Fish Post

Carolina Beach – October 27, 2016

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Wes, of Island Tackle, reports that inshore the speckled trout bite has picked up in the waterways and around the inlets. Use topwaters to connect with these fish, or soak a live shrimp under a popping cork.

These are small drum, barely keeper-size, tearing up shrimp and artificials in the back bays.

The flounder bite has been pretty slow, with most of the fish moving out toward the reefs.

Anglers in the surf have been connecting with a variety of panfish, including whiting, spots, and pompano. Flounder are also being landed in the suds, but they are all coming in either just over or just under 15”.

Red drum in the surf are ranging from under-sized or citation-class fish, and those looking to hook the larger fish should chuck out larger cut baits to lure bites.

Speckled and gray trout are being found in the surf, with fish weighing in from 1-4 lbs., and black drum are also feeding along the surf, with anglers catching fish in the same weight range.

False albacore are off the beach, feeding on large schools of bait. Look for birds working the surface to find the bite, and throw diamond jigs and Gotcha plugs to connect with them.

Further out, large numbers of gray trout have started to gather on nearshore wrecks, and jigging diamond jigs off the bottom should produce hookups.

Offshore in the 10-12 mile range, king mackerel have been caught, and they will take trolled dead baits or Drone spoons.

Bottom fishing offshore has anglers connecting with grouper and triggerfish in 120-150’ of water.

A few wahoo have been caught in the Gulf Stream, but the fall bite has yet to really pick up.

Clark Hammock, of Charlotte, with a 31 lb. king mackerel caught on a downrigger with a live pogie at the old Cape Fear River Channel.

Clark Hammock, of Charlotte, with a 31 lb. king mackerel caught on a downrigger with a live pogie at the old Cape Fear River Channel.

Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Charters, reports that the black drum bite has improved, with the fish holding in the skinny creeks. Target the drum back in the creeks in 4-7’ of water, along steep drop-offs and oyster beds. Anglers should use dead shrimp on Carolina rigs.

Speckled trout fishing is heating up, with most fish landed being 14-16”. Fish in moving water around grass points and oyster beds using Z-Man Trout Tricks or scented Paddlerz.

Bull red drum fishing is still good along nearshore structure, on the ARs, and around bait balls. Use live or cut menhaden on a large Carolina rig with a 9/0 circle hook.

False albacore are feeding on imitation glass minnows, such as Stingsilvers or Shore Lures in 3/4 -1 oz. sizes.


Luke, of TopWater Guide Co., reports that the false albacore fishing has been providing the most action, with the fish falling for silver and gold diamond jigs. Look for the fish around bait pods from Masonboro Beach to the Carolina Beach Pier, as well as around the inlets. Fishing clear water is the key to a good bite.

Speckled trout fishing is starting to pick up, with greener, clear water holding fish ranging in size from 16-22”. MR17 in yellow/green or Down South Plastics on a 1/8 oz. jig head has been fooling the fish.

Redfish are still holding close to summer patterns, but look for them to move soon to muddier creeks where warmer water will hold them. Gulp and Down South Plastics on 1/4-1/8 oz. jig heads has been producing, depending on the water depth, and pearl or brown colors are key.

Flounder are moving closer to inlets on their migration offshore. Throw artificials to catch them in the flats and creeks, and expect fish anywhere from 15-19”.


Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports menhaden schools along the beaches are causing a king mackerel bite on or near the beach. The best bet is to look for the fish in the 5-12 mile range, from Frying Pan Shoals to the north end of Topsail. Slow troll dead bait, like cigar minnows, or fast troll Drone spoons and ballyhoo. The kings are running between 5-25 lbs., with a lot of small ones mixed in.

Bottom fishing has picked back up since the hurricane. Dropping down in the 18-25 mile range will connect with gag grouper, black sea bass, and snapper. Further out in the 25-45 mile range, anglers are landing red and scamp grouper, triggerfish, and other assorted bottom fish.

The Gulf Stream is producing wahoo, a few mahi, and blackfin tuna. The tuna are mostly in the 15-20 lb. class.


Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Fishing Charters, reports that spanish mackerel and false albacore are still hanging out a few miles off the beach, and both of these fish can be targeted by casting small metal jigs on a 20-30 lb. fluorocarbon leader. Trolling is producing the best spanish bite using #1 Clarkspoons behind #1 planer rigs. Look for diving birds and bait marking on top of structure to find the majority of the fish.

The king bite has been heating up, and anglers should fish live bait or slow trolled dead cigar minnows to find fish in the 10-20 lb. range. The bigger kings have fallen for larger baits such as Drone spoons on #2 planers with 30’ leaders. Anglers can expect to also hook a stray mahi while trolling in the same area.

The bite in the Gulf Stream has been solid, with the blackfin tuna bite being the best. Expect wahoo mixed in. Look for the tuna along temperature breaks, ledges, and around bait. Most bites are coming on skirted ballyhoo, like Fathom rigs in black/purple or blue/black, though matching the rig color to the water color will produce the best results.


Anthony, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that anglers have been connecting with a lot of king mackerel off the end of the pier, the biggest being 35 lbs. Anglers are also hooking large bluefish (between 3-4 lbs.) on king rigs.

Those dropping a line to the bottom have hooked black drum, over-slot reds, and a variety of panfish, including spots and whiting.


Donna, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that anglers are catching a few spot, mullet, flounder, and croaker.

The anglers fishing from the end of the pier are connecting with citation-sized red drum.