Chasin Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle
709 Atlantic Beach Causeway, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512
The Speckled Trout bite has been just about over the top in our area, last year’s crop that was just under the keeper size has all grown up and making it pretty easy to catch a limit of nice trout ranging from 18 to 22 inches. We had 5 boats out the other day with 3 to 5 anglers aboard and every single boat limited out and released more back into the water than they caught. I haven’t seen too many big fish until this week, we did weigh one earlier in the week that was pushing the 7lb mark so that’s a good sign the big fish is getting ready to kick off. Normally, it takes cold weather to get the big fish biting and what we’re seeing with all the smaller fish it’s going to be a very good winter bite.
We been getting asked a lot, what areas have been holding the most fish, well it’s been all over the place: Haystacks, Core Creek, Bogue Sound, Middle Marsh, Radio Island, Adams Creek, North River, Neuse River, really what it comes down to is anywhere you have caught trout before in the past there’s a good chance there might be some in that area. What we’ve been having the best luck on has been pretty simple: High Water Popping Corks fished with Berkley Gulp Shrimp, Z-Man Jerk Shads, MinnowZ, and High Water Get Em Shads. Also, anglers are doing well with Live Shrimp under the Popping Corks and Slip Float Corks and we do have Live Shrimp in-stock at the shop. The Mirrolure bite has just really started up being the water temps are now; starting to drop some. We just got a shipment of some new custom 17MR and 18MR Mirrolures and already they have been working great along with all of our other old standards in our custom line up. So, as far as Speckled Trout fishing now’s the time, it’s some of the best action we’ve seen in years and I don’t see it slowing up anytime soon.
Along with the Specks, we’ve been seeing Red Drum in the same areas, numbers of small rat reds but over the last week, we’ve seen some really nice slot fish. Last weekend, we had some boats out fishing and they brought back some slot fish that were over the 8lb mark which is pretty big for our area. As far as lures, we’ve been catching them on the same ones as the trout and fishing in the same areas.
Gray Trout fishing also has been very good, Morehead High Rise, Rail Road Tracks and in the Inlet area. Like the Speckled Trout, these fish have been a great class of fish in the 2 to 4lb range. Anglers are catching them by jigging Stingsilvers and Jig Fish Lures. They’ve been so thick at times; we have been catching them two at a time on the Sam’s Gitters Rigs when fishing for Sea Mullet in the same areas.
I was kind of surprised last weekend; we still saw good numbers of Spanish still around. I’m sure, we will start to see them move on down the beach in the next week or so. Most of the ones that were being caught were right up along the beaches feeding on the mullet and glass shad moving down the beach. We haven’t had cold weather this week so there should still be some around to catch. We have been having the best luck casting Spanish Candy Jigs at them being they are in tight schools busting bait. Also, I did hear of some anglers catching them trolling Clarkspoons and Bowed Up Spoons along the beach and up around Cape Lookout area.
The Bluefish have been going crazy over the last week or so, last weekend it was all you wanted to catch around the Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout area. These are what I like to call fall Blues, nice class size fish in the 3 to 4lb range hitting anything you put in front of them Top-waters or Spanish Candy Jigs. So, if you want to have some fun don’t over look these fish right now, they are a blast to catch on light tackle.
The Albacore Festival started today with anglers coming in from all over the place, we had a couple of guides in the shop this morning all the way from Colorado. Hopefully, the fish will be willing to play because last weekend they were hard to come across. The warmer weather I think has the fish pushed off the beaches and not into their fall pattern. So, with the north winds blowing today these anglers could get on some good action. Best areas will mainly be around the Cape Lookout area, just looking for birds is the best way to local them. The Albie Snaks, Spanish Candies, Hogy jig’s Glass Minnows and Sea Striker Jig Fish lures will be the best to use.
King Mackerel bite has been steady with lots of fish around and some really big fish around this fall. Right now, a 65lb fish leads the AB King Mackerel Tournament which we only see a few fish a year of that size. Been tons of fish around the Cape Lookout area just off the Rock Jetty, most of those fish have been in the 15lb – 20lb range. If you’re looking for larger fish then you need to head to the East side of the Cape, most all the fish we have on our Leader Board for the AB Tournament has come from that area, it’s just the rule of thumb big fish live there in the fall. Not saying you won’t find any on the Westside but the chances are much better over there. It’s getting that time of the year when we’ll see a few big fish come from the Beaufort Inlet area, with the mullet coming out the Inlet plus the Bluefish have been thick so they also love feeding on them too. Menhaden was tricky to find last week, so a lot of anglers were switching over to fishing the Mac a Hoos and Dead Bait Rigs with Cigar Minnows and yes, we do have Cigar Minnows in-stock at the shop. We should see good fishing on these Mackerel right on into November up to Thanksgiving.
