Carolina Beach October 10, 2013
Brandon, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that anglers are seeing some excellent flounder fishing in the area right now (with good numbers of 5+ lb. citation fish). Live finger mullet and menhaden are fooling the majority of the flounder, with some also falling for Gulp baits on jigheads and bucktails. There’s been good flatfish action in the Cape Fear River, Snows Cut, Carolina Beach Inlet, and at nearshore structure like the Marriott Reef and Johns Creek recently.
Good numbers of red drum are also feeding in the inlet and lower Cape Fear River. Anglers are fooling the reds with live baits, Gulps and other soft plastics, topwater plugs, and a variety of other lures.
Speckled trout are feeding in the river and inlet as well. Like the reds, the trout are falling for a variety of baits and lures, and they have been quite willing to strike topwater plugs recently as well.
Out in the ocean, there’s been some solid action with big spanish mackerel and plenty of smaller fish around as well. Anglers are hooking the smaller spaniards while trolling Clarkspoons or casting metal jigs to fish feeding on the surface. The larger fish are falling for live baits.
King mackerel have been feeding from the beachfront to spots in the 20 mile range like the 30/30 recently. Live menhaden are the best bets for anglers looking to hook up with the kings, but dead baits like cigar minnows will put fish in the boat as well.
Some wahoo have been caught as close to shore as 23 Mile Rock, and the wahoo action remains excellent out in the Gulf Stream. Live baits are fooling the ‘hoos inshore, and anglers are trolling both skirted ballyhoo and baitless lures to hook up out in the blue water.
Bottom fishermen are reporting gag grouper action at structure from the 15 mile range on out. Red and scamp groupers are mixed in at spots 30+ miles offshore. Plenty of smaller bottom dwellers (like black sea bass and grunts) are feeding alongside the grouper. Live, dead, and cut baits will get attention from the grouper, while smaller cut baits and squid are the way to go for the other bottomfish.
Amberjacks are schooled up around 23 Mile Rock and other high-profile structure from there to the break. Live baits are tough to beat for the jacks, but anglers may be able to tempt them to bite vertical jigs and topwater lures when they’re actively feeding.
Jeff, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that anglers are hooking decent numbers of speckled trout in the lower Cape Fear River. The action’s been best in the creeks and around grass islands, rocks, and oyster beds. Live shrimp and a variety of soft plastic baits and other artificials are fooling the specks.
Red drum are also feeding in the lower river, with most of the fish in the bays and creeks. They’re also biting a variety of artificial offerings, but live mud minnows have been producing the most consistent action with the reds of late.
Some flounder are feeding in the same areas as the reds and trout, and they’re taking an interest in live baits and soft plastic lures.
Sheepshead are looking for meals around hard structure like rocks in the river, where they have a tough time turning down live fiddler crabs fished close to their homes.
Out in the ocean, anglers are hooking some large (27-40”+) red drum at structure within a few miles of shore. Larger live mullet are fooling the big reds and also attracting attention from some flounder in the same areas.
Spanish mackerel and false albacore are chasing bait in the same range in the ocean, and large schools feeding on top have made finding the action easy lately. Casting small metal jigs around the activity should lead anglers to quick hookups.
Brenda, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that anglers are hooking some pompano, sea mullet, and spot while bottom fishing with shrimp and bloodworms.
Anthony, of Kure Pier, reports that bottom fishermen are connecting with good numbers of sea mullet and pompano while baiting up with shrimp and bloodworms.
Some flounder are biting small live baits on the bottom.
Sheepshead are feeding around the pier and taking an interest in barnacles and fiddler crabs.
Plug casters are hooking good numbers of spanish mackerel and a few bluefish while working Gotcha plugs from the end of the pier.
Live baiters landed several king mackerel last week, the largest 33 lbs.