Ocean Isle – April 26, 2018
Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that there has been a good whiting bite, especially around Bald Head Island. Bottom rigs with fresh shrimp have been the key to catching these fish.
Decent-sized schools of redfish are being found, but most are lower-slot fish. Carolina-rigged mud minnows and shrimp have done the trick for the red drum.
Some small black drum have been caught around structure and in deep holes, and they are falling for fresh shrimp on the bottom.
A few short flounder are starting to bite in the creeks and some deeper holes, and they’ve been caught on artificials such as Saltwater Assassins in the chartreuse ghost color.
Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that the wahoo bite has been strong, especially around Winyah Scarp. Trolling ballyhoo with dark skirts, as well as high speed lures, has produced fish 50 lbs. and up.
Nearshore, the water temperature has made it to the 60s, but the spanish haven’t shown up just yet.
Along the beach, there have been decent numbers of bluefish as well as a few Atlantic bonito.
Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that around the break the wahoo fishing has been hot, with some blackfin and yellowfin tuna mixed in. These fish are falling for Sea Witches and ballyhoo.
In 130-180’ of water, good numbers of big triggerfish and beeliners are being found.
Near the tower, the king mackerel are plentiful. The same areas are also holding big sea bass.
In the river, fishing docks and nearby creeks is producing plenty of red and black drum.
Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that small bait is starting to move inside, and they’re seeing a few schools of finger mullet along with some tiger minnows.
The small flounder are biting steadily, falling for mud minnows on jig heads and Carolina rigs.
The redfish bite remains hot, with mud minnow-tipped jig heads being the go to method. These fish are ranging from 15-24”, and they are being found in creek holes and on docks.
Black drum are still around, but they are becoming harder to fish for with shrimp since the pinfish and croaker have begun to move in. Docks and structure have been holding the most fish.
A few speckled trout have been caught, and they’ve been averaging 17-20”. Saltwater Assassin baits on Blue Water Candy jig heads have proved successful for the trout.
Offshore, more bait is starting to move around. In the 80-100’ range, the black sea bass bite remains steady. Bottom rigs with squid continue to bring in the sea bass.
As the water temperatures rise in the next few weeks, be looking for the mahi to appear.
Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that water temperatures are slowly creeping upward, and the fishing action should improve as it warms.
In the backwater, there has been a good trout bite, with the Z-Man paddle tails bringing the most success. Most of these fish have been keepers, ranging from 16-18”.
In deep creek holes, there have been several flounder caught lately. Many have been undersized, but there have been a few from 16-17”. Mud minnows on Carolina rigs have produced the most flatties.
The redfish bite has been steady, with fish ranging from lower-slot up to 24”. The smaller fish are being found in the creeks, with the larger ones located on docks and structure. Fresh shrimp on Carolina rigs and jig heads, as well as Gulp shrimp and Z-Man paddle tails, have all proved successful.
Near Calabash, the black drum have been very active. Anglers targeting these fish should use fresh shrimp and focus on structure and shell banks.
Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that the whiting bite has been hot in the surf. Fresh shrimp on the bottom remains the best bait.
Black drum have been biting steadily as well, and they’re also falling for fresh shrimp. There have been several keepers caught lately, in the surf as well as on docks in the waterway.
Over the next couple weeks, the flounder and redfish bite should start to improve.
David, of Ocean Isle Pier, reports that the fishing has been fairly slow. A few nice whiting have been caught, along with some black drum. The bait of choice has been fresh shrimp on the bottom.