Carolina Beach – May 11, 2017
Lewis, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that surf anglers have been struggling for a bite, with bluefish landed, and some black and red drum also on the south end.
The spanish mackerel and cobia have arrived, with anglers connecting with both within 5 miles of the beach.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that black drum in good numbers are in the deep holes in the back creeks. The fish are 14”+, with a few smaller fish mixed in. Use cut shrimp on Carolina rigs to hook the fish.
Anglers can expect reds in the same areas, in the lower to under-slot sized, and they will take the same bait as the black drum.
Speckled trout are being caught around grassy points and over oyster beds, where the current is moving the quickest. Soft plastics (like Z-Man) on 1/8 oz. jig heads will tempt bites from the specks.
Nearshore, sharks and cobia are starting to show up around bait balls (when you can find the bait balls).
Luke, of Topwater Guide Co., reports that menhaden have shown up in the Cape Fear River, as well as the waterway, and they’re appearance has improved the flounder bite. Target the flatfish with live peanut pogies on Carolina rigs around docks and ledges in roughly 3-6’ of water in the lower part of the river. The flatfish are ranging from 12-18”.
Slot-sized redfish have moved back into area waters, and they are hitting topwater lures in the early morning. Gulp shrimp on 1/4 oz. jig heads are also producing bites, and anglers should swap out a jig head for a weedless hook when the grass gets thick. Floating a live mud minnow around grassy areas will also tempt bites from hungry reds.
Speckled trout are moving through the inshore waters, and when found, they can be hooked using MirrOlure MR17s. Anglers will have to cover ground in order to find the fish, and when they won’t take topwater lures, anglers should throw 1/4 oz. jig heads and soft plastics.
Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that spanish mackerel are around. They’re around the inlets and off the beaches out to 5-10 miles. Hook them trolling Clarkspoons on a #1 planer or with trolling sinkers.
Gag grouper have been caught off ledges from 20-40 miles out. Traditional circle hook bottom rigs with frozen cigar minnows or sardines are getting bites, but jigging up live bait will give anglers an even greater shot at success.
The king mackerel bite is good in the 18-24 mile range. Drone spoons and sea witches with cigar minnows or ballyhoo are working on the fish, or anglers can slow troll Blue Water Candy dead bait rigs.
Mahi are showing up around 24 miles out, but anglers are seeing flying fish in the 16-24 mile range. Pin rig ballyhoo rigs are the way to connect with the fish.
The Gulf Stream bite is good for blackfin tuna, mahi, and wahoo. Seek out temperature breaks and/or color breaks, but be prepared to possibly move offshore of the traditional 250’ break to find the color break (maybe as far out as 700’).
Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Charters, reports that anglers nearshore in the 5-10 mile range are catching bluefish, with a few spanish mixed in. Fishing around Dallas Rock and 10 Mile Rock has been producing fish, and anglers should troll anywhere from 5-7 knots using #1 planers and Clarkspoons. Anglers can also sight cast to the fish with silver diamond jigs when the fish are breaking the surface.
King mackerel are biting 15-30 miles off the beach, and drone spoons behind #2 planers are tempting bites from the kings.
Grouper are being caught in the 22-24 mile range, and bottom rigs baited with squid or cigar minnows have been working well.
Wahoo, blackfin tuna, and mahi are all being landed in the Gulf Stream, along with the occasional sailfish. The fish are holding over structure, and anglers should troll between 6.5-8 knots when moving through the area. Look for temperature breaks and color changes, and troll Fathom half pints (in pink/white/silver or blue/silver), Green Machines, and pink UV squid teasers to connect with the fish.
Anthony, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that anglers are connecting with spanish mackerel using Gotcha plugs and mackerel trees. Virginia mullet and small bluefish have been pulled up using shrimp.
Cathy, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that anglers are catching whiting and bluefish (including chopper blues) on fresh shrimp.