Fish Post

Carolina Beach – July 5, 2018

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Lewis, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that area inlets are producing good numbers of red drum and flounder.

Surf anglers are finding decent numbers of pompano on the beach, while those fishing after dark are pulling in some nice whiting.

Spanish are still chewing hard, with most of the action coming from the 1-3 mile range.

Farther offshore, mahi have been biting out to 20 miles.


Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that red drum are chewing inshore, with most of the fish caught hanging low in the slot. Grass points over solid structure, such as oyster beds and shell bottoms, are holding the most reds, where float-rigged live minnows fished during high tide should attract attention.

A few flounder are being hooked when searching for redfish on the bottom. Most of the flounder are just under or just over the 15” mark, but some have been up in the 17-19” range. Throwing Gulp shrimp on a 1/4 oz. jig head will work when targeting the flatties specifically.

Nearshore, spanish and blues are readily biting Big Nic Spanish Candies and Diamond jigs. The best chance of getting a bite is when the fish are feeding on the surface. Look for seagulls and terns above the water to find the fish below them.

Wade Kelly with a red drum caught (and released) while fishing a few miles off of Carolina Beach. The fish was caught on a cedar plug under some floating grass.

Guion, of Green Creek Outfitters, reports that inshore fishing has been peculiar due to the heat, but that doesn’t mean that fish aren’t being caught. Docks are holding slot-sized red drum, and live mullet on Carolina rigs, in addition to topwater lures, have been doing an excellent job of catching them. The key is to fish in the early morning, late in the day, or in overcast conditions to compensate for high water temperatures.

The inshore flounder bite has picked up, though quite a few small fish have been in the mix. Gulp shrimp on light jig heads have accounted for most of the fish, and the best place to cast them is in deep water with quick moving current.

Both flounder and red drum have also been biting off the beach, especially around the nearshore wrecks.

A pretty good king bite, with fish averaging about 30” and 5-10 lbs., can be found between 5-10 miles. Hank Brown rigs have accounted for most of the king catch.


Rod, of OnMyWay Fishing Charters, reports that fishing has been fantastic recently thanks in part to a killer spanish bite right near the beach. The classic 0 or 00 Clarkspoon method has been extremely effective in 20-45’ of water outside the inlets, but primarily the fish are following the bait.

Around 5 miles and then again between 25-30 miles, you can find a lot of small (24-38”) kings. Slow trolling dead bait has been productive, and live bait is working as well.

Mahi are biting from 15 miles and beyond, especially on wide bottom ledges and rock areas. There have also been a few weed lines in depths of 150-300’ of water, and if you can find one, you’ll find mahi. Fast trolling gold spoons on planers works, as does trolling pin-rigged ballyhoo on Blue Water Candy skirts in solid pink and pink/chartreuse.

Bottom fishing has been productive out to the 30 mile range, with plenty of beeliners, pink snapper, triggers, sea bass, and gag groupers biting. The 35-45 mile range is holding red grouper and scamps.

The Gulf Stream has been slow due to abnormally high water temperatures, but it’s not impossible to find sailfish, mahi, a few blackfins, and possibly a wahoo if you do your research first. Get the most up-to-date information (as in the night before and the morning of your trip) available about temperature breaks and rips, currents, and eddies, because conditions can change in an instant. Once you’re out there, look for color changes in the water. Cobalt blue water is preferable, as opposed to blue-green.

Kyndall Piner caught this slot red drum on a live pogie near Carolina Beach Inlet. She was fishing with her father, Clint Piner.

Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Fishing Charters, reports that the spanish mackerel bite has been good in the early morning and evening, especially in 25-45’ of water on a rising tide. Trolling 00 Clarkspoons on #1 planers can’t be beat, especially when using silver/chartreuse, solid silver, and pink/silver colors. Use 40’ of 20 lb. test fluorocarbon leaders as well

The king mackerel bite has been strong over the past week, especially in the 10-12 mile range. You can find the kings by searching for suspended bait marks and fishing over ledges and drop-offs. Trolling at 5-7 knots and pulling Drone spoons on #8 planers is hard to beat.

Mahi (running 10-20 lbs.) are swimming 25-30 miles offshore in 90-110’ of water. Trolling rigged ballyhoo on small skirt rigs and using Ilanders in blue/white, white/green, and purple/white has been effective at nabbing the dolphin.

Gulf Stream fishing has been hit or miss, with a mediocre mahi and blackfin bite about 50-55 miles offshore in 18-22 fathoms. Small ballyhoo rigged on small Ilanders and Sea Witches will increase your chances of getting a bite from the mahi, while the blackfins have preferred small ballyhoo rigged with small skirts in green/white/blue or blue/white. They should be set in the choppy water about 100-200’ back from the boat.

While the wahoo bite has definitely slowed down, you can still find the occasional one on a pink/white or black/purple Ilander rigged with a large ballyhoo. Most of the ‘hoos caught have been on #3 planers early in the morning and #8 planers later in the day.


Johnny, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that a bunch of tarpon have been seen, though none have been pulled in yet. Anglers have landed a few red drum, cobia, bluefish, and spanish, with the occasional speckled trout and croaker mixed in.


Abby, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that a couple of flounder, blues, croakers, and spots have all come in, with shrimp and finger mullet accounting for almost all of the fish caught.