Crystal Coast summer pier fishing report

Crystal Coast
The pier fishing is heating up with the weather along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. Photo by Glenn “Teach” Corley

The weather is hot and so is the fishing along the Crystal Coast

The Crystal Coast located on North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks has three major public fishing piers: the Newport River Pier and Ramp (Radio Island), the  Oceanana Fishing Pier, and the Bogue Inlet Pier. The fishing on these piers is heating up with the weather.

Newport River Pier

The Newport River Pier and Ramp (Radio Island) is located at the Morehead City-Beaufort Highrise Bridge. The pier is situated on the Newport River and also has a boat ramp. This 575-foot pier is open 24/7. It has lights, and restroom facilities. The fishing is free, but anglers are required to have a NC fishing license.

Fishermen on the Newport River Pier are catching bluefish and Spanish mackerel on cut bait and shrimp on single and double bottom rigs. Sheepshead are biting sand fleas around the pilings on the pier and around the Beaufort Highrise Bridge. Kayakers can launch at the boat ramp and fish around the bridge.

As the water warms up, anglers will start catching flounder and speckled trout. Good lures to use are ¼- and ½-ounce jigheads with swimming mullet bodies in white or yellow. Cast these lures out and work them back with a slow pumping action.

Oceanana Fishing Pier

Oceanana Fishing Pier and Pier House is located on 700 E Fort Macon Rd. in Atlantic Beach and is situated on the Atlantic Ocean. This nearly 1000-foot pier is connected to the Oceanana Family Motel. It features a bait shop with a snack bar and grill, plus bathroom facilities. Rental equipment and bait are available, and the pier fees cover the license.

Anglers are hauling in good catches on bottom rigs with cut bait and shrimp. Spanish mackerel and blues are hitting Got-cha lures in ¼- to ½-ounce in white and chartreuse. Anglers cast out from the front of the pier and let the lures sink. Then start cranking in the lure and occasionally give the rod a sharp jerk. Generally, the fish will hit on the drop. 

Bogue Inlet Pier

Bogue Inlet Pier is located on Hwy. 58 at Emerald Isle and is also on the Atlantic Ocean. This 1,000-foot, lighted wooden pier offers multiple fishing cleaning stations, bathroom facilities, a snack bar, and bait and tackle rentals. The pier fees cover the license.

Good reports are coming in on bluefish, croakers, mullet, pompano, and Spanish mackerel. The fish are hitting shrimp, squid, cut and live bait on single and double bottom rigs. Recent catches of big fish include a 3-pound, 4-ounce pompano, a 15-pound Hatteras blue, and a 23-pound, 5-ounce king mackerel.

Wayne Powell of Swansboro, NC landed the big king by using a trolley-rig and fishing the incoming tide. Powell used live grass shad as bait. And after a 45-minute fight and a little help from fellow pier anglers, he reeled in the fish on 20-pound monofilament line.

Fishing on the Crystal Coast, like all fishing, can be hit-or-miss. But with the weather heating up, the fishing action is starting up and should get even better. 

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