Ocean Isle – May 10, 2018
Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that the flounder bite is hot. Great numbers of fish are being seen, and although many are small, several keepers have been mixed in. Mud minnows on Carolina rigs have proved the most successful, but jig heads tipped with Gulp swimming mullet in the pearl color have also done well.
The redfish continue to feed steadily, with many decent-sized fish being caught. Most have been from 18-25”, with a few over-slot fish as well. Fresh shrimp has been the best bait, with mud minnows also producing, and hooking the bait on a Carolina rig is the best tactic.
The trout have been few and far between, but they should start to show again as the water continues to warm.
Several black drum have been caught, mainly on Carolina-rigged fresh shrimp. Docks and oyster beds have held the majority of these fish.
At the mouth of the Shallotte River and behind Bald Head Island, the whiting bite remains strong for those fishing with shrimp.
Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that the mahi have arrived. The bite has been great ranging from the Steeples to the Scarp in 110-250’ of water.
In the same areas, good numbers of wahoo and blackfin tuna are mixed in.
Closer to shore in the 55’ depth range, the king mackerel are moving in.
Even further in (in around 20-40’ of water), there are plenty of spanish mackerel to be found.
Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that good numbers of flounder are starting to show inshore. More keepers are being caught, and most of the fish are ranging from 13-17”. Tiger minnows and mud minnows on Carolina rigs are fooling most of the flatties getting hooked.
The redfish bite remains steady, and Carolina-rigged mud minnows are working for them as well. These fish are ranging from 16-22”.
Several black drum have been landed. The fish are ranging in size up to 20”, and they’re falling for fresh shrimp on the bottom.
Around the 45 mile range and in about 80’ of water, some king mackerel can be found.
Offshore, there are plenty of mahi and some yellowfins at the Gulf Stream. Trolling skirted ballyhoo and cedar plugs are producing the most fish. A few smaller wahoo (15-30 lbs.) are also being landed on skirted ballyhoo.
Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that the trout have all but disappeared.
Although the specks have gone, the flounder have come in. Many have been small, but there have been several fish caught from 15-19”. A 1/4 oz. jig head with a mud minnow, a Gulp, or a Z-Man Houdini shrimp have all produced on the inshore flounder.
Off the beach, some bigger flounder are being caught on artificial reefs and structure. Gulp-tipped Spro bucktails are the key to fooling these nearshore flatfish.
Around low tide in the back creeks, plenty of 17-20” redfish are being caught on Carolina-rigged shrimp and Z-Man paddle tails. Near Calabash, the red drum have been caught on grass lines and oyster beds at higher tides, and they’re falling for paddle tails on belly-weighted hooks.
Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that there are plenty of bluefish being caught, both on bait and artificials.
Good numbers of whiting are also around, and they’re falling for fresh shrimp on the bottom.
There have been a few flounder caught, mainly on mud minnows, but most have been undersized.
Some black drum are being found, mainly around structure and oyster beds. Fresh shrimp remains the best bait for these fish.
David, of Ocean Isle Pier, reports that a few bluefish are around, biting best on Gotcha plugs.
There has also been a spanish mackerel or two, also hooked on Gotcha plugs.
The whiting bite remains steady for anglers dropping down shrimp.
A few flounder have been caught, but most have been undersized. These fish are falling for live bait on the bottom.