Flounder, sheepshead providing action from Swansboro to Beaufort

Flounder currently are providing a good bite at nearshore hard bottoms and inshore structure near Swansboro.

Flounder fishing is hot from Swansboro’s Bogue Inlet to Beaufort Inlet and all points between.

“It’s a good time of year to catch flounder at the hard bottoms (off the beach),” said Capt. Mike Taylor.

Some flounder are being caught near inlets and some are filtering into the back bays or are hanging out around structures, such as bridge and dock pilings, as well on the down-current side of oyster beds near creek mouths in the marshes.

Anglers can head to nearshore spots “and catch 15 to 20 keepers (at least 15 inches in length) right now,” he said, “although you may have to go through some small ones to do it.”

Inshore and nearshore saltwater anglers are having good success on everything from flounder to sheepshead.

“Most of the sheepshead are hittig fiddler crabs, the one-armed bandits, fished on Carolina rigs near pilings,” said Taylor (Taylor-Made Charters, 252-725-2633).

Anglers have landed a “few” spotted sea trout, Taylor said, using live brown shimp underneath popping corks in the marsh creeks.

“People also are picking up black drum and flounder with shrimp rigs,” Taylor said.

Taylor presently captains a 56-foot Jarrett Bay sportsfishermen for owner John Roberts, but his partner, Jeff Cronk (www.nccharterfishing.com) is taking clients on inshore trips. If the inshore bite is slow, Taylor and Cronk sometimes share duties on a 36-foot Yellowfin and take clients nearshore fishing.

“There’s a good ocean Spanish mackerel bite going on right now,” Taylor said. “We catch them when a southeast wind clears up the water. A southwest wind scatters the fish and shuts them down. A northeast or southeast wind is good for Spanish.”

Spanish are hitting live “peanut” pogies (small menhaden).

“We’re catching king mackerel mixed in with them, too, from 7 to 20 pounders,” Taylor said.

Farther offshore, anglers are catching sea bass, grouper and flounder at structures and hard bottoms from 5 to 15 miles offshore.

“People also are catching a lot of grouper and a lot of A.J.s (amberjack),” Taylor said.

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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