Fish Post

Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – November 15, 2018

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Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that conditions are just about recoverd in the Ocean Isle area. In the backwaters, good catches of both flounder and trout are being made, with small pogies on Carolina rigs doing the best work. On the outside, big bull reds have still been working pods of larger pogies along the beach front.

Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that king mackerel are along the beachfront and in depths of 30-50’. There are also plenty of schoolie kings a little further offshore in 65-80’ of water, and the gag grouper bite is on between 70-90’.
Wahoo should be eager to bite when the weather allows trips out to get them.

Alex Arabea with a slot red drum landed in the ICW around Ocean Isle Beach while he was fishing a live finger mullet.

Tyler, of Rigged and Ready Bait & Tackle, reports that speckled trout have been thick in the river, with soft plastics accounting for the majority of the bite. Lately, the best colors have been space guppy and electric chicken, with paddle tail styles seeming to be the most effective.
The beaches and piers are providing anglers with shots at big red drum and the occasional king mackerel.
King mackerel is also the main story off the beach, where trolling cigar minnows in deeper water has been steadily bringing fish over the rails.

Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the speckled trout bite is on fire, with most fish in the 13-17” range. Live shrimp are always the best bait of choice, but when they’re not available, Saltwater Assassins have been doing the trick as well.
Red and black drum have been mixed in with the trout in the skinny creeks and near docks or oyster rocks, and while the flounder bite is slow, it’s not impossible to find a keeper fish every once in a while.
Nearshore, king mackerel are chewing dead cigar minnows in 65-80’ of water. Most of the fish have been between 10-15 lbs.
The standard catch of bottom fish can be found in 100’ of water, with squid and live pinfish getting the most results.

Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that speckled trout fishing has been as good as it gets. The past few weeks have seen plenty of small fish, but more keepers are showing up every day. The traditional method of floating live shrimp under a slip cork rig has worked, but artificial baits have been just as successful, with a Swimmin’ Trout Trick on a 1/8 oz. jig head being the go-to. The lighter jig helps the bait stay in the strike zone longer, with trout feeding more in the middle of the column.
Darker-colored Trout Tricks and Vudu shrimp fished the same way (or under a popping cork) have been putting fish in the boat lately.
Most of the specks are coming from deeper water along grassy banks and in creek mouths with good current. Moving water is the key to drawing a strike.
There’s been good black drum action lately when fishing with live or dead shrimp on the bottom. Oyster bars and cuts in the creek banks have been the best places to look, and you’re likely to pick up a red drum at the same time, though the reds will hit mud minnows as well.
The occasional flounder can still be found on a falling tide fishing with mud minnows or Gulp baits.

Ben Canady with an over-slot red drum he landed around Sunset Beach.

Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that speckled trout fishing remains strong inshore, and both live shrimp and artificial baits are working well. Most of the fish are still right around the keeper limit, with most of them, though, falling just short. Bigger fish just don’t seem to be around in any great numbers.
In the surf, there are whiting, croaker, and the occasional spot being caught, and bluefish have been hitting cut mullet. Plenty of over-slot reds (measuring between 30-40”) have been chewing in the surf as well. They can also be found out at the reefs and down at the Little River jetties.
Off the beach, bluefish and king mackerel have been swimming closer to shore. Barely any boats have been able (due to weather) to make it very far past the blues and kings to get to the Gulf Stream.

David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that spots, whiting, and pompano are all biting. Bloodworms have been the most popular bait for all species.