Inshore Fishing


10-week fall closure for flounder begins next October

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted during its Nov. 18-20 meeting in Nags Head to protect declining summer flounder stocks by restricting commercial fishing on several fronts, but it also voted for an unexpected, 10-week fall closure for recreational fishing as part of a supplement to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ summer flounder Fishery Management Plan.

Yesterday at 8:52 am

Know your state line and state limits

The border between the Carolinas runs northwest to southeast angle across the Calabash River and Intracoastal Waterway, marshes and creeks from just west of Calabash to just east of the north jetty at Little River Inlet. Unfortunately there isn’t a dotted line drawn to mark the boundary, and it is difficult to always know which state one is in.  

November 15 at 7:00 am

Shrimp fill the bill when bait thieves are run off by the cold

Brandon Sauls believes that live shrimp will trigger bites from speckled trout, even when nothing else works. While he’ll often catch specks on lures or minnows, shrimp are their preferred food and well worth the effort and expense to get.

November 15 at 7:00 am

Top 3 tips for Wilmington trout fishing in November

November is a great time for speckled trout fishing in the Wilmington area, and Capt. Jot Owens of Jot It Down Fishing Charters is one of the best at catching these fish in the inshore waters at any time of year. Owens offers three tips for angler hoping to cash in on this month’s trout bounty. 

November 12 at 1:45 pm

Use these tips to work your favorite fishing holes

Some days when you fish, everything you do matters, and some days, it seems as if you couldn’t stop fish from biting if you wanted to. There is a lot of room for fishing mistakes between these two extremes, and being on the positive side more often is simply a matter of identifying bad choices from good ones and doing our best not to repeat the mistakes. 

November 05 at 9:00 am

Slay state-line specks

Fall is often a very long season along the coast close to the North Carolina/South Carolina border, between North Myrtle Beach and Sunset Beach. The area seems to be south of the areas that get the biggest cold fronts in the fall. There are times that cold weather may dip into this area, but it is usually only for a day or two, and the weather warms right up after it passes. Fishing may slow for a couple of days, but most of the time, it recovers, and often, fish are more active than before the weather change.

November 01 at 7:00 am

The stuff we really need

Let’s face it. Kayakers are on par with just about anyone when it comes to “stuff”. The late George Carlin did a comedy routine about stuff; it was spot on. In order to feel comfortable, we need stuff that can go with us. Instead of an empty shell of plastic, we customize our kayak with stuff.

October 27 at 9:00 am

Goldsboro angler catches 50.1-pound king mackerel from Seaview Pier

George Wulgemuth had a feeling early on the morning of October 9 that it had potential to be a special day. His feeling was correct and it was Wulgemuth, of Goldsboro, who played the biggest role in making it a day he - and numerous other fishermen on Seaview Pier at North Topsail Beach - will remember for years. Before the day was over, Wulgemuth landed a king mackerel that weighed 50.1 pounds, far exceeding his previous personal best.

As Wulgemuth walked out onto the pier the sun was just beginning to peek over the eastern horizon to welcome a beautiful fall day at the N.C. Coast. Wulgemuth felt the conditions were right for a fall king run. He was correct, but he was going to have to wait a while for the action to fire up.

October 21 at 12:17 pm

Wrightsville Beach guide says use these lures for hot trout action

The fall trout bite is as hot as it’s been all year in the Wrightsville Beach area, and Capt. Jot Owens of Jot it Down Charters has a few favorite lures that are all hooking plenty of specks right now. Soft plastic grubs and hard plugs make up the bulk of his arsenal this time of year.

“Specks aren’t too hard to catch, but knowing what lures to use and when can really make a difference in how many you catch,” said Owens.

Owens said anglers who use the following lures should find success this time of year:

October 21 at 11:48 am

Loop knot creates more action

Many anglers have been fishing with someone, casting identical lures, with one angler catching fish and the other catching nothing.

October 15 at 7:00 am

Lures often outfish live bait during fall

Although a live shrimp under a popping cork is probably the best bait for speckled trout from May through September, most shrimp leave North Carolina’s inland waters after the first big fall cold fronts.

October 15 at 7:00 am

Fall kings make U.S. Open wide open

North Carolina has two migratory groups of king mackerel, scomberomorus cavalla, one considered an offshore group that moves to the warm waters near the beach in spring, summer and fall and then retreats to warmer offshore waters near the Gulf Stream during the winter, and the coastal migrators that migrate up an down the coast, from Florida to Virginia related to water temperature and abundance and absence of forage fish for food.

October 15 at 7:00 am

Catch kings from the piers, too

Fishermen try their luck for king mackerel from almost every pier along the North Carolina coast. On Oak Island, the meat of the pier king season runs from roughly the first of May to the end of October.

October 15 at 7:00 am

Spot On! Catch spotted bass in Cape Fear River with these tips

The Cape Fear is one of the longest and most diverse rivers in North Carolina. Beginning at the tailrace below B. Everett Jordan Dam, it flows 202 miles before reaching the ocean near the town of Southport.

Along its rout, it has been known as a great fishery for catfish, striped bass and redfish. More recently, it’s become known for another species — the spotted bass.

Most anglers associate the term spotted bass with other regions — and they aren’t wrong. The Alabama spotted bass is prevalent across the south; however, it is that fish’s cousin, the “northern spotted bass,” that has taken hold in the Cape Fear. Also known as the Kentucky spotted bass or simply a “spot” Micropterus punctulatus is the spotted bass species prevalent in the river, as well as in Lake Norman and other parts of the Catawba River system.

October 04 at 6:45 am

The speck revival - Swansboro is playing host to a speckled trout revival

Fred Slann, a guide from New Bern, his friend Chris Walker of Sea Island, N.J., and a visiting writer had one of the most fantastic trout-fishing days ever 10 Octobers ago in the North River east of Beaufort.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Kings on the throne - The fall run of king mackerel off the Cape Fear River and Oak Island, N.C.

October is a special time in the ocean around the mouth of the Cape Fear River at Southport, where king mackerel gather between and try to devour every baitfish they can, arriving the last week or so of September and increasing in numbers until mid-October, when the slowly begin to move off the beach. The fishing can be epic, and there are special days every year.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Hottest Reports