Carolina Beach – April 26, 2018
Redd, of Island Tackle, reports that when the weather allows, fishing at the Gulf Stream remains steady. Skirted ballyhoo and jet heads are producing nice wahoo.
Blackfin and yellowfin tuna are also being caught. The best method has been using cedar plugs and tuna feathers around ledges and structure.
In 80-150’ of water, dropping down squid and mullet on the bottom continues to produce good numbers of black sea bass, beeliners, and grunts, and cigar minnows and bucktails have brought up a few amberjacks and African pompano.
Around the 10 mile mark, bonito, false albacore, and king mackerel can be found. Clarkspoons and Drone spoons on planers have been the key to fooling these fish.
Inshore, the black drum, ranging from 12-18”, are biting well on fresh shrimp and fiddler crabs, with a few sheepshead mixed in. Fishing structure with good current has produced the most fish.
In the creeks, Vudu shrimp and mud minnows are catching slot-sized redfish.
A few trout and small flounder are also around. They’re falling for Vudus, D.O.A.s, and mud minnows in the creeks and ICW.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Charters, reports that the red drum are still biting well, mostly on Carolina-rigged fresh shrimp. Many of the fish are still undersized, but there have been a few slot fish mixed in. Fishing oyster beds and docks has produced the most redfish.
Decent numbers of black drum continue to feed in the same areas as the reds, and they’re also falling for shrimp on the bottom. Most of these fish are ranging from 15-17”, with the occasional larger fish mixed in.
Bluefish have shown up inshore, with fish being caught up to 10 lbs. Some smaller blues have been around as well. Topwater plugs, cut bait, and shrimp have all been successful.
Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that the first bonito have recently shown up. They have been found in the 3-6 mile range (in 40-55’ of water).
Out towards the tower, lots of king mackerel have been around. They’re falling for Drone spoons as well as Sea Witches.
There are plenty of false albacore around in the nearshore and offshore waters. A good sea bass bite has stayed steady for those bottom fishing.
Weather conditions have limited the days of making it to the Gulf Stream, but the blue water fishing remains steady for wahoo and tuna.
Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Charters, reports that water temperatures have been slowly on the rise, with 62 degree temperatures at the 25 mile mark northeast of Masonboro Inlet.
The king mackerel bite has been picking up in the 20-30 mile range, with the most success occurring in 85-120’ of water, due mostly to the recent abundance of bait. Using blue/white Ilanders rigged with medium ballyhoo and red/white Ilanders rigged with small ballyhoo has proved very successful. Pulling white/silver Drone spoons on #6 or #8 planers with 50’ of 100 lb. fluoro/mono leader has also fooled the kings.
If there is a good weather window, the wahoo bite is picking up along the Swansboro Hole and points just south in 20-35 fathoms. Pink/white and black/purple Ilanders rigged with large ballyhoo are producing nice fish. Most of the wahoo have been caught on #3 planers early in the morning and #8 planers the afternoon.
The blackfin tuna bite has been steady in 20-30 fathoms. They’re going for small skirt rigs like Fathom half pints or Sea Vixens. The best colors have been pink/white and blue/white.
Woody, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that pier fishing has been difficult lately due to the winds and overall weather. Anglers are catching some nice whiting on shrimp, along with several chopper blues falling for mullet.
Donna, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that there have been good numbers of whiting caught lately. Many of these fish have been nice-sized and are eating best on bottom rigged shrimp.
A few croakers are being caught as well, also on shrimp.