Fish Post

Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – Sep 13, 2018

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Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that there is at least one school of red drum in the area with 500-1000 fish in it. The fish aren’t picky, especially on the falling tide. Topwater fishing has been the most effective in the morning, but when the sun gets up and the topwater action slows down, the reds are attacking menhaden, Rat-L-Traps, Gulps, or just about anything else in your tackle box.

The fish have been a mix of slot and over-slot, and it’s been easy to limit out on any given day while still having plenty of big throwbacks to play with.

Flounder are moving back in as well, and there has also been a nice black drum bite to take advantage of.

Trout have been readily available on the tail end of the falling tide. Live and artificial baits have brought the flatties over the rails, while the black drum and trout prefer shrimp, with the latter tending to favor their bait suspended under a popping cork.


Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that big spanish mackerel are swimming in the 50-60’ range, while school spanish have been found in 20-30’ of water.

King fishing has been consistent in the 60-85’ range, but some are starting to make moves toward the beach.

Wahoo fishing is picking up from the Steeples to the Scarp. High speed trolling is the way to go, as this time of year is rife with lots of undesirable species that will ignore high speed lures.

On the offshore bottom, scamp grouper have been chewing in the 110-150’ range.

Jack Griffith, from New Bern, caught and released this king while live baiting ribbonfish off his kayak in Lockwood Folly Inlet.

Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that there have been a lot of spanish and blues attacking Clarkspoons just off the beach, and there’s plenty of summertime king mackerel action in the 10-20 mile range. Cigar minnows and live bait have been the consistent producer.

On the bottom, good grouper action can be found 45-55 miles offshore in 90-110’ of water. Beeliners, black sea bass, triggerfish, jacks, grunts, and big American reds have been mixed in as well, with live pinfish, cigar minnows, and menhaden producing the most bites.


Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the inshore red drum bite has slowed down a little, but some quality fish are still being caught on live mullet and shrimp around docks and oyster rocks.

The flounder bite has picked up quite a bit. Most of the fish are in the 14-17” range, but there are others on the larger side. The flounder are biting live mullet on Carolina rigs.

Speckled trout fishing has slowed, but there are a few still being caught on the higher tides in creeks full of oysters beds. Most of the trout are coming on live shrimp.

Offshore, the king mackerel bite has been steady in 70’ of water, with the majority of the fish biting dead cigar minnows. Most of the kings have been in the 8-12 lb. range.

On the bottom, the grouper bite has been fairly steady in 100’ of water. The average grouper size has been weighing in the 10-15 lb. range, and live pinfish have been the best bait.


Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that fishing has been pretty good, with a consistent redfish bite making them the best target of late. Most of the fish have come in on Carolina-rigged mullet and live shrimp fished on the bottom tight to the grass. The first few hours of the outgoing tide have provided the best action for upper and over-slot fish, while the smaller fish are coming on the lower tides. Purple Vudu shrimp fished around oyster beds have been responsible for most of the bites in the shallows.

When the tides cooperate and the last few hours of a rising tide coincide with the early morning, 12-20” trout can be found with live shrimp under a popping cork.

The Calabash area has produced a lot of black drum when the pinfish aren’t eating up the bait, and a plethora of flounder are being caught, though almost all of them have been throwbacks.

Josh Alexander was working some oyster rocks with a soft plastic, looking for redfish, when this 6.3 lb. sheepshead hit. He was fishing near Oak Island.

Stewart, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that drum fishing is really starting to heat up and sight casting should work to produce a fish. It’s hard to beat a Carolina-rigged mullet this time of year when choosing baits.

The water is getting cooler, which means that a few trout are starting to show up. The trout bite should only get better.

There have been plenty of yellow butterflies around. As the old saying goes, a big spot run should be following, but the spots haven’t started biting hard yet.

Offshore, kings are getting closer to shore, with most of the action currently being found inside of the Jungle and around Lighthouse Rock.


David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that some keeper flounder, a handful of whiting and pompano, and a few spot have all been reeled in over the last two weeks.