Fish Post

Carolina Beach – August 17,2017

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Red, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that inshore fishing for sheepshead and black drum has been strong around the Snow’s Cut Bridge. Sand fleas dropped to the bottom along the pilings has been the key to landing good numbers of fish.

Redfish and speckled trout have been feeding in the waterway and in the Cape Fear River. Early in the morning they have been willing to hit topwater plugs worked near marsh lines and creek mouths. Live minnows on a Carolina rig or under a float rig have worked well once the sun gets up.

Flounder have been feeding along the docks in the waterway and in the river. Live finger mullet and pogies have been the top baits. Targeting deeper water docks and ledges in the 6-12′ depths has produced the best numbers. A few tripletail have also been landed near the docks in the river.

Just off the beach, spanish and kings have provided steady action. Trolling Drone spoons has been the best way to hook in to plenty of both species. Most kings have been on the smaller side (in the 5-10 lb. class), but a few 20+ lb. fish have been landed, too.

In the 20+ mile range, the wahoo bite has picked up. Trolling skirted ballyhoo has been the ticket. A few dolphin and blackfin tuna have also been in the mix.

On the bottom in the 20+ mile range, anglers are finding a consistent grouper and black sea bass bite.

Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that ladyfish and jack crevalle are keeping anglers busy in the main channel of the lower Cape Fear River. Tossing plugs and soft plastics has been the best producer.

When the winds are light, redfish have been seen cruising the flats. Those targeting the shallow flats have had success throwing Z-Man soft plastics on 1/4 oz. jig heads.

Area creeks are also holding reds, and targeting deeper cuts and oyster structure has worked best. Most fish have been mid-slot, with a few over-slot fish also being landed. Live mullet pinned to a Carolina rig has been the ticket.

A few flounder have also been landed while fishing for reds, and the flatfish have ranged from 12-20”.

Those looking for black drum have landed a few fish here and there. Targeting rock structure with fresh shrimp has worked best.

Harrison James with a tripletail that fell for a finger mullet near Carolina Beach.

Greg, of TopWater Guide Co., reports that the flounder bite remains steady, and anglers using live finger mullet and pogies are having the most success. Most fish have been holding along docks in the waterway in 5-10′ of water, and targeting current breaks and ledges has been the key to landing keeper fish.

Redfish are still hanging around the waterway and in the Cape Fear River. Docks and creek mouths have been the best places to look for reds. Live mud minnows and finger mullet on a Carolina rig has been the best tactic. Most fish have been between 18-22”, with an occasional upper-slot fish, and mid-falling tide has been the most productive time to target them.

Those targeting speckled trout are having success early in the morning. Tossing topwater plugs like Zara Spook Jr.’s along marsh points and shell beds have rewarded anglers with plenty of keeper fish. Bouncing a Gulp shrimp rigged on a 1/4 oz. jig head on the bottom has also produced some quality fish.


Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that spanish fishing along the beaches remains steady. Anglers trolling Clarkspoons are finding the most action. Small kings are mixed in with the spanish, and most near the beach have been between 5-10 lbs.

In the 10-20 mile range, small kings are abundant, but there have been some 15-20 lb. fish in the mix. Barracudas have been present in this range as well. Mahi have been scattered, but a few have been landed while fishing for kings.

On the bottom in the 25-30 mile range, anglers are having luck landing snapper and gag grouper. Out to the 35-45 mile range, some citation red grouper have been hooked, along with larger scamp and gag grouper.

The Gulf Stream has slowed down a bit, but the wahoo have started to feed better.

Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Fishing Charters, reports that spanish fishing has been good in 25-40′ of water. Trolling 00 silver Clarkspoons on #1 planers has been the ticket to landing good numbers of fish.

From 10-25 miles off the beach, anglers have been finding kings in 50-75′ of water. Trolling Drone spoons and blue/white Ilanders rigged with small ballyhoo have been producing best. Most fish are on the small side, but a few keepers are in the mix.

Some mahi have been in the 30+ mile range, but they have been scattered. Black/purple skirt rigs have accounted for most of the mahi action.

Out at the Gulf Stream, trolling in the 30-40 fathom range has produced blackfin tuna and mahi when trolling 6-10” skirt rigs in black/purple, black/white, green/white, and purple/silver. The wahoo bite has also started to pick up at the Stream. Look to target areas over structure and in the cleaner water.

Kristina Roberts with a 26” red drum that fell for live bait near some structure off Carolina Beach.

Cameron, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that anglers plugging off the pier have done well with spanish and bluefish early in the mornings. Gotcha plugs and Stingsilvers have been the ticket.

Fishing fresh shrimp and sand fleas on the bottom has produced sheepshead, croaker, and sea mullet. A few flounder have also been landed while fishing strip baits on the bottom.


Leslie, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that red and black drum have been holding near the pier, and anglers are finding the best bait to be fresh shrimp. A couple of flounder have been caught as well, but most of the flatfish have been just shy of the legal limit.

Those fishing sand fleas on the bottom have connected with plenty of croaker and whiting.

Anglers electing to toss plugs from the pier have hooked in to a few spanish in the early morning hours.