Fall fishing blows up at Crystal Coast

False albacore are exploding off the Crystal Coast towns and up and down the N.C. coast as Lee Parsons (right) shows.

Perhaps because of the recent drop in temperatures, the N.C. coast is experiencing an early start of fabulous fall fishing.

“We’re seeing some great fall fishing already, and we’re not even in the prime time for the fall bite,” said Matt Lamb of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors of Atlantic Beach (252-240-3474) at the Crystal Coast.

False albacore fishing is “on fire,” he said.

“The last few days they have been everywhere,” Lamb said, “from the (Beaufort Inlet) shipping channels all the way up right on the beach.”

Albies are chasing small glass minnows, so anglers need small lures — Jig Fish, Crippled Herrings, Kastamsters and Glass Minnows Jigs — to catch them.

“Color doesn’t seem to matter as long as they are in that 1/2- to 3/4-ounce size,” he said.

Spanish mackerel also have blown up with fish being caught from the inlet to Sheraton Pier (south) to Cape Lookout lighthouse (north).

“Best reports I have gotten this week have been from the guys trolling Clarkspoons and Squid Rigs,” Lamb said “You can also have some great action casting the same lures for albacore. And bluefish are in the inlet and  around Ruff Point.”

Spot fishing has picked up considerably as well, caught from Radio Island Rock Jetty to the Beaufort drawbridge.

Best baits are live jumbo bloodworms, Fish Bite bloodworms and Fish Bite Shrimp in pink and chartreuese.

Anglers are landing big flounder as well at the Port Wall, Beaufort Inlet, Haystacks, Bridges, Docks, AR 315, 320 and in the surf using live mud minnows, Gulp lures, Spro bucktails and squid strips.

The spotted seatrout bite has improved with anglers landing fish at the Haystacks, Core Creek, Neuse River, Carrot Island and Middle Marsh. Specks are hitting Berkley Gulp Shrimp Fire Tails, MirrOlures, Gotcha Grubs, Honey Hole Grubs, Z-Man Baits, DOA Shrimp, Billy Bay Shrimp and Live Mud Minnows.

Even gray trout are biting from the inlet back to the Turning Basin. Anglers are using Berkley Gulp shrimp or spec-rigs tipped with shrimp pieces.

Red drum fishing is sporadic at the Haystacks, Core Creek, Carrot Island, Radio Island Rock Jetty, Middle Marsh and the surf.

Good numbers of sheepshead are being caught at the Port Wall, bridges and docks, with best baits live sea urchins and fiddler crabs.

About Craig Holt 1382 Articles
Craig Holt of Snow Camp has been an outdoor writer for almost 40 years, working for several newspapers, then serving as managing editor for North Carolina Sportsman and South Carolina Sportsman before becoming a full-time free-lancer in 2009.

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