Fish Post

Ocean Isle – July 20, 2017

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Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that there has been an abundance of bait inshore, and anglers don’t have to work too hard to catch it.

Live shrimp has been the ticket when targeting black drum. Anglers tossing around oyster beds and dock structure in area creeks are having good luck catching keeper fish. Finding deeper holes has been the key to locating fish as the water temperatures continue to rise.

Flounder and speckled trout have been mixed in some of these same deep holes, as well as along docks in the waterway. A live shrimp pinned to a Carolina rig has worked best.

Over-slot redfish are feeding around the inlets. Drift fishing with larger, live menhaden hooked on a Carolina rig has provided anglers with the best chances of success.

A handful of tripletail have also been landed in the area.


Taylor Brown, of Statesville, NC, with his first king mackerel. He was fishing with his brother on their boat “Reel Smoke” near the Shark Hole.


Derek, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that large pods of menhaden are holding right off the beach, and trolling around them has produced high numbers of bluefish and spanish. Rigging Clarkspoons on #1 planers has been the ticket. Blacktip sharks are also holding around the bait pods, and throwing a cut or chunk bait should hook anglers into plenty of shark action. The sharks are holding around 20-25′ of water.

In the 15-25 mile range, anglers are having double digit days on king mackerel, but most of the kings are on the smaller side. Trolling with dead cigar minnows or menhaden has worked best. On the bottom in this range, black sea bass have been feeding well, but most have been small.

Out to 25+ miles, large pods of cigar minnows and sardines are present. A few kings and cobia have been landed in this area. Dolphin have been hooked out further in the 30 mile range. Barracudas and amberjacks have been holding around the wrecks and reefs in these same areas, and they will hit a variety of cut and live baits.

Around 85′ of water, a few sailfish have been released. Also in this range, bottom fishing has produced beeliners, black sea bass, gag grouper, and scamp grouper.


Shane, of Fin-Fisher Charter Service, reports that flounder fishing has improved, with many more keeper fish in the mix. The finger mullet have moved in and have been the bait of choice. Targeting deeper water in the 10+’ range has been the key to landing limits of keeper flatfish.

Trout fishing is producing numbers of fish (in the 15-18” range), and a few citations are in the mix as well. Mullet minnows and live shrimp have worked best on the trout.

Red drum are feeding well in the area, but keying in on deeper pockets in the area rivers has been the key to catching good numbers. Live finger mullet on Carolina rigs has been the ticket.


Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that nearshore fishing for spanish has remained consistent, and trolling Clarkspoons just off the beach and out to 5 miles has produced the best numbers of fish.

Out in the 15-20 mile range, kings have been feeding well, with most fish in the 8-15 lb. range. Trolling dead cigar minnows and slow trolling live menhaden has worked best.

Bottom fishing around the 125′ mark has produced good numbers of grouper, beeliners, and triggerfish. Live cigar minnows have been the key to catching keeper-sized grouper.


Jacob, of J&J Charters, reports that fishing for black drum has provided anglers with the most action. Many days have yielded double digit numbers, and most fish have been in the 2-4 lb. range (but a few have been between 6-8 lbs.). Live shrimp fished on the bottom has worked best.

Speckled trout are hanging around, but the bite has been reduced to the first 2-3 hours of daylight. Casting a live shrimp under a float around marsh lines and points has been the best tactic.

Those looking to target flounder have had the most success pinning a live menhaden on a Carolina rig. Targeting deep holes in the 10+’ of water has provided anglers with fish in the 17-18” range. A few redfish have also been mixed in these same holes.

Sheepshead are feeding well around area bridge and dock structure, and dropping live fiddler crabs to the bottom has landed the most numbers of fish.


Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that the muddy water inshore has slowed the fishing down a bit, but anglers sticking it out are being rewarded with quality fish. Flounder have been feeding well, and those tossing live menhaden pinned on a Carolina rig have had the most success. There has been a mix of under-sized and keeper fish (in the 16-19” range).

Redfish are still feeding in the deeper water of area creeks. Targeting holes near oyster structure with live mud minnows has been the most productive method.

In the surf, anglers are having luck boxing good numbers of whiting. Fresh shrimp fished on the bottom has been the key to success.


Emma Stone and Ryleigh Gleason with a solid inshore mixed bag of speckled trout, flounder, and black drum. They were fishing with Capt. Shane Britt of Fin-Fisher Charters.


Kyle, of Speckulator Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that speckled trout are feeding in the area, and most fish are in the 14-18” range. Casting live shrimp on float rigs around marsh points has accounted for the highest numbers of fish.

Flounder fishing around the Tubbs Inlet area and in the waterway has rewarded anglers with consistent limits. The flatfish have ranged from 13-18”, but some fish have pushed the 6 lb. mark.

Redfish have been feeding in the waterway around dock structure. Most fish have been in the 18-21” range, with a few fish in the mid-slot range. Live minnows pinned on a Carolina rig has worked best for the reds.


David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that fishing on the bottom with fresh shrimp has produced keeper drum, flounder, and whiting.

Sharks have been landed from the end of the pier while tossing out cut baits on bottom rigs.