Fish Post

Carolina Beach – April 12, 2018

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Redd, of Island Tackle, reports that decent numbers of black sea bass and grunts are being caught in 80-150’ of water, and they’re falling for squid and mullet on the bottom.

On the beach, a few bonito and false albacore have been landed. Small spoons have been the lure of choice.

At the Gulf Stream, plenty of wahoo and blackfin tuna are around, with a few yellowfin mixed in. Trolling ballyhoo and jet heads has proved successful for these fish.

Inshore, a few speckled trout have been caught, and they’re ranging in size from 16-18”. Anglers targeting these fish should try artificials, such as Vudu and D.O.A. shrimp, or topwaters when the conditions are right.

The redfish bite has been steady, with mid-slot fish falling for similar baits, such as the Vudu shrimp, as well as fresh shrimp on the bottom.

The black drum have also been biting, and they’re starting to pile up on oyster beds and structure. These fish are being caught on Carolina-rigged shrimp.

Some striper are still being found in the river, with the best baits being white paddle tails and topwater baits.

In the surf, anglers using shrimp have connected with both whiting and croaker.

Paul Hashem, of Carolina Beach, with a 9 lb. bluefish that struck a Keitech swimbait near Carolina Beach.

Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Charters, reports that the red drum bite has been fairly steady. Most of the reds have been undersized, but a few slot fish are mixed in. Fishing structure, such as oyster beds and docks, has been the key to finding the redfish. As far as bait goes, dead shrimp on a Carolina rig has produced the most fish.

In the same areas as the redfish, the black drum have been biting as well. These fish are ranging from 14-16” and are also biting best on Carolina-rigged shrimp.

In the river channel around Bald Head, good numbers of whiting are being caught. Double bottom rigs with fresh shrimp has been the best method for catching these fish.


Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that on hard bottoms from inlets out to 5 miles, there are bluefish everywhere. Most of the blues have been small, but a few have been reported up to 7 lbs.

The black sea bass bite has been great, with the most keepers being found in the 18-25 mile range.

Starting at around 10 miles and further out, there are lots of false albacore. With the water temperature rising, the Atlantic bonito and spanish mackerel should be here soon.

In the 30-40 mile range, using Sea Witches and Drone spoons has produced good numbers of king mackerel. Fishing warmer pockets of water around 50’ down has found kings despite the lower surface temperatures.

At the Gulf Stream, the blackfin bite has been steady for anglers that are both trolling and jigging. A few yellowfin and sailfish have also been caught. Those looking for wahoo should work ledges around spots like the Steeples and Same Ole. Out past 600’ of water, there is a substantial temperature break.

Christopher Shoemaker (age 12), of Kernersville, with a 26″ redfish that ate a piece of cut mullet in the surf at Freeman Park.

Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Charters, reports that with the increasing water temperatures, the nearshore fishing is starting to pick up. Within seven miles of the beach, a few false albacore have been landed. The best way to catch them is trolling Clarkspoons behind #1 planers.

Around the ARs close to shore, good numbers of black sea bass have been caught. Cut bait on double hook bottom rigs has proved the most successful, and there have been a few good reports of chopper blues being caught as well.

Offshore in the 20-30 mile range, the king mackerel bite has started to pick up. Between 75-110’ of water, bait has been stacked up on the ledges. Also, a few kings have been found closer to shore (around 15 miles out). Black/purple Ilanders rigged with medium ballyhoo and/or red/white Ilanders with small ballyhoo have been key to catching the mackerel.

The false albacore have been biting well in the 20-30 mile range. Spreader bars and Drone spoons have fooled the majority of the albacore and kings.

If there is a good weather window, the Gulf Stream fishing has been great. Around the 190 line, the wahoo bite remains hot. The best spots have been south of Swansboro Hole inside the break line in 20-30 fathoms. Pink/white and black/purple Ilanders rigged with medium-sized ballyhoo are producing nice fish. Most of the wahoo have been landed on #3 planers early in the morning and #8 planers in the afternoon.

The blackfin tuna bite has also been steady in 20-30 fathoms, and the primary tactic has been using small (6-8”) skirt rigs. The best colors have been blue/white and purple/white.

Some yellowfin tuna have been caught south around the Steeples, with popping and jigging being the best methods for enticing these fish.

Nathan Green, of Wilmington, with two sheepshead that fell for shrimp in the lower Cape Fear River.

Anthony, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that anglers fishing with shrimp have connected with good numbers of whiting. Many are small, but several decent fish have been mixed in.

A few small bluefish have also been landed, with cut bait on the bottom being the best method. Surf anglers have reported the occasional chopper blue as well.