Carolina Beach – Aug 2, 2018
Red, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that redfish are coming in on fresh shrimp and 3″ Gulp shrimp (in new penny).
A few black drum have been found on oyster beds and under the bridge, along with some sheepshead.
Citation flounder have been biting in the river, along Snow’s Cut, and around some docks near the inlet. Finger mullet is the best bait.
Very few trout have been caught, but the ones that have are falling for live shrimp.
In the surf, especially toward Fort Fisher, anglers are finding pompano, whiting, and a few reds. All are coming on sand fleas and fresh shrimp.
Very few trips have been made outside the inlet, but spanish and kings are swimming in the 5-10 mile range.
On the bottom, some black sea bass, a few grunts, and a decent amount of grouper are biting squid and cigar minnows. Jigging is producing amberjacks, small bonita, and kings.
Offshore, a few dolphin, wahoo, and sailfish have been reported.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that reds are biting inshore, with sizes being a mixed bag of lower and upper-slot fish. Solid structure is the best place to find the reds, especially oyster beds and shell bottoms.
Black drum are coming from the same areas as the reds, though they are hugging the bottom more. Most of the fish have been in the 15-16” or 20-22” range.
Flounder are holing up in creek mouths where the current is moving pretty steadily. Dropping live mullet on bottom rigs should entice a bite, but the flatties are also partial to Gulp shrimp or Z-Man PaddlerZ on 1/4 oz. jig heads.
Ladyfish and bluefish are swimming in the river, and when conditions are right, you can find them schooled up and feeding on top.
Guion, of Green Creek Outfitters, reports that there’s a steady red drum bite in the area inlets, as the rain has been pushing everything out of the creeks. Fish are looking for the saltiest water that they can find, which will often be on the green side of the water color eddies in the inlets.
You may have to search to find fish, but once you do, you’ll start consistently getting bites, as the reds are tending to hold very tightly to individual spots. Carolina-rigged live or cut bait is doing the most damage, and the reds aren’t being picky. Chunks of pinfish or croaker will work just as well as a finger mullet, and you’re likely to pull up a flounder, too.
Spanish mackerel and ladyfish have moved inside of the ICW, with the latter biting particularly well on low tide. Throwing just about anything shiny at the fish has been producing bites, with diamond jigs and little spoons getting the most attention.
Nearshore fishing has been futile due to the weather and water conditions outside of the inlets.
Rod, of OnMyWay Fishing Charters, reports that the weather has been too bad on most days to fish, but there are still decent numbers of spanish on the beach. In addition, some really good king fishing can be found anywhere from 10-25 miles, and scattered mahi have been found in the 15-30 mile range.
The main story, though, is American red snapper, which has been opened the weekend of August 10-12 and 17-19. There is no size limit, and boats are allowed to keep one fish per person. The best area to start looking is on what is called the “Cape Fear Bottoms,” which is a live coral area near WR4 that’s about 15-20 miles wide and 25 miles long.
The best method is to hook a spanish sardine through the eyes on a #10 circle hook and then put a 2” by 2” chunk of false albacore on top of it. Smaller fish will start pecking at the chunk and dispersing the scent through the water. When you feel the pecking stop, it means that a big fish has just come into the area (from as far as 50’ away) and is about to hit that spanish sardine.
Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Fishing Charters, reports that with all the rain over the past two weeks, fishing has been up and down, but early mornings in about 25-40’ of water (cleaner water is always better) is the best place to look for spanish mackerel. Trolling #1 planers and 00 silver Clarkspoons should produce fish. Most have been average size, with a few smaller ones mixed in.
Kings have been biting anywhere between 10-25 miles off the beach. They are feeding on white squid, so make sure and put white in your spread. White Drone spoons on #6 planers should do a fantastic job of bringing fish over the rails. Small blue/white Ilanders rigged with small ballyhoo have also been working really well.
Offshore, sailfish have been swimming between 20-30 miles. Beyond 30 miles, you can find mahi but will have to work to catch them. Blue/purple skirt rigs will increase your chances of getting a bite.
In the Stream, blackfin tuna and mahi have made up the majority of the catch, though it’s been really hard to make a run due to all the recent wind and rain. The best bite has been to the north, where the water is cleaner and has been holding a little more bait. All of the fish have been caught while trolling over structure, particularly in 30-40 fathoms. Skirt rigs in black/purple, black/white, green/white, and purple/silver have been effective, as have Green Machines. Pink UV Squid Teasers have been producing blackfins as well.
Lessie, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that lots of keeper flounder are being pulled in, with fish as big as 3.5-4 lbs. not out of the realm of possibility. Live mud minnows are the best bait.
At night, a few whiting and croaker are coming in.
Kristen, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that in the last few days, blues and kings have started to show back up, with the biggest king weighing in at 34 lbs.
Croakers and mullet are chewing bait on the bottom.