Fish Post

Carolina Beach – June 8, 2017

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Lewis, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that surf anglers have had the most success targeting whiting by fishing fresh shrimp on the bottom. Flounder have also been hanging around, and they are willing to pick up a live minnow or piece of fresh shrimp. Anglers tossing plugs from the surf or piers have been able to land bluefish in the 1-3 lb. range.

Inshore, anglers have had luck targeting flounder on the rising tide. Live pogies have been the ticket to landing keeper-size flounder. Black drum and sheepshead have been hanging around in the Cape Fear River and the waterway around Carolina Beach. Fishing live shrimp on bottom rigs near docks and oyster bars has been the best bet for finding black drum and sheepshead. Redfish have also been mixed in the same areas and have been willing to eat live pogies or live shrimp.

Anglers venturing offshore have had trouble dialing in the bite recently. When the weather cooperates, though, anglers have landed mahi at the Gulf Stream trolling rigged ballyhoo.

Bottom fishing for grouper in the 30-40 mile range has been decent.

Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that anglers targeting redfish in the creeks of the lower Cape Fear River are being rewarded with double digit days. Most fish being landed have bit on live pogies or mud minnows and have been in the lower-slot range, with a few upper and over-slot fish mixed in. Anglers choosing to throw artificials have had the most luck with Z-Man scented soft plastics on 1/4 oz. jig heads. Targeting oyster points has been the key to sticking good numbers of reds.

Flounder have been feeding in the same areas as the reds and are willing to eat the same baits. Most flounder have been on the smaller side (in the 13-15” range), but some anglers have boated fish as big as 20”. Speckled trout have also been feeding in the area creeks, and anglers are finding the last part of the falling tide is producing the most bites.

Just off the beach, boats are still hooking a few cobia. Targeting bait balls with live pogies and tossing baits to free swimmers have been the best ways to land these fish.

While fishing near the bait balls, surfacing spanish have been in the mix. Anglers throwing 3/4 oz. Big Nic jigs have had had plenty of action with the spanish.


Shannon and Camille with a bull drum caught jigging off of Carolina Beach. They were fishing with husband/dad Capt. Rennie Clark of Tournament Trail Charters.

Greg, of TopWater Guide Co., reports that the red drum bite continues to remain consistent around docks in the waterway and the Cape Fear River. Targeting oyster structure near docks has been the key to getting limits of redfish, and fishing mud minnows on Carolina rigs has been the top producer.

The flounder have continued to move inshore and are being landed in some of the same areas as the redfish. Anglers are finding live pogies or mud minnows fished on a Carolina rig in 6-10′ of water have been persuading the flounder to bite.

When the weather has allowed anglers to go outside the inlets, 1-3 lb. spanish have been boated. Casting Shore lures and diamond jigs around area reefs and tide lines has produced the best number of fish.


Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that the spanish bite has been anywhere from 1-10 miles off the beach. In the 1-3 mile range, anglers trolling Clarkspoons are hooking up with good numbers of spanish in the 1-3 lb. range. Moving off to the 6-10 mile range, much larger spanish (in the 5-7 lb. range) have been feeding. Slow trolling live menhaden has been the best way to get the citation-size spanish to eat.

Kings are feeding anywhere from 8-25 miles off the beach. Slow trolling with Blue Water Candy dead bait rigs or fast trolling Blue Water Candy sea witches with belly strips has been the ticket for the kings in the 26-36” range. Some mahi have also moved in closer to the 20-22 mile range.

Bottom fishing in the 20-25 mile range, anglers have been connecting with snapper, gouper, black sea bass, and triggerfish, as well as gag grouper that have pushed 15-18 lbs.

Gulf Stream fishing has been steady with anglers landing mahi, blackfin, and wahoo. The mahi and wahoo have been hitting on rigged ballyhoo, and anglers are finding plenty of action with blackfin tuna while pulling blue and white cedar plugs behind the boat. When the conditions are right, anglers are also able to throw large poppers at the blackfin tuna.

Out to the 70-100 fathom range, there are sailfish, blue marlin, and white marlin feeding. Trolling Ilander lures should get a look from any of the billfish.

Macie Hall (age 12), of Carolina Beach, with a 13 lb. drum. The 30” fish was caught and released on a live pogey.

Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Fishing Charters, reports that nearshore spanish fishing is keeping anglers plenty busy from just off the beach out to 40’ of water. Most of the spanish are feeding on small glass minnows, so trolling around 7 knots with small Clarkspoons on #1 planers rigged with long and light leaders has been the ticket.

Pushing off of Wrightsville Beach in the 15-25 mile range, kings have been feeding around drop-offs and ledges. Trolling Drone spoons on #2 planers with 30’ of 50 lb. fluorocarbon leader is producing the most bites, and the hot colors have been pink, green, and yellow. In the 30 mile range, mahi have been willing to strike black and purple stick baits as well as skirt rigs.

Out at the Gulf Stream, anglers trolling in the 40 fathom range have been hooking in to blackfin tuna and mahi. Trolling skirt rigs in black/purple, pink/white, and purple/silver has produced the best bites. Anglers are also having luck using pink UV teasers in the prop wash to connect.

Eileen, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that anglers throwing Gotcha plugs and Stingsilvers from the pier are connecting with 1-2 lb. bluefish. Those choosing to fish the bottom with fresh shrimp have been landing keeper-size croaker.


Cathy, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that anglers are landing good numbers of sea mullet and black drum while fishing fresh shrimp on the bottom. When anglers elect to throw Gotcha plugs, they are being rewarded with 12-15” spanish and small blues in the 1-2 lb. range.