Carolina Beach – June 22, 2017
Lewis, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that anglers fishing the Cape Fear River have had success catching limits of flounder on live pogies and mullet. Most of the flatfish are coming from dock structure and ledges. Black drum and sheepshead have also been mixed in the same areas. Fresh shrimp has been working best for the black drum, while fiddler crabs have been the ticket for sheepshead. Redfish have been holding around marsh edges in the river and throughout Snow’s Cut. Drifting live baits such as pogies and mud minnows have been producing the best numbers of reds.
In the surf, anglers are connecting with plenty of croakers and blues fishing fresh shrimp on the bottom. Electing to toss Stingsilvers and Gotcha plugs from the piers and surf has been the best way to connect with both spanish and blues. Sharks have also been feeding well in the surf zone. They are willing to take a variety of cut baits.
Nearshore, trolling Clarkspoons has been the best method to fill the coolers with spanish mackerel.
Out to the 20-25 mile range, kings have been feeding well while trolling live pogies and cigar minnows. Most kings have been in the 8-15 lb. range. Mahi have also moved in close and have been found in the same range as the kings.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that redfish have been feeding well around the creeks at low tide and near the marsh edges in the Cape Fear River at higher tides. Live mud minnows and cut mullet have been the bait of choice, but when anglers choose to toss artificials, gold spoons and Z-Man PaddlerZ in sexy mullet have been most productive. Most redfish have been between 18-21”. Flounder have been found in the same areas while searching for reds, and a few keepers have been mixed in with the mainly smaller fish.
Black drum are still feeding in the area creeks and around oyster structure. Anglers tossing mud minnows and fresh shrimp have been successful connecting with fish in the 17-19” range. Speckled trout in the 12-15” range (and up to 20”) are hanging around some of the same structure. Tossing live mud minnows and Z-Man Trout Tricks have yielded the best numbers of trout.
In the river channel, there have been large schools of bluefish and ladyfish feeding on the top. Tossing topwater plugs and metal jigs is a fun way to catch these fish.
Greg, of TopWater Guide Co., reports that flounder have been feeding well in the lower part of the Cape Fear River, as well as around the docks in the waterway near Carolina Beach. Most fish landed have been short, but there are a few fish over the 15” limit being landed. Live mud minnows have been the best bet on the flounder.
Anglers chasing redfish have done well on lower-slot fish in the 18-20” range. Live mud minnows on Carolina rigs and Gulp shrimp in new penny have been the top producers on the reds. Targeting docks near mid-falling tide has proved to be the most successful way to land limits of reds.
Black drum have also been hanging around docks and rock structure in the waterway, as well as the lower part of the river. Some fish have taken mud minnows while flounder fishing, but fresh shrimp has been the top bait after locating where they are staged.
Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that the spanish bite just off the beach has slowed down a bit, but trolling Clarkspoons between 5-7 knots is the best way to hook a few fish. False albacore have also been mixed in with the spanish.
Moving out to the 5-10 mile range, large spanish have been present and are willing to take a trolled spoon as well, but a live 4-5” live menhaden has been a better way to pull 4+ lb. fish over the rails
Out between 10-20 miles, the king bite has provided non-stop action. Most fish have been on the smaller side, but double digit days aren’t uncommon. Slow trolling around ledges with live menhaden, as well as pulling cigar minnows, Drone spoons, and Sea Witches, have all been effective methods for the kings.
Mahi have been feeding well in the 20-30 mile range. Anglers are seeing higher water temperatures (near 80 degrees) and plenty of flying fish in this zone. Targeting bait pods on top, as well as suspended bait, has been the trick to catching high numbers of mahi.
Out at the Gulf Stream, anglers trolling have been hooking up with blackfin tuna, mahi, blue and white marlin, sailfish, and a few wahoo. Trolling rigged ballyhoo has been a great way to draw strikes, and pulling Ilander lures for the billfish has also seen some success.
Bottom fishing in the 25-35 mile range, pink and vermilion snapper, grunts, triggerfish, grouper, and black sea bass are all willing to take a live or cut bait dropped to the bottom.
Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Fishing Charter, reports that nearshore fishing for spanish and bluefish has produced good numbers between the beachfront and 65′ of water. Morning and evening hours have been the best times to target these fish, and rising tide seems to have them feeding best. Trolling silver, pink, and chartreuse Clarkspoons on #1 planers has produced the most bites.
Fishing 15-25 miles off the beach, anglers are finding king mackerel around suspended bait marks, ledges, and drop-offs. Running north out of Carolina Beach Inlet has been the better direction.
Bottom fishing in the 15-30 mile range near structure has anglers connecting with black sea bass and grouper. Dropping bottom rigs with cut bait near ledges has been the ticket for a good bottom fish bite.
Out at the Gulf Stream, blackfin tuna and mahi have fed well around the 40-60 fathom range. The most productive tactic has been trolling small skirt rigs in purple/white/black, pink/white, and lime green/white.
Eileen, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that good numbers of flounder are being landed from the pier, but most are undersized. Whiting have been feeding well on fresh shrimp and sand fleas fished on the bottom.
Anglers tossing Gotcha plugs and mackerel trees have been hooking spanish and bluefish from the pier.
Wesley, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that whiting and flounder have been biting on fresh shrimp fished on the bottom. Anglers are also connecting with spanish and bluefish by throwing jigs and plugs during periods of clearer water.