Gary Hurley

Ocean Isle August 23, 2012

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Jennifer Cortes, of Supply, NC, with a red drum that bit a live shrimp at the Sunset Beach bridge.

Barrett, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that anglers are still finding big numbers of red drum around inshore structure and the area inlets. The fish seem to be keying in on the mullet that are staging to migrate out the inlets, so live finger mullet have been the best bets bait-wise lately.

Flounder fishing has been decent inshore, but anglers are putting together much better catches (some limits) at the nearshore reefs and wrecks. Live finger mullet are also producing the lion’s share of the action with the flatfish.

The king mackerel bite is still unseasonably good at spots in the 60-70’ depths, like the Shark Hole and Jungle. Most of the fish are falling for live menhaden and cigar minnows, but dead cigars are also producing plenty of action.

Bottom fishing around structure in the 100-120’ depths is producing plenty of action with gag and scamp groupers, with live menhaden and pinfish the best bets for the larger grouper.

Boaters making the run to the Gulf Stream are still connecting with some dolphin, a few wahoo, and tallying a good number of sailfish releases. Trolling rigged ballyhoo in combination with teasers is producing most of the action.

Mark, of Ocean, reports that anglers are still catching plenty of flounder around the Jim Caudle Reef and at other nearshore structure in the area. Live finger mullet fished on Carolina rigs are tempting most of the bites from the flatfish.

Brian Richard, of Shallotte, NC, with a citation red drum he caught and released at the Little River jetties after it struck a live finger mullet. He was fishing with Todd Helf on the "Scout's Buddy."

Inshore, the red drum bite is still going around deeper structure near Ocean Isle and Sunset Beach. Some black drum are in the same areas. Live shrimp and finger mullet on Carolina rigs are the way to go for the reds around the structure.

Smaller red and black drum are feeding around oyster bars in the local creeks, where fishing live shrimp or mullet on jigheads offers a better presentation.

There are still some speckled trout feeding in Tubbs Inlet and at other inshore hotspots in the area. Live shrimp and shrimp-imitating soft plastics are the way to go for the specks.

Flounder fishing has been a bit slow due to dirty water conditions inshore, but anglers are still stumbling across a few scattered throughout the inshore waters on live finger mullet and shrimp.

Paul, of Ocean Isle Pier, reports that bottom fishermen are connecting with some black drum, sea mullet, and spot on double-drop rigs baited with shrimp and bloodworms.

Flounder are taking an interest in small live baits fished under the pier.