Fish Post

Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – October 11, 2018

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Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that inshore fishing hasn’t slowed down much since the storm, with inshore slams very possible on most days. Even though the shrimp in the area have been tiny, mud minnows and pogies are easy to find, and despite the fact that the water is incredibly murky, predatory fish are still able to locate the bait you’re throwing to them.

While the flounder and reds are hitting live baits, the trout have taken a liking to Vudu and Gulp soft plastics in white with a chartreuse tail. Make sure to avoid the last hour of falling tide and the first hour of the rising tide in order to produce the best results.

Other than the typical early fall inshore fish, the main post-Florence target has been bull reds, which can be found swimming around the jetties and the Hot Hole. Some days the fish are between 25-30”, and others they’re between 35-40”. While the bite is consistent, you never know what kind of redfish you’re going to find. The best bait has been 4-6” mullet.


Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that kings have been scattered along the beachfront, but with time, the bite will become more consistent as water clarity improves. It’s fall, which means the kings will be moving to river mouths and inlets any day now.

Wahoo fishing has been fantastic along the break, and the gag grouper bite is heating up in depths of 75-90’.

Wayne Jordan with a 54″ wahoo hooked in the Blackjack area while fishing with Capt. Rod Bierstedt, of On My Way Charters. The fish fell for a ballyhoo trolled on a blue and white Blue Water Candy skirt rig

Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that the drum bite is great one day and slow the next. Big cut baits (such as pogies, bluefish, croaker, spots, and mullet) are the best choices, especially when put on a simple Carolina rig with a 2 oz. egg weight and 50-80 lb. leader with an 8/0 circle hook.

The king mackerel action has been really slow over the past week, but it should be shaping up soon for the fall beach bite.

The wahoo action has been good, with ballyhoo and blue/white Ilanders working the best. Targeting 150-200’ of water near the Steeples has been the prime place to look.


Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the red drum bite picked up right where it left off after the storm, with the biggest reds (40-43”) showing up in the inlets. Cut pogies or live finger mullet have been the preferred bait.

The flounder bite has slowed down considerably, though the few fish still being caught have been in the 20-22” range.

Trout are biting Saltwater Assassin grubs on jig heads.

Offshore, bigger king mackerel have shown up on the beach, along with a few pods of flip-flop pogies. While the kings are scattered, you can find fish weighing up to 25-35 lbs.

The spanish bite has also been good, particularly in 10-15’ of water. Clarkspoons have been the best bet for fooling the spanish.


Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that speckled trout fishing is picking up, with 18-20” fish being pulled in here and there. Live shrimp fished under a popping cork has been getting the most attention. Some smaller flounder have been holding on, and both the flounder and a decent number of slot reds have been hitting bottom-fished live mullet on the falling tide.

The main target over the past few weeks has been the big reds that are stacked up on the beaches. For bait, a mixture of cut pogies and large live mullet with the tails cut have been consistently bringing in double-digit numbers of 35-45” fish. Upping the tackle to avoid hurting the big fish has been important, with circle hooks, 50 lb. fluorocarbon leader, and (at least) a 5000 reel proving to be optimum.

Jake Barbee, of Wadesboro, NC, with a 19” flounder that fell for a live finger mullet in Tubbs Inlet.

Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that red drum are picking up inshore, with live bait and frozen mullet serving as the best way to fool them. In the same areas, decent-sized flounder are also coming in.

Trout are showing up in the area, and to target them, anglers should switch to artificial baits. MirrOlure and Gulps seem to work equally well, with the MirrOlure TT11 (red/white) catching more fish than any other lure.

Surf anglers are having a fantastic time after the storm. Black and red drum, pompano, and whiting have all been biting readily, with finger mullet, shrimp, bloodworms, sand fleas, and fiddler crabs all getting bites. Really pretty 18-20” bluefish have also been swimming right in the suds.

There hasn’t been a lot going on offshore due to all the dirty water.


Donny, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that early morning fishing has been excellent, with a lot of bluefish, some flounder, a few black drum, and some whiting all coming in. Later in the day, the catch has consisted of mostly small whiting.