Fish Post

Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – Aug 16, 2018

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Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that slot reds have been chewing on finger mullet in the backwaters. Some trout have been caught on live shrimp, and there have been steady numbers of black drum at low tide on live shrimp as well.

Flounder have been consistent, with a near 50% keeper rate.


Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that the weather is finally settling, and so spanish have returned in full force to the beach in about 20-30’ of water. The kings are still being found in depths of 60-80’, and a few cobia have been seen here and there.

For American red snapper, which will be open August 17-19, fish Carolina-rigged live, medium-sized pinfish or menhaden in 85-100’ of water over natural structure, and you will catch fish.

The Stream is firing back up, as wahoo are beginning to show in greater numbers.

Aaron Safrit with a 31.20 lb. king mackerel caught about 18 miles off Holden Beach fishing with buddy Curt Rusher. The king bit a pink and blue mackahoo with a cigar minnow.

Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that mackerel has been the name of the game over the past few weeks, with big spanish and kings coming from the waters around the nearshore ARs. Live bait fishing has been effective for spanish anywhere from 3-8 lbs., especially when pulling mullet minnows on a small king rig. The kings (anywhere from 10-35 lbs.) have been going after dead cigar minnows.


Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the inshore redfish bite has been very steady, with the majority of fish in the 20-30” range. Most of the bites are coming off of live shrimp on Carolina rigs, in addition to live pogies.

Speckled trout are still hanging around, although it seems like most of the fish have been a little smaller than usual, with 13-15” being the average size.

The flounder bite has slowed, but there are still some quality fish hanging around. Most of the flounder have been in the 16-18” range and are biting live mullets on Carolina rigs.

The nearshore king mackerel bite has slowed as well, but you can find the majority of the fish in the 65-80’ range. Live pogies have been hard to come by, so most of the fishing has been done with dead cigar minnows. The biggest numbers of fish have been in the 8-10 lb. range, but some bigger kings are mixed in.

There have been a few dolphin and cobia mixed in with the kings. They’re hitting live bait, so keep some in the spread.


Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that fishing has been kind of tough due to dirty water, as it seems to have pushed a lot of the bigger flounder out of the backwaters, though there are still a few around. Mud minnows are by far the most effective bait.

Red drum fishing has remained steady. The reds prefer small, live, Carolina-rigged pogies fished on the bottom in deeper water off the grass and oyster banks. When the skinny water is accessible, new penny Z-Man PaddletailZ or chartreuse Gulps on 1/8 oz. Redfish Eye jigs have produced, especially when fished with a steady swimming retrieve.

Trout have been holding in the small indentions and cuts in the feeder creek banks, and casting shrimp to them during higher rising tide stages has produced bites.

Jessie Lucas, from Austin, TX, with her first flounder, a 16.5″ fish that was hooked with a mud minnow in the ICW behind Ocean Isle.

Stewart, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that while the rain has cleared for the most part, there is still a lot of dirty water in the inshore waters. The one upside is that water temperatures continue to stay more in the normal range for what should be expected this time of year. It’s not impossible to get a flounder, red drum, or trout bite in the inshore waters, but anlgers are having to work to generate some action.

Nearshore fishing has still been all about mackerel, with both kings and spanish still being caught.


Donnie, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that flounder, black drum (20-21”), and sheepshead have made up the majority of the pier’s catch over the last few weeks. Live minnows have been working well for the flatties, while bait shrimp are attracting the drum. The sheepshead have been partial to sand fleas.

Some bluefish and whiting have also been coming in, with Gotcha plugs working best for the blues.

Morning has been the best time to fish, especially if the tide is coming out before noon.