Carolina Beach – May 24, 2018
Redd, of Island Tackle, reports that fishing at the Gulf Stream remains steady, with good numbers of mahi, some smaller wahoo, blackfin tuna, and a few sailfish. Skirted ballyhoo has done the trick for most of these fish.
Around the 30 mile area, bottom fishing has been hot for scamp and gag grouper, snappers, beeliners, and grunts. Squid, dead cigar minnows, and live baits have all been productive.
Closer to the beach (from 10 miles and in), there are plenty of kings and spanish mackerel, along with a few bonito. Trolling live baits, as well as Clarkspoons and Drone spoons behind planers, are working best.
A few cobia are being caught near the beach, but most of the fish so far have been small. Trolling live pogies has been the best tactic to fool these early season cobia.
Inshore, the redfish are biting well on both artificial shrimp and live bait. Good numbers of upper to over-slot fish are starting to move in.
Docks and oyster beds continue to hold keeper black drum, with Carolina-rigged fresh shrimp catching the most fish.
Some smaller flounder have been caught in creek holes and near the river, mainly on small baits such as peanut pogies and mud minnows.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Charters, reports that decent numbers of red drum are being found here and there. Most of the reds are slot fish. Structure such as oyster beds and shell bottoms seem to hold the most reds. Fishing float-rigged mud minnows at high tide around grass points has proven the most successful.
There are some black drum around, with the majority ranging from 15-17”, and a few larger fish mixed in. Carolina-rigged fresh shrimp around low tide has worked best for the black drum.
Good numbers of spanish and blues are in the nearshore waters, and they’re biting best on diamond jigs and Big Nic Spanish Candies. The best chance of catching them on the cast is when they are on top feeding; otherwise, go with Clarkspoons and planers.
Guion, of Green Creek Outfitter, reports that the nearshore spanish mackerel bite remains on fire, with lots of 3-4 lb. fish coming off of casting jigs.
There have also been some gray trout and redfish caught just off the beach.
Inshore, the flounder are moving in well, and although many are small, some keepers have been mixed in.
Along docks and structure, cut bait and shrimp on jig heads is producing plenty of keeper red and black drum.
Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that despite the recent rough weather, fishing is still hot.
Prior to the front, spanish fishing along the beach out to 3 miles has been productive, seeing both quantity and quality of fish.
In the 5-10 mile range, there is a great king mackerel bite. Plenty of big kings are coming off of cigar minnows on Blue Water Candy rigs, Sea Witches, and Drone spoons, as well as slow trolling live pogies.
Bottom fishing with squid and cigar minnows has produced good numbers of scamps, gags, and black sea bass.
Fishing at the Gulf Stream has been excellent for mahi, along with a few blackfins, wahoo, and the occasional yellowfin.
Jesse, of Ocean Stinger Charters, reports that nearshore fishing is producing spanish mackerel and bluefish from the beachfront out to 50’ of water. There have also been a few 5+ lb. spanish caught the last couple days in around 65’.
Early mornings and evenings have been the best times, especially in accordance with a rising tide. Trolling using #1 planers and Clarkspoons (silver/pink/chartreuse) rigged on long fluorocarbon leaders set way back from the boat have produced the most fish.
In the 15-25 mile range, there has been a good king mackerel bite. Trolling Drone spoons on #8 planers at 5-7 knots over suspended bait marks, ledges, and drop-offs has proved successful for the kings.
At the Gulf Stream, solid numbers of blackfin tuna and mahi are being caught in the 40-60 fathoms range. There have also been some sailfish in the same areas. Trolling small purple/white/black, pink/white, and lime green/white skirt rigs has fooled both the blackfins and mahi, with early mornings and early evenings being the prime time to fish.
Woody, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that some smaller spanish and blues are biting well on Gotcha plugs and mackerel trees. There have also been some citation spanish and chopper blues caught on live bait king rigs.
Fresh shrimp on the bottom has produced some decent whiting and black drum.
Donna, of Carolina Beach Pier, reports that anglers dropping down shrimp have connected with some nice whiting and a few croaker.
A handful of flounder have been caught, but most have been undersized.