Gary Hurley

Ocean Isle June 27, 2013

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Henry Beckham, Jennifer Gray, Virgina Beckham, and Tommy Gray with a 22 lb. king mackerel they hooked on Father’s Day offshore of the Jungle. A live menhaden fooled the king.

Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that anglers are finally starting to see a decent spanish mackerel bite materialize off Brunswick County after several weeks of slow fishing. Most of the action is still a bit off the beaches in 35’ of water and deeper, and Clarkspoons trolled behind planers and torpedo weights are producing the lion’s share of the fish.

King mackerel fishing is still lackluster, but boats are finding stray kings scattered from the 65’ depths on offshore. Live menhaden and dead cigar minnows will both tempt bites from the kings when boats can find them.

The cobia action has slowed from its hectic pace a month ago, but there’s still above-average cobia fishing in the area (most 20-30 lbs.). Anglers are finding the cobes scattered from nearshore structure out to where they’re looking for the kings. Live menhaden are tough for the cobia to turn down, and anglers may also be able to tempt the fish to bite live baits or large soft plastics.

Amberjacks are schooled up at high relief structure from in 60-80’ and out deeper, and they’ve been feeding with abandon. Live baits are virtually irresistible to the jacks, and anglers can often tempt them to bite topwater plugs, vertical jigs, and other artificials when they’re in a feeding mood.

Keeper and larger black sea bass are feeding all over bottom structure in the 60’ depths and further offshore. Cut baits and squid on multiple-hook bottom rigs are producing fast action with the bass.

The dolphin bite has slowed somewhat, but there are still dolphin feeding around bait and floating debris in the 100’ depths and on offshore. They’ll bite ballyhoo or a variety of other baits and lures.

Mark, of OceanIsleFishingCharters.com, reports that there’s a solid speckled trout bite going on around drop-offs and structure in the ICW. Live shrimp fished under floats will fool the trout.

More specks and some red and black drum and sheepshead are looking for meals around the Little River jetties, and all will pounce on a live shrimp drifting along the rocks.

Red and black drum are also feeding around oyster rocks and deeper holes in the creeks at lower tides. Live shrimp and mud minnows pinned to jigheads will tempt bites from both drum.

Cooper (age 8), from Charlotte, with a trio of 18″+ speckled trout he hooked on live killifish while paddle board fishing in Tubbs Inlet with Charles “Rip” Van Winkle of Summertide Adventures.

The water’s still dirty in Tubbs Inlet, but the flounder have been feeding anyway, with solid action in the inlet itself and around nearby docks and creekmouths. Live mud minnows and Gulp baits are fooling the flatfish.

Kyle, of Speckulator Charters, reports that the speckled trout action has been good recently in the creeks and ICW from Little River to Ocean Isle. Live shrimp pinned to float rigs are the best bets for the specks. Many of the specks are on the small side. The action’s been strong, though, so anglers should be able to weed through the short fish for some keepers. Red and black drum and sheepshead are in many of the same spots, and all will pounce on the shrimp.

Anglers are connecting with a few more trout and some healthy red drum (to 30”) while drifting shrimp along the Little River jetties.

The area flounder bite has been decent as well, with the best action in the Shallotte River and Tubbs Inlet in recent days. Live menhaden are the way to go for the larger flatfish, but mud minnows and tiger-side minnows can also produce.

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

Those baiting up with live shrimp are hooking some speckled trout.

And when the water’s clear, plug casters are connecting with spanish mackerel.