Fish Post

Ocean Isle – May 11, 2017

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Jeff, of OIFC, reports that live shrimp are back and all the inshore species are taking them: speckled trout, redfish, black drum, and flounder. Target the fish with shrimp under a Cajun thunder popping cork.

Those looking for topwater action can throw Heddon Spooks early in the morning to connect with redfish and specks.

A few king mackerel have shown up off the pier with the arrival of the bait balls.

Those venturing to nearshore reefs are finding the reefs thick with spadefish. These spadefish can be tempted to bite jelly balls.

Capt. Kevin Sneed, of Rigged and Ready Charters, with a 50 lb. cobia caught in 20’ of water off Holden Beach on a live menhaden.

Derek, of OIFC, reports that bottom fishing is good in 90-120’ of water, with anglers catching black sea bass, triggerfish, and vermillion snapper.

Mahi haven’t shown up in heavier numbers yet, but anglers in Charleston are finding success. The fish should be moving north in the upcoming weeks, as a few are already being caught around Winyah Scarp. Boats are returning with 2-4 fish each, and the mahi will bite just about anything.

Wahoo are mixed in with blackfin tuna in the Stream, and the wahoo that are left are big, coming in at over 50 lbs. Use dark color Ilanders to connect with the fish.

The blackfin tuna bite has been great, with fish up to 20 lbs. reported, and Green Machines have been the best way to lure bites.


Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that large trophy-sized cobia have returned to the area, with fish in the 50 lb. range reported. King mackerel are also in the area, and they’re ranging from teenagers to 30 lb. class fish.

Out in the Gulf Stream, anglers are connecting with large wahoo, blackfin tuna, and mahi. Those dropping to the bottom are finding black sea bass, snappers, grunts, amberjack, and grouper being pulled over the rails.

Nearshore trips that are producing the kings will also yield chopper blues and a mixed bag of bottom fish.

John Cox with a speckled trout caught using a live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder popping cork. He was fishing with Capt. Jeff Williamson of OIFC.

Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that the water is clearing and the bite is picking back up for those using shrimp. Anglers can expect bluefish, flounder, and whiting to all hit similar baits.


Kyle, of Speckulater Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that flounder fishing is improving nicely, and anglers are picking away on the fish in Tubbs Inlet, as well as around canals in Ocean Isle and Sunset Beach. There are still a lot of undersized fish, but there are also more keepers mixed in, too. Recent catches include reports of 4-5 lb. fish, and the flounder fishing should only get better. The flatfish have been taking mud minnows, but as the peanut pogies continue to move in, expect the bait preference to change.

The speckled trout action is still good in a few spots along the waterway in Sunset Beach and around the jetties. Live shrimp can make a difference when targeting the fish, but artificials are working, too. Use swim baits or topwaters on the specks to connect.

There are a few reds hanging around docks in the waterway and back up in the creeks. The best fish are taking mud minnows on a Carolina or split shot rig, and although most of the fish are the smaller rat reds, you may find a few in the slot.

Black drum are around structure and the same places as the reds. The best bet for black drum is fishing with shrimp or crab.

There are a few big bull reds that are prowling around the ARs near the beach and around the jetties.


Donny, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that croaker, whiting, a few black drum, and small blues are being pulled over the rails. Most anglers are using shrimp for bait.