Outer Banks fishing report for late May 2020

Outer Banks
Cobia, as well as many other species, are biting all along the Outer Banks.

Tuna have highlighted the offshore bite

As we head into the weekend, it’s time to plan your fishing trip with the N.C. saltwater fishing report for late May. Have no fears, whatever you plan on fishing for this weekend, it’s more than likely biting just fine along the Outer Banks.

Oceans East Bait and Tackle in Nags Head reports big catches of yellowfin tuna for offshore anglers. Some boats have been coming in earlier than expected with boxes slam full of tuna and worn-out anglers happy to get in early and give their biceps a break. A few bigeye tunas are also biting strong.

The offshore dolphin bite has been inconsistent. Some days are stellar, and other days are a little slow. The cooling weather trend over the past few days probably had something to do with that. Still, on the slower days, anglers are still catching enough to make it worth it. And with the weather continuing to warm up, the dolphin bite should also heat up.

Outer Banks
Outer Banks anglers are catching plenty of yellowfin and bigeye tuna.

Inshore fishing, beach fishing also humming

In the sounds, anglers are catching limits of speckled trout and redfish. Trout have come in a variety of sizes, with plenty of keepers and enough gator trout mixed in to keep things interesting. Inshore anglers have also been catching and releasing some decent flounder.

Outer Banks
Melissa Lee’s Outer Banks cobia weighed 60.8 pounds.

Melissa Lee caught a citation cobia on May 23. She weighed in her 60.8-pound fish at Oceans East Bait and Tackle – Nags Head. Jack and Scot McConnor caught a 4.8-pound speckled trout. And several sheepshead in the 9-pound range were weighed in this week. Todd Elder caught a huge permit at Hatteras that could establish a new North Carolina state record.

Outer Banks
Numerous Outer Banks anglers have weighed in citation-sized sheepshead in the past week.

Outer Banks beach anglers are having the same type of luck as the offshore dolphin anglers. Some days have seen an incredible bite from multiple species. Other days are a little slower, especially days with a northeast wind. Even on the slow days, plenty of bluefish (including several over 30 inches long lately), redfish (including some huge bulls), speckled trout, and sea mullet are biting in the surf. Some pompano continue to show up as well, especially for Hatteras Island anglers.

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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1597 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of CarolinaSportsman.com. 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. He can be reached at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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