Fish Post

Ocean Isle March 6, 2013

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Capt. Brant McMullan, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, with a 62 lb. wahoo that bit a ballyhoo under a Blue Water Candy JAG while he was trolling the break off Ocean Isle aboard the "Team OIFC."

Capt. Brant McMullan, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, with a 62 lb. wahoo that bit a ballyhoo under a Blue Water Candy JAG while he was trolling the break off Ocean Isle aboard the “Team OIFC.”

Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that there’s been some good wahoo action along the break at local spots between the Steeples and Winyah Scarp recently. The water temperatures have been on the cool side (69-71 degrees) and the color’s been a bit green, but the fish have been biting despite the less-than-ideal conditions. The best action has been right along the break in 150-170’ of water.

Blackfin tuna are mixed in with the wahoo, and anglers are also connecting with a few stray dolphin even in the cooler water. Ballyhoo paired with skirted trolling lures are fooling the majority of the wahoo, but smaller baits and lures will often produce better results with the blackfins.

Bottom fishermen are reporting some solid action with beeliners and other tasty bottom dwellers at structure in 120-180’ of water, and multi-hook rigs baited with squid or cut baits will get plenty of attention around the structure.

Black sea bass are holding around structure in 60’ and deeper, with the larger class of fish a bit further offshore. Squid and cut baits are also tough for the bass to turn down.

All of the action in the ocean should only get better as March wears on and winter turns to spring.

Kyle, of Speckulator Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that anglers have been hooking up with red drum in the area all winter long, and the action continues. They’re feeding in skinny-water spots in the creeks and marshes from Holden Beach to Little River, where anglers with shallow draft boats are finding schools of the reds and tempting them to bite Gulp baits or live mud minnows, cut shrimp, and mullet.

Bob Holtmann, Sr., with a 33" red drum he caught and released in the Elizabeth River near Oak island while fishing with his son. A Gulp shrimp fooled the red.

Bob Holtmann, Sr., with a 33″ red drum he caught and released in the Elizabeth River near Oak island while fishing with his son. A Gulp shrimp fooled the red.

Anglers are also finding the fish in the Ocean Isle canals and around some ICW docks, where they’re biting the same baits, and there was solid action around the Little River jetties over the past weekend. Live mud minnows and artificial shrimp imitations on float rigs are producing results with the reds at the jetties.

As the water warms over the course of the month, the fish should begin moving out of the shallows, and the action in the ICW and around the jetties will get even better.

Anglers are also running into some black drum around the inshore docks and other structure, where cut shrimp is proving very effective.

Speckled trout are feeding inshore as well. Anglers are connecting with the specks in the Ocean Isle canals and at deeper potholes and pockets in the shallow creeks and bays. A variety of soft plastic baits on lightly-weighted jigheads or live mud minnows will attract attention from the trout.

Like the reds, the trout will spread out a bit and become more active as the mercury rises over the coming weeks, and March and April are typically when some of the largest specks of the year are taken in the area.