NC saltwater report: Numerous species biting at OBX

saltwater report

Specks are biting early, then other species take over

It was another great week of fishing along the Outer Banks, and anglers are catching lots of different species. Capt. Pete with Sneaky Pete OBX Fishing Charters shares his experience in this report:

On Monday, I had three anglers, and we started out trout fishing. We had some small ones to start, then had a flurry of really nice ones for a while. The bite turned back to small ones again, and they really wanted to check out the ocean. So we headed east.

We started hot with an Atlantic sharpnose shark and some ribbonfish, but our next drift was very slow. We decided to go on the hunt and found false albacore and moonfish. These fish were busting on top. We also caught a small spinner shark, all casting light tackle. It was great variety and a fun group to fish.

saltwater report
Moonfish are fun to catch, and tasty to eat.

Tuesday morning, I had one angler and we started off trout fishing. We had a pretty fair bite from the start. Some really nice ones were mixed in. After catching our limit of keeper trout, we got lucky and caught a couple of nice red drum. One was 32 inches and the other was 34 inches. Then we decided to take a look in the ocean for a bit and found lots of false albacore, but they were tough to entice into biting. We also saw two small cobia, but grown ones. It was another fun trip!

Another species that’s biting along the Outer Banks is false albacore.

Redfish bite has also been consistent

On Wednesday, I had a family from West Virginia. We had good trout fishing early, with some really nice specks in the mix. When the bite slowed, we tried for red drum, and had great action. We released numerous fish from 32 to 38 inches to round out the morning trip.

That afternoon, another family fished with me and things started off slow. But we found a great ribbonfish bite in the ocean, then came back in the sound and found a really good trout bite in an area we haven’t tried in a while. What a fun day, having two great trips with two great family groups!

saltwater report
What’s more fun than fishing with family along the Outer Banks?

Thursday was a daddy-daughter trip, and I started them off trout fishing. We had a great early bite with mostly nice fat females full of eggs. These were some really nice fish, and we released them all. The bite slowed considerably as the sun got higher, so we decided to try for some red drum.

Ribbonfish — an unusual fish that is fun to catch and makes good bait.

We had steady bites, and released several fish in the 33 to 36-inch range. My young lady angler got blisters on her fingers from catching them, so we headed east for something a little easier to reel in. We caught a few ribbonfish, then looked around for some cobia for dad, but never saw one. It was a great morning trip, and an awesome father-daughter duo!

Stay on the lookout for cobia; a few are around, and more are coming

Friday, an old friend and roommate from decades ago brought some friends. We started out on the trout. We had a slow pick of really nice fish in the 18 to 19-inch range. After a while, the pick got slower and the fish got smaller. So we went after some red drum. We had a good bite, with fish in the 29 to 35-inch range for everybody.

saltwater report
The trout bite has been consistently strong in the early part of each day.

Next, they wanted to try for mackerel while looking for cobia, but we only had a few mackerel bites and saw one cobia that went down before we got in range.

As you can see, fishing this week has been steady with lots of different opportunities. Speckled trout are still biting, especially early, and red drum numbers have improved. The drum are still scattered but there have been some fish roaming the flats in 1 to 2 feet of water. Bait and artificials have both been productive. False albacore and moonfish numbers have been better with plenty of ribbonfish as well. Spanish Mackerel fishing has slowed but there are still a few around and that should improve as the month goes along. Cobia numbers are still low but there has been a few quality fish around.

–Tight lines! Sneaky Pete

Click here to read about matching the hatch, with a twist.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1472 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina.