not be long until someone dials them in. Bottom fishing is still great on the Grouper.
You cant catch fish on the couch, so go make something happen. Have a great 4th of July week everyone! God bless America!
Tight Lines from Freeman's Bait & Tackle