Red and black drum are in the backwaters around Morehead City and in the ocean at the Cape Lookout and Fort Macon rock jetties, and it shouldn't be long before the parade of spring fish marches into the area, according to Matt Lamb at Chasin' Tails Outdoors in Atlantic Beach.

"We're well on our way to spring," Lamb said. "The middle of March is approaching, and I've always thought of it as the time spring fishing begins. I've looked back on records from last year, and about mid–March we started to see the first sea mullets moving into our area. Following them pretty closely were hogfish, croakers and puffers. The water temperatures dropped a few times, but didn't stay cold, so I expect to see fish arrive at close to the same times.'

"Fishermen haven't been catching as many trout, but there have been some really nice ones in the mix," said Lamb (252-240-3474). "Just this week, we weighed a speckled trout that was right at five pounds, and the fisherman had his limit, with the others being smaller. With the days getting longer and warmer, the specks should be getting active and feeding."

 

Lamb said good trout reports are coming from School House Creek and up the North River. He said many fishermen are doing well using live mud minnows, but MirrOlure 17MRs and soft-plastic shrimp had also been catching well.

 

One of the things Lamb stresses is fishing slowly enough to convince the trout to bite. 

 

"There are also some fish in the surf around the Fort Macon rocks," Lamb said. "The action isn't real consistent, but they are catching red drum, black drum, sheepshead and dogfish sharks at times. Bait shrimp, finger mullet and live mud minnows have all been productive baits."

 

Lamb said the wind had been blowing enough to prevent much offshore trolling for a few weeks. He said the few fishermen that have made the trip reported wahoo and blackfin tuna. Lamb said this fishing should improve significantly as the weather warms over the next few weeks.