Fish Post

Ocean Island/Holden Beach – Aug 30, 2018

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Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that the struggle with poor fishing conditions continues. Dirty water and a strong southwest wind has made it near-impossible to find a decent bite anywhere around the area, and the tide hasn’t seemed to make a difference, either.

There are flounder, red drum, and trout in the area, but throwing countless shrimp only to have pinfish and croakers eat them up has been frustrating. Still, inshore slams are not out of the realm of possibility.


Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that over-sized spanish are chewing in 50-60’ of water, while king mackerel are being found in 60-90’ of water. Both are hitting dead cigar minnows slow trolled behind small skirts. The spanish, which have been between 3-6 lbs., have sometimes been bigger than the kings, though the average size for the kings has been between 10-20 lbs.

In the Gulf Stream, wahoo fishing is picking up every day, and there have been scattered mahi and the occasional blackfin caught as well.

On the bottom, red snapper have been holding in 80’ of water, while a lot of scamps are being pulled from 100’.

Dave Murphy with a 5.9 lb. flounder that he pulled out from under a Shallotte River dock with a Carolina-rigged mullet.

Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that spanish and bluefish have been steadily hitting Clarkspoons fished just off the beach.

There have been a lot of summertime king mackerel in the 10-20 mile range, where cigar minnows or live bait are producing.

There has been good grouper action between 45-55 miles offshore in about 90-110’ of water. Beeliners, black bass, triggers, jacks, grunts, and big American reds have all been in the mix, with live pinfish, cigar minnows, and menhaden getting the most bites.


Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the flounder bite has been decent, especially around deep holes where the cooler water is. Most fish are ranging just above keeper size and coming off live Carolina-rigged mullet.

The redfish bite is still good, but it has slowed down some. There are schools of reds in the creeks feeding on live shrimp around the oyster bars and ledges. Most of them have been between 23-24” and have been caught by floating a live shrimp over the tops of oyster bars around the higher tide. There have also been a few black drum mixed in with the reds, mainly in the 16-18” range. They’re falling for live shrimp that’s either Carolina-rigged or floated.

The trout bite has slowed down a lot, but there are still a few fish running the sandbars near the inlets. The trout are chewing best on live shrimp under float rigs.

Offshore, the king mackerel bite has slowed, but there are still some fish in depths of 60-80’. The bigger fish are eating live pogies, though dead cigar minnows are producing more bites.

The spanish have also slowly started to show back up in the 20-30’ range near tidelines, with Clarkspoons seeing the most action.


Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that fishing has been great over the last few weeks. The flounder have still been a little slow, but the redfish are cooperating, with 22-30” fish coming in consistently. Fishing pockets in the grass banks and around oyster beds during a falling tide has been effective, with 3-4” Carolina-rigged finger mullet drawing the most strikes.

Pearl white Gulp shrimp have also been bringing reds over the rail, especially when paired with 1/4 oz. Blue Water Candy jig heads.

Black drum have been biting around dead low tide, with fresh cut shrimp on the same 1/4 oz. Blue Water Candy jig heads getting the most attention.

Trout are biting, though most of them have been small. Fishing deeper holes around points in the creeks with live shrimp under a popping cork has provided the most connections.

Leighton Cline of Seattle, WA, with his first king mackerel. The fish was caught at the Horseshoe and fell for a ballyhoo.

Hunter, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that inshore fishing in August is all about flounder and the occasional drum, with sheepshead in the mix as well (if you know how to catch them). Some black drum have been biting in similar areas, and anglers have also come across the occasional spot run.

In the surf, the name of the game has been finding whiting and pompano while avoiding the many sand sharks that have been chewing up bait.

Spanish are just off the beach, and kings are very scattered.

On the bottom, there has been a good presence of black sea bass on the nearshore rocks.

Mahi are as close as 18 miles if you can find blue water, while wahoo and the occasional mahi are hanging around the 30 fathom line.


David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that the dirty water that’s been swirling around the pier finally started to clear up over the last week, and fishing has improved drastically because of it. Other than the occasional spot here and there, pier anglers are finding spanish, trout, big flounder, and some nice whiting.