Ocean Isle – May 24, 2018
Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that the recent weather conditions have certainly affected the fishing and depleted water clarity, but some fish are still biting.
The redfish bite has been steady. The catches include mostly slot fish, with a few over-slots here and there. Fresh shrimp has been the go to bait, but mud minnows and other live bait on Carolina rigs is also doing the trick.
Some decent black drum are being landed, with fresh shrimp producing the best numbers of fish. Oyster beds, drop-offs, and docks continue to be the best areas to target.
The flounder bite has stayed consistent and steady. Many of the flounder are still small, but a few keepers are in the mix. Mud minnows on Carolina rigs and Gulp curly tails in the pearl color have done well for the flatfish.
Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that the mahi are still feeding well. The bite remains great from the Steeples to the Scarp in 110-250’ of water.
Some smaller wahoo and blackfin tuna are mixed in with these fish.
Closer to shore in the 50-60’ depth range, the king mackerel are around in good numbers.
Near the beach in 20-40’ of water, there are plenty of spanish mackerel. They can be caught with the traditional Clarkspoon and planer setup, or by casting metal jigs to schools on the surface.
Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the flounder are biting well inshore. The majority of these fish have ranged from 14-17”, with a few larger ones mixed in. Carolina rigs tipped with mud minnows or tiger minnows have done well for these fish.
Several redfish are being caught, ranging from 18-27”. The reds are also falling for Carolina-rigged mud minnows.
A few black drum are around, and they’re biting best on Carolina-rigged fresh shrimp. Most have been keepers, ranging mostly from 14-20”.
Offshore, the mahi have shown up in full force. They can be found about anywhere in the Gulf Stream in proximity to a weed line or temperature break. Most of the dolphin have been between 10 and 20 lbs., with several bigger fish around as well. Ballyhoo has been the most successful bait.
A few wahoo are still biting on ballyhoo, but most have been smaller