Carolina Beach – May 10, 2018
Redd, of Island Tackle, reports that Gulf Stream fishing has been hot, with mahi and blackfin in good numbers, along with a few yellowfin and wahoo. Trolling skirted ballyhoo and smaller feathers is producing the best.
On ledges and structure in 80-200’ of water, anglers are connecting with pink snapper, sea bass, grouper, and beeliners. Squid and cigar minnows have been the most successful baits for the bottom fish.
In the 10 mile area, some kings and cobia have been caught, mainly on live cigar minnows.
Plenty of spanish mackerel and bonito are around in the 2-5 mile range. Trolling Clarkspoons, as well as sight casting spoons and jigs, has worked for both species.
In the creeks, redfish are biting well on artificials, such as Gulp shrimp and Z-Man paddle tails. The reds have varied in size, ranging from 14-22”, with a few over-slot fish mixed in, too.
Fresh shrimp fished near oyster beds and docks continues to produce black drum, and the majority of these fish are running from 12-20”.
There have been a few flounder caught inside, but most of the fish that anglers are finding have been smaller fish. Mud minnows on Carolina-rigs and jig heads have been the most successful.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Charters, reports that the redfish continue to bite well. Most are undersized, with a few slot fish found here and there. Structures such as oyster beds and shell bottoms are holding most of the reds, and fresh shrimp continues to work best.
Better numbers of black drum are showing up, with the best bite occurring on the first two hours of the rising tide along shell bottoms. The best tactic is Carolina-rigged dead shrimp. Most fish have been from 15-17”, with a few upwards to 20”. Occasionally, you can find some black drum mixed in with the reds.
Spanish mackerel have been plentiful right along the beaches and within a couple of miles. Big Nic Spanish Candies and Diamond jigs have worked the best, especially when the spanish are feeding on top.
Guion, of Green Creek Outfitter, reports that the spanish mackerel are biting well nearshore, with some good-sized fish being caught. Trolling #1 and #2 pink Clarkspoons on #1 planers has produced the most fish, but casting spoons are also working well, too.
A few flounder have been seen, although most are smaller fish. The bigger flatfish right now seem to be located on the nearshore wrecks.
Smaller redfish are feeding in the creeks and around docks, and they’re falling for shrimp and cut bait.
Also on the docks, Carolina-rigged fresh shrimp is producing plenty of 16-20” black drum.
Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that the nearshore bite has been on fire lately, with big numbers of spanish from right off the beach out to 5 miles. Big Nic lures, Clarkspoons, and Yo-Zuri diving lures are all producing fish.
In 40-50’ of water, there are plenty of Atlantic bonito, and they’re falling for the same baits as the spanish.
Further south, the cobia have started to show up.
Around the 10 mile range, the king mackerel are thick. These fish can be tempted with Sea Witches and Drone spoons.
Bottom fishing along ledges and structure has produced gag grouper, snapper, and black sea bass. These fish are biting best on squid and cigar minnows.
At the Gulf Stream, edges with good current are holding plenty of mahi. Finding temperature breaks are key for locating these fish, and several blackfins and yellowfins have been mixed in.
Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Charters, reports that nearshore fishing in the range of beachfront to 50’ of water has been producing solid numbers of spanish and bluefish. A few 5+ lb. spanish have been seen recently, mostly in around 65’ of water. Early mornings and evenings have been the most productive times, and the rising tides have seemed to be better. Trolling using #1 planers and Clarkspoons (silver/pink and silver/chartreuse) rigged on long (50’) leaders (30 lb.) has fooled plenty of fish, especially when setting lines way back from the boat.
Bottom fishing has been good over ledges and structure in the 15-30 mile range for black sea bass and grouper. Bottom rigs tipped with cut bait have been the best way to produce.
At the Gulf Stream, the mahi have started to move in. Many fish have been caught, and most are in the 25-35 lb. range. Solid numbers of blackfin tuna and mahi are coming from 18-22 fathoms, with some sailfish in the same range. The bite has been best recently from 50-55 miles.
Trolling small purple/white/black, pink/white, and lime green/white skirt rigs naked and with ballyhoo has been producing the most fish.
Woody, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that anglers are seeing plenty of bluefish, with sizes ranging from 1 lbs. up to a few choppers. These fish are going for cut bait as well as Gotcha plugs.
A few spanish have also been caught, mainly on Gotcha plugs and mackerel trees.
The whiting continue to bite well on bottom-rigged fresh shrimp.
Smaller flounder have been landed, but a few keepers have been found in the mix of smaller fish.
Donna, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that the bluefish are biting well, with cut bait working the best.
A few whiting have been hooked, and they are falling for shrimp.