Fish Post

Carolina Beach July 26. 2012

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Derrk Torrance, of Aldie, WV, with a 39 lb., 1 oz. African pompano that he hooked 22 miles of Carolina Beach Inlet while trolling with Capt. Dave Marshall on the "Musicman." Weighed in at Island Tackle and Hardware.

Kyle, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that the flounder bite is still going strong in the area. Anglers are connecting with the flatfish in the Cape Fear River, Snow’s Cut, the ICW, the inlets, and at nearshore structure in the ocean. Live finger mullet or peanut menhaden on Carolina rigs are some of the best bets for the larger flatfish, but anglers can also tempt them to bite Gulp baits and other soft plastics pinned to jigheads and bucktails.

Sheepshead are still feeding around Snow’s Cut Bridge, dock pilings, rocks, and other structure in the area. The crustacean-lovers will bite fiddler crabs and sand fleas, and fishing them tight to the structure offers anglers the best odds of hooking up.

Red drum are feeding in many of the same areas as the flatfish, with particularly good action in the bays and backwaters off the lower river. Topwater plugs, Gulp baits and other soft plastics, and live baits will all tempt bites from the hungry reds.

A few speckled trout are coming from the grass islands and oyster points in the river. Live shrimp are some of the best trout baits, but they’ll also take an interest in suspending MirrOlures and a variety of soft plastic baits.

The spanish mackerel bite remains strong in the ocean off Carolina Beach Inlet, with fish feeding along the inlet tideline and the beachfront. Trolling Clarkspoons and other small flashy lures will attract attention from the spaniards (and plenty of bluefish feeding in the same areas).

Anglers are still picking up decent numbers of king mackerel at spots starting around 10 miles out. Most are falling for live menhaden and dead cigar minnows trolled around wrecks, ledges, and other structure.

Some dolphin are mixed in with the kings from the 10-15 mile areas on out to Frying Pan Tower and beyond, and they’ll take an interest in the same live and dead baits.

Bottom fishermen are reporting solid gag grouper action at spots in the 20 mile range, where live baits or dead cigar minnows, sardines, and cut baits on bottom rigs will tempt them to bite.

Some large (18-20”+) black sea bass are feeding in the same areas, and cut baits, squid, or vertical jigs will tempt them to bite.

Robert, of Carolina Explorer, reports that there’s plenty of action nearshore in the ocean on days when the winds let anglers get out there.

Dropping live finger mullet and menhaden to nearshore wrecks and rocks is tempting bites from gray trout and flounder.

Spanish mackerel and bluefish are feeding in the same areas and along the inlet tideline. Anglers can hook both while trolling Clarkspoons, or by casting diamond jigs and other small metal lures to schools of fish working the surface to hook up on lighter tackle.

Eddie McDougald, of Burgaw, NC, with a 7.75 lb. flounder that bit a live mullet in Snow's Cut. Weighed in at Island Tackle and Hardware.

Large sharks are also looking for meals within a few miles of shore, and anglers looking to battle one of the big predators should have little trouble hooking up while drifting large cut baits.

Inshore, the flounder bite remains solid in the inlet and the Cape Fear River, with live finger mullet and menhaden again the go-to baits.

Red drum are feeding in the bays and creeks off the lower river, with some schools working the bays. On calm days, anglers can often find the schools and cast topwater plugs or soft plastic baits to hook up. Blind casting the topwaters, plastics, and live baits in the creeks is also producing decent numbers of reds.

Ron, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that anglers are hooking some sea mullet, croakers, and ribbonfish on cut shrimp pinned to two-hook bottom rigs.

A few sheepshead and black drum are falling for sand fleas and fiddler crabs dangled close to the pilings.

And anglers fishing live minnows on bottom are connecting with some flounder.

Alyssa, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that sheepshead are feeding along the pier’s pilings, and anglers are hooking some on sand fleas and barnacles.

Some flounder (many 2-3.5 lbs.) are taking an interest in live mud minnows and mullet fished under the pier.

Bottom fishermen are connecting with a summertime mix of sea mullet, croaker, spot, and other bottom feeders while baiting up with bloodworms and shrimp.