• Inshore Fishing

    Capt. Lewis Emery of Tails Up Charters in Carolina Beach holds a typical speckled trout for this time of year.

    Catch Carolina Beach speckled trout with these lures and tips

    By the time day broke over Buzzard’s Bay on Tuesday morning, Lewis Emery of Tails Up Charters in Carolina Beach and his buddy, Larry Essick, already had a handful of speckled trout in the boat — and neither was surprised.

    May 20 at 8:34am
    Get a bait to a cobia as soon as possible after you see him and you have a better chance of a hookup.

    Quick thinking leads to more cobia hookups

    May and June offer great opportunities for fishermen who dream of hooking up with a powerhouse, 50-pound cobia just off the beach. But anglers must act fast if they want to get a hookup, because no matter how lazy these fish appear when cruising along the surface, they become less and less catchable every minute a boat is on the scene. 

    May 15 at 7:00am
    Cobia are tough to pattern in the spring because they’re always on the move, and the same fish aren’t in the same spots every day.

    Don’t count on finding cobia in the same spots every day this month

    Guide Jot Owens begins seeing cobia off Wrightsville Beach in May, and on a typical day, he will head to the Masonboro Inlet jetties first thing early in the morning and then start running the beach looking for pods of bait and free-swimming cobia. But he can never count on them being in the same place day after day.

    May 15 at 7:00am
    Big, soft-plastic lures, especially swimbaits like D.O.A.’s Original Big Fish Lure, can be killers when pitched to cruising cobia.

    Big 2015 cobia catch hurts 2016 season

    Because 2015 was such a fruitful year for North Carolina cobia fishermen, they’ll have a big payback to make in 2016.

    May 15 at 7:00am
    St. Croix Avid Inshore

    St. Croix Avid Inshore

    Designed specifically for inshore saltwater angling, the Avid Inshore series from St. Croix Rod includes 22 spinning and casting models that will help you catch redfish, trout, flounder and drum. Avid Inshore features include Integrated Poly Curve tooling technology, super-grade cork handles tipped with corrosion-proof wind checks and Kigan Master Hand Zero Tangle guides with solid-titanium frames for the ultimate protection from saltwater conditions.

    May 06 at 3:16pm
    A good percentage of the first waves of cobia that show up off Wrightsville Beach are big specimens, exceeding 50 pounds.

    Wake up the sleeping giants - Cobia invade the waters off Wrightsville Beach in May

    Wrightsville Beach may be known as a world-class surfing destination or as the most socially accepted stretch of white sand along the entire east coast. But for anglers ready to tame a world-class fish, the crystal blue waters along these stunning shorelines are just what the doctor ordered, and there’s no better time than this month, when the annual cobia run begins. Massive, breeder cobia snuggle along the coastline, famished and ready to fill up the tank on anything they can find. 

    May 01 at 7:00am
    Kayaks are excellent platforms for fly fishermen in freshwater and saltwater.

    Take a flier in a kayak - Fly fishing, paddlecraft are a great match

    The outdoors community supports many subgroups. In the hunting world, we have bowhunters, those that primarily use black powder and primitive firearms, dog hunters and even those that only hunt certain types of animals such as waterfowl, big game or upland game.

    April 29 at 9:00am
    Big reds school up outside Hatteras and Ocracoke inlets in May, setting up shop just outside of sandbars running parallel to the surf.

    Hatteras reds go surfing this month

    Cobia are on the minds of a lot of the fishermen who charter guide Ken Dempsey of Hatteras this month, but he knows that May’s big draw might be a strong, powerful fish that’s moving in from the ocean — it’s just a copper-colored brute, not a brown one.

    April 28 at 4:25pm
    Guide Noah Lynk of Harkers Island (left) looks for May cobia around Spanish mackerel and menhaden bait balls.

    Key on Spanish mackerel to catch more cobia

    If anglers want to catch cobia this spring, they might consider looking for Spanish mackerel. At least that’s what veteran guide Noah Lynk of Harkers Island suggests.

    April 28 at 4:15pm
    Whiting are regular visitors to North Carolina piers, especially during the spring before summer water <br />
temperatures arrive.

    Fishing piers have several kings in May

    The ocean fishing piers along the southern coast of North Carolina have a reputation for producing fish in May, and things are shaping up for 2016 to be another banner year.

    April 28 at 3:22pm
    Lacey Griffin Ray shows that you don't need a boat to catch quality flounder.

    How to catch more flounder

    Martin Dane stood along the bank of a small creek as the tide came in, slowly reeling in a curly-tailed grub, rod tip held high. He seemed to be concentrating really hard, lowered the rod tip, and continued reeling slowly.

    April 17 at 10:06pm
    Wilderness Systems Tarpon 130X

    Wilderness Systems Tarpon 130X

    This performance driven Tarpon kayak has the speediness and exceptional stability of the original Tarpon, but has been updated with modern visuals and abundant features. Those feature upgrades include the new ultra-comfortable AirPro MAX Lite seat with a slide-on-track system for increased fore/aft trimming and the versatile FlexPod OS, a drop-in, self-contained console that adds more storage, electronic and propulsion opportunities. 

    April 01 at 7:00am
    A kayak is a great platform for bowfishing shallows.

    Try fishing with a bow

    Several years ago, I set out to target fish in a different way. I consider myself a bowhunter first and foremost, and bowfishing seems a natural progression to the sport. 

    March 29 at 9:00am
    James Grimes’ 6-pound speckled trout is a big one for anywhere on North Carolina’s coast, but the New River holds some much bigger.

    Next state-record might be a New River speck

    Although the New River has a reputation for yielding giant spotted seatrout, the state-record trout of 12 pounds, 4 ounces came from Wrightsville Beach and has held up for 55 years. John R. Kenyon caught the beast at Wrightsville Beach in 1961.

    March 15 at 7:00am
    Soft-plastic lures like this Billy Bay Halo Shad will produce speckled trout around the New River’s artificial reef.

    New River’s artificial reef is prime spring fishing spot

    After four years, the New River’s artificial reef is cranking out good numbers of seatrout and other gamefish and plenty in trophy sizes.

    March 15 at 7:00am
    Tasty whiting are among the earliest fish to arrive around Cape Fear and the latest to leave, providing fishermen battling cabin fever with some great action.

    Whatever you call them, whiting are among North Carolina’s tastiest inshore fish

    Whiting are found along most of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and their sea mullet and Virginia mullet monikers to a disservice to these mild-flavored fish, which have none of the oily qualities of mullet species. Ask the older salts to name their favorite panfish, and a large majority will answer whiting. 

    March 15 at 7:00am