Carolina Beach – Aug 30, 2018
Red, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that redfish are back in the creeks, where they can be found on topwater lures, DOA baits, and finger mullet. Speckled trout are starting to show up in better numbers as well, and they can be fooled with DOAs and MirrOlure MR17s and MR18s.
Black drum are over the oyster beds and around deep docks. They’re hitting best on fiddler crabs or sand fleas. A few sheepshead are around the same areas, but not in nearly the same numbers that they were this time last year.
Good-sized flounder are coming in regularly, with live finger mullet, pogies, and mud minnows serving as the best bait.
Surf fishing has produced good numbers of whiting and pompano, and there are also a lot of sharks patrolling the beach. A few flounder and reds have come in from the surf, too. Sand fleas and live mullet have been the top producing baits for surf anglers.
Nearshore, spanish are still going for Clarkspoon/planer combos, while kings prefer live menhaden or Drone spoon/planer combos. Both species can be found within five miles.
In the 30+ mile range, trolling has been great for blackfin, wahoo, and a few scattered mahi.
Bottom fishing has been excellent, with a mixed bag of beeliners, triggers, grunts, gag grouper, and red grouper all coming over the rails. Live pinfish, cigar minnows, and squid have been the baits of choice.
Wahoo and sailfish can be found in the Stream.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that good numbers of red drum are showing up inshore, and the catch includes a mixed bag of lower-slot, upper-slot, and over-slot fish. Look for them on solid structure such as oyster beds and shell bottoms. Deep, hard-bottomed holes are the best, with finger mullet being the most attractive bait.
Black drum are starting to show up in better numbers as well. Fishing around the same spots that you would find the red drum is your best bet. There have been very few throwbacks in the mix, with most of the black drum measuring between 15-16” or 20-22”. Fresh cut shrimp works the best.
Flounder are responding well to Gulp shrimp and Z-Man PaddlerZ on 1/4 oz. jig heads, as well as live mullet on bottom rigs, when fishing creek mouths with a fast-moving current.
Guion, of Green Creek Outfitters, reports that red drum are eager to bite topwaters early in the day, especially X-Raps, Top Dogs, and anything with good rattles that can make some noise. The flats behind Masonboro are the best places to start looking.
Flounder have been thick in the inlets, where live bait and Spro bucktails tipped with Fat Cow jig strips in conjunction with whole (or pieces of) Gulp shrimp have been working best.
Just outside the inlet, plenty of spanish mackerel can be found, with 20 fish days certainly possible when trolling, and even more fish coming in by casting jigs (anything small and shiny from Blue Water Candy).
Reds (30-40”) can be found on the nearshore ARs.
Rod, of OnMyWay Fishing Charters, reports that spanish and bluefish are swimming next to the beach, where a trolled Clarkspoon will be able to fool them.
In the 20 mile range, big spanish and kings (in the 30 lb. range) are happy to strike a trolled dead cigar minnow.
From 23 Mile Rock and beyond, mahi fishing should be productive. If you head toward the National wreck from the buoy, you’ll be in a prime spot to start fast trolling small ballyhoo. There are plenty of ledges in this area, too, so stop and fish them for about 15 minutes at a time until you get a bite. Looking for clean water and subsurface bait are two other ways to key in on some decent dolphin action.
In the 33-35 mile range, coolers are being filled with gags, scamps, reds, triggers, beeliners, and pinkies. You can spend the entire day anchored in one spot and catch all of these fish and more.
Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Fishing Charters, reports that 24-28” spanish are plentiful around the sea buoy.
Most of the kings caught over the past few weeks have been found in the 10-15 mile range, where a lot of bait is holding between 60-75’ of water. The 15 mile mark has been especially productive, where the northeast wind has brought in some nice water, but the current has been very strong in the area.
Even more kings can be found in the 25-40 mile range. Pulling a #3 planer combined with a small ballyhoo and pink skirted Sea Witch has been putting fish in the box, especially when a blue/crystal Ilander is trolled on one outrigger and a white/green skirted Sea Witch is pulled on another.
Anthony, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that a lot of bluefish and a few spanish have been landed, and while anglers have seen a big king and a few tarpon swimming off the end of the pier, they haven’t been able to hook any. Flounder, croaker, and pompano are hugging the bottom. A few whiting have been caught here and there, but not in any consistent numbers.
Kristen, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that the water around the pier is still a little green, but it’s starting to get better. Over the last few weeks, a few croaker and Virginia mullet have been caught, while the flounder bite has been on and off (though the fish caught have been big).