I have caught them running in the inlet at Fort Macon. You don't have to cast very far. Did poorly twice this week (that means nothing) but the charters were trolling the inlet right at the beach like crazy. So, I hoped that meant fish were there.
I also have been in blue fish blitzes several times, and I mean, in, not seen it coming, but casting when out of nowhere they erupted. Good Luck.
On a really light North wind spanish will push bait very close to the shore. I used to work on Atlantic Beach putting out beach chairs and umbrellas at a resort and if the conditions were calm enough they could get within casting distance. Early morning or later afternoon (this is when I was putting out and picking up the chairs). I never tired to cast to them because I had way to much work to do and I don't think the boss would have understand or the guys working under me. But, conditions have to be very calm which is very rare this time of year.
When I was there a couple of weeks ago, early AM seemed to be the more likely time to see several in close for a while, but all through the day you would see a couple in close every now and then. They were moving really fast; too fast to sight cast to ones I saw. I was slinging metal most of the time, but tried a fly every now and then. When I didn't get anything on streamers I tried switching to a shrimp pattern; dang pinfish ate the legs off those in no time.