N.C. coastal fishing report – what’s biting right now

Coastal fishing report
Big flounder and a giant swordfish are some highlights of this week's coastal fishing report.

Here’s what’s biting right now along the N.C. coast

As the summer heats up, so has the fishing along North Carolina’s coast. Anglers are catching big number of fish offshore, nearshore, and inshore.

What may seem a surprise to many anglers is how hot the flounder bite has been, and how many quality flounder are being brought to scales in tackle stores up and down the coast. With a flounder closure looming due to overfishing, you might expect flounder to be scarce. But for now, anglers are taking advantage of their numbers. Pretty soon, all flatfish will have to be released.

Sneaky Pete OBX Fishing Charters has been catching plenty of trout in the Nags Head area. Capt. Pete said they’re catching them in all sizes, including a lot of keepers in 2 to 3 feet of water. They’ve also been catching Spanish mackerel and redfish with many being over-the-slot. He said the cobia are also still around and biting.

Sneaky Pete has been putting his anglers on plenty of trout. (photo courtesy of Sneaky Pete)

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center is putting their clients on a huge variety of offshore species, including a recent 56-pound dolphin, and numerous citation yellowfin tuna. They’ve also been catching bigeye tuna, wahoo, tilefish, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, and blackfin tuna.

This big dolphin is one highlight of some great offshore fishing out of Oregon Inlet. (photo courtesy of OIFC)

Chasin’ Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle has been weighing in some prized catches. They put a 40-pound king mackerel on the scales this weekend. They’ve been biting cigar minnows, Big Nic Fishing Mac A Hoos, and Blue Water Candy lures, all of which Chasin’ Tails has in stock.

Chasin Tails provided this photo of a recent weigh-in king mackerel which weighed 40 pounds.

They’re also still seeing plenty of cobia come in, including a 55-pounder this past weekend. And that wasn’t the only cobia they weighed. They weighed more of them on June 29 than they have on any single day this year.

The flounder bite has been hot inshore and nearshore

Capt. Jot Owens of Jot It Down Charters in Wrightsville Beach has been catching a variety of quality fish at the AR reef just off of Wrightsville Beach. One of his anglers caught a 5 1/2-pound flounder this weekend on a 1 1/2-ounce bucktail paired with a 6-inch Gulp! jerkshad. They’re also catching keeper redfish and some over-the-slot ones.

This angler caught his 5 1/2-pound flounder while fishing with Capt. Jot Owens. (photo courtesy of Jot It Down Charters)

Owens is also having luck casting Berkley Gulp! lures around deep-water docks and grass edges in the marsh.

Island Tackle & Hardware has weighed in some hefty flounder in the past few days. Debbie Harrill brought in a 5-pound,10-ounce flatfish this past Sunday. And Scott Scarola caught a 6-pound, 13-ounce flounder. Then Gary Euvevard showed up with an 8-pounder on the same day. They also weighed in a 7 1/2-pound flounder from youth angler Caleb Kreid a few days earlier. And Ray Dixon brought a doubleheader to weigh. His two flounder weighed 5-pounds, 6-ounces and 7-pounds, 3-ounces.

This 6-pound flounder was weighed in at Island Tackle & Hardware in Carolina Beach.

The biggest hit in the Carolina Beach area in the last few days was the 483-pound swordfish caught aboard the Sea Hound with Capt. Mike King. King was taking a break from guiding clients and was fishing with family aboard when the big fish hit. King said they are also still catching plenty of dolphin, including a recent 55-pounder.

Capt. Mike King was fishing with his family when they caught this massive swordfish out of Carolina Beach. (SeaHound Charters photo)

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1335 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.