I’ve been getting a ton of calls about Spots. So far, it’s been an offseason for us, but I just got word today from a customer that they were catching them like crazy right now in the Turning Basin area. I was wondering when they would show up because they have been thick just south of us and north of us both having a good fall season. So, let’s hope this is the start of the run for us and get some good numbers of fish over the next week or so. We have some big Bloodworms and Fish Bites in-stock so if spots are what you are looking for, we have you covered
Sea Mullets also a fall fish that’s been good for us. We’ve seen some nice ones caught around the Inlet area but still haven’t seen that good fall run yet. But I’m not worried about them because sometimes it’s as late as Thanksgiving before we really see them show up. As we get into November some of the best fishing can be found around the Dead Tree Hole, Cape and just outside the Beaufort Inlet area. When we’re Sea Mullet fishing, we will be using the local made Sam’s Gitter Rigs we have in the shop tipped with our fresh bait shrimp. If they are around this combo just can’t be beaten.
PIERS / SURF:
It’s that time of the year when we see the best Surf Fishing of the year, so far, it’s been pretty good with lots of action. In the last few weeks anglers have been killing the Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish and Albacore right along the Surf Zone. The higher tides have been the best for this light tackle casting bite, the fish have been coming right to the beach feeding. Spanish Candies and Kastmaster Spoons have been working the best when walking the beach looking for signs of feeding fish, no real hot spot as the fish have been working all and up down the beaches. Just get out there and look for birds and baitfish busting out of the water.
Also, the Speckled Trout action has picked up, usually we don’t see a good bite until November but this year things have started a little earlier than normal for the trout. Last weekend, anglers were catching them off the rocks at Fort Macon and you can always count on Radio Island Rocks when looking for trout on foot this time of the year. Mirrolures, Berkley Gulp Shrimp and the old school Got-Cha Curly Tail Grubs have been working the best for the Surf Anglers so far. Also, a Live Shrimp fished under a float will get the job done when the bite becomes tough when the fish stop feeding on the artificial lures.
As for the bottom feeders, it’s been a mixed bag of Spots, Sea Mullets, Hogfish, some nice Pompano and Red Drum being caught. Best baits for soaking haves been Fresh Shrimp, Bloodworms and Fresh Mullet and we have all of this at the shop.
As long as the temps stay up and we don’t see any major cooldowns coming our way the Surf and Pier fishing should remain good. I would say we will have several more weeks before things slowdown in the Surf. Kind of excited to see what this year’s Speckled Trout runs going to be like, with already good signs of fish along the beaches we could see a really good trout bite when November rolls around.
The epic Wahoo bite has slowed down some that we were seeing back in September, but usually, the October bite does slow down and then picks back up in November on the Wahoo. Still enough fish out there to make the trip just not the huge numbers that we were seeing a few weeks ago. Yesterday, most of the boats that went had 3 to 5 HOOs brought back to the dock and last weekend’s bite was pretty good with a 90lb fish that won the Wahoo Challenge. Best areas have been Swansboro Hole and last couple of weeks most of the fish we have weighed has been from the 90ft Drop out to around the Big Rock area. Along with some big fish hanging out over on the East side of Cape Lookout, the King Mackerel guys have been catching, this time of the year those big fish will get right in the mix with the big Kings. Lure wise has been the DTX Minnows and Dinner Bells which the Hoos have been crushing this fall, they were pretty good in the Spring run but this fall it’s been twice as many fish caught on them. Also, the old standard Sea Witch rigged up with some Ballyhoo down on the planer rod.
Kind of crazy but we are already hearing of reports of Blue Fin Tuna starting to make their way to us, there have been a few boats that have seen busting fish on the way in from the Blue Water. Seems like they show up earlier and earlier every year, the last couple of years some of the first fish have been caught in November. So, it’s time to start thinking about getting ready, if you’re needing any reels spooled up or splicing done feel free to bring them on in so you’ll be ready before the bite really fires off. As far as, Horse Baitmaster Ballyhoo – we already have it in the freezer ready for the season. We have 3 boats in our fleet that will be fishing this year, along with two guys that work at the shop that’s pretty good on catching these giants, so if you need anything come see us.