Ocean Isle – April 12, 2018
Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that there are lots of small redfish being caught. Most of these fish have been between 14-18”, and they are biting the best on fresh shrimp.
Some black drum are also around, and they’re feeding on shrimp as well.
A few sheepshead have been reported, mainly around the bridges. The best baits have been fiddler crabs and oysters.
Some small trout and flounder have been biting, too, but they are few and far between.
Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that the black sea bass bite remains strong, with the best size fish being found in 65-90’ of water. Dropping down Spro jigs tipped with squid strips has proved successful for the sea bass.
The bonito haven’t shown up yet, but they should move in soon as the water temperature steadily increases.
Fishing at the Gulf Stream has picked up, with lots of wahoo, blackfins, and the occasional yellowfin. Trolling ballyhoo, as well as high speed lures, in 150-200’ of water has produced good numbers of fish.
Around the tower, there are plenty of small king mackerel. These fish can be caught on cigar minnows and spoons.
Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that the whiting action has been good around the mouth of the Cape Fear. The whiting are biting on shrimp and salted clams in about 20’ of water.
At the Shark Hole, the black sea bass are in thick. There are only a few keepers there, but the bigger fish can be found in 100’ of water around the Navy Wreck and up the line towards the tower.
In the same areas around the tower, lots of smaller king mackerel are present.
The Gulf Stream has been producing some huge wahoo, along with some nice blackfin tuna. Trolling Sea Witches with ballyhoo is a good method for catching these fish. Jigging and popping on ledges in 250-350’ of water from the Steeples and up the line past the Nipple has been productive for the tuna.
Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the sea bass are still biting in around 80’ of water. The best tactic has been bottom rigs with squid.
The king mackerel have started to show up, but they are mainly the smaller, schooled-up fish.
Inshore, the black drum bite is improving, with most of the fish ranging from 12-17”. The best bait is still fresh shrimp. The shrimp should be fished on a jig head or Carolina rig.
Some small flounder have started biting, but most are below keeper size. Light jig heads tipped with mud minnows have drawn strikes from these smaller flatfish.
The redfish have been biting steadily, but most have been smaller fish, ranging from 15-22”. The reds are falling for mud minnows on 1/8 oz. jig heads.
The trout bite has slowed down, but a few nice fish (around 20”) have been landed. The bigger specks have also been landed on light jig heads with mud minnows.
Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that some decent black drum are around, and they’re ranging from 12-24”. The bait of choice has been fresh shrimp.
The redfish bite has been steady, with many mid-slot to over-slot fish. Mud minnows on Carolina rigs, as well as Saltwater Assassins and Vudu shrimp, have enticed most of these fish to bite.
A few bluefish are starting to show up, but they aren’t in thick just yet.
In the surf, anglers are still connecting with good numbers of whiting. Shrimp on bottom rigs has proved the most effective.
Marshall, of Ocean Isle Pier, reports that the bite off the pier remains fairly slow. Several whiting have been caught, though, along with a few red drum. Fresh shrimp on bottom rigs has been the most successful tactic.
Joyce, of Sunset Beach Fishing Pier, reports that with lower water temperatures and bad weather, there hasn’t been much action yet this season.
A few whiting and croaker have been seen, along with the occasional dogfish. Bottom rigs with shrimp has been the best method for finding any fish in the area.