Carolina Beach – June 21, 2018
Frank, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that surf anglers are finding an improved flounder bite. The flatfish have been hitting on a mix of live bait, cut bait, and artificials. The surf has been seeing some blues and the occasional pompano, too.
The piers have also been landing flounder and blues, as well as some spanish.
Inside, the red drum bite has been steady. They’ve been in the ICW, the inlet area, and in the Cape Fear River. The best tactic for the reds has been live bait or soft plastics. Flounder have been in the same places as the red drum, and they’re hitting the same baits.
The nearshore bite has been dominated by spanish action. Lots of spanish have been moving down the beach, and trolling Clarkspoons behind planers is still the tried and true method.
A little further off, anglers are finding bigger spanish and some kings, and there are still some reports of cobia coming in.
On the bottom, the grouper bite has been okay, but the sea bass bite has been better.
The Gulf Stream seems to be slowing down a little, but boats have been able to locate mahi, a wahoo here and there, and some blackfins.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that a few red drum have come in, with most of the reds hanging in the lower slot range. Structure such as oyster beds and shell bottoms are holding the most fish, which can be fooled by fishing float-rigged mud minnows at high tide around grass points.
Flounder are also being caught when targeting the reds on the bottom. If you want to go after the flatties specifically, hook a Gulp shrimp to a 1/4 oz. jig head and cast that instead.
Nearshore, spanish and bluefish are still feeding like crazy. Big Nic Spanish Candies and Diamond jigs are working the best for both species, which should be targeted when the fish are feeding on the surface in order to increase your chances of landing one.
Guion, of Green Creek Outfitters, reports that drum are near the jetties, in the ICW, and on the flats. Casting topwaters, jerk baits, soft plastics, or casting spoons long distances has been producing some solid fish.
Speckled trout has opened back up, and some nice specks (and gray trout) have already been caught.
Spanish have moved back close to the beach again, with #1 planers with pink flash Clarkspoons doing the most damage. Casting light dart jigs, Diamond jigs, and fly fishing has also been pulling in good-sized spanish. Blues have been mixed in as well.
Flounder have pushed in, with some solid keepers being caught near the beach close to wrecks.
Rod, of OnMyWay Fishing Charters, reports that nearshore fishing for spanish mackerel has been incredibly productive. Really nice fish are coming in from depths of 20-35’, where trolling Clarkspoons is the best way to get a bite. Bigger spanish are being caught in the 5-7 mile range, where slow trolling dead bait rigs has been more effective. A lot of kings have been mixed in with the bigger spanish, but almost all of the kings have been smaller fish.
Mahi have been scattered in the 15-20 mile range. There’s not many fish that close to shore yet, but they are definitely out there and should only increase in numbers.
Gulf Stream fishing has been much more productive for the mahi, as well as for tuna. Even a few wahoo are still being caught, though their numbers are dwindling.
Bottom fishing is best in the 18-30 mile range, with a nice mix of fish keeping things fresh. Black sea bass, triggerfish, grouper, beeliners, and snapper are all taking baits.
Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Fishing Charters, reports that the spanish mackerel bite has been steady in both the early morning and evening hours. Fishing the rising tides has been good over the last week. Traditional planer/Clarkspoon setups can’t be beat, especially in silver/chartreuse, solid silver, and pink/silver rigged on fluorocarbon leaders. Setting the lines way back from the boat has made the difference at times.
The king mackerel bite has been great over the last week. Search for suspended bait marks and fish over ledges and drop-offs to increase your chances of finding a king. Running Drone spoons on #8 planers and trolling at 5-7 knots should produce bites, especially in the 10-12 mile range.
Mahi (10-20 lbs.) have been biting between 25-30 miles offshore in 90-110’ of water. Trolling rigged ballyhoo on small skirt rigs or using white/green, white/purple, or white/blue Ilanders should put some fish in the cooler.
In the Stream, the mahi and blackfin bite is fantastic. Running about 50-55 miles off the beach to 18-22 fathoms of water has been effective for the dolphin, where small blue/white Ilanders and Sea Witches have been getting bites. The blackfins are biting in 20-30 fathoms, where small skirts rigged with small ballyhoo are working well. Set them in the choppy water about 100-200’ behind the boat.
Wahoo fishing is slowing down, but purple/black and pink/white Ilanders rigged with large ballyhoo may still catch a fish. Most of the wahoo have been caught on a #3 planer early in the morning or a #8 planer later in the afternoon.
Lauren, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that the pier has been producing blues and whiting, in addition to a lot of small flounder. Anglers have hooked some nice spanish, and the spanish bite has been consistent throughout the day.
Bobbie, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports decent catches black drum, Virginia mullet, lizardfish, and bluefish all on live bait. Flounder and red drum action has been hot, with live shrimp accounting for most of the catch.