Area fishing report: Spanish and Mullet remain a hit on the coast – News & Observer


Oregon Inlet

Private boats are catching yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, blue marlin and white marlin using live bait. Shore fishing has stayed in its seasonal pattern with many reports of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea mullet and a few red drum biting on cupbait and jigs. Traces of flounder are also starting to appear inshore, alongside the black drum and speckled trout. Contact: Oregon Inlet Fishing Center 252-441-6301,


The bluefish and Spanish mackerel continue to bite well on casting jigs and spoons near the point. The cobia bite has really picked up near the bridge, with most fish getting hooked on buck tail jigs and other jigs. The sea mullet catch has faded, but a few have been caught around the point. In addition, puppy drum have started biting around the inlet in the cooler and deeper waters. Contact: 252-995-5414,; offshore news, Oden’s Dock 252-986-2555,; or

Cape Lookout/Bogue Inlet

Pier and surf anglers have had a lot of action this week, catching large amounts of Spanish mackerel, bluefish and cobia. The cobia have really been biting around the bridges and docks. Most of the bites are coming on minnows, live bait or any kind of trawling jig. Beyond the coast, boating groups are still reporting steady catches of cobia and albacore, but the king mackerel and sea bass bite has fallen off dramatically. Contact: EJW Outdoors 252-247-4725; Portside Marina 252-726-7678;

Topsail Island

Fishing has slowed down around the island due to a sudden drop in water temperature. Pier and surf anglers are still pulling in a few Spanish mackerel and bluefish on Got-Cha plugs and casting jigs and an occasional black drum or sea mullet using shrimp. Inshore fishing efforts have been the most fruitful with steady reports of speckled trout, red drum and black drum continue to come in. The flounder bite has faded but is still present in the late evening. Very few boats have made it offshore, but those that have are bringing back a healthy load of mahi-mahi, albacore, sea bass and a few king mackerel. Contact: East Coast Discount Tackle 910-328-1887,

Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach

Reports of red drum have skyrocketed inshore alongside the seasonal flounder, trout and bluefish bite near the rocks and docks. Most fish are biting on shrimp and Gulp bait. On the surf, sea mullet and Spanish mackerel are being pulled in with shrimp and jigs respectively. King mackerel are in the area biting on wedgie rigs and large minnows. Yellowfin tuna are biting strong out in the gulf, along with wahoo and a few mahi-mahi. Contact: Tex’s Tackle 910-791-1763,

Southport/Sunset Beach

Fishing has finally picked back up now that the constant rain has cleared. Inshore anglers are hauling up speckled trout and bluefish that are biting on shrimp. On the pier, Spanish mackerel and sea mullet are getting pulled up on cup bait and jigs. A few flounder have been caught on the surf, primarily on shrimp bait. Activity has picked up considerably offshore with good catches of sea bass, king mackerel and even a few snapper. Contact: Dutchman Creek Bait & Tackle 910-457-1221;; or


Falls Lake

Bass fishing is going really well around the lake. Most bites are coming in 3 to 12 feet of water on Carolina rigs, plastics and wacky rigs. The fish are expected to begin migrating to the ledges within the week which will increase bites on crankbaits as well. The white bass are biting crank and blade baits in 10 feet of water near the mouths of the creeks. Catfish activity has also picked up, with most bites coming on nightcrawlers in about 20 feet of water. The crappie bite has really faded away, with only a few fish being caught on minnows in about 12 feet of water near brush piles. Water level: 252.15, normal 253.1, full pool 264.8. Contact Outhouse Tackle Company 919-847-1222.;

Jordan Lake

Fishing remains slow around the lake. Just a few reports of crappie continue to come in, mostly biting minnows on brush piles in 12 feet of water, primarily in the evening. Water level: 217.32, normal 226, full pool 240. Contact: Wilsonville General Store 919-362-7101; Crosswinds Marina 919-387-7011.

Kerr Lake

Reports of crappie, bass, stripers and catfish remain steady all around the lake. The large-mouth and white bass are biting on plugs and rubber worms. The crappie and stripers have been biting minnows on brush piles in 10 to 15 feet of water, and the catfish have been biting dip bait and nightcrawlers in 20 to 30 feet of water. Water level: normal 302.09, full pool 320. Contact: Bobcat’s Bait & Tackle 434-374-8381;

Shearon Harris Lake

Crappie continue to bite steadily in 12 to 15 feet of water, nibbling their favorite minnows near the brush piles. The bass activity has really picked up throughout the week. Most fish are biting spoons and deep running jigs in about 20 feet of water. Contact: The Tackle Box 919-557-8255;

(For water levels go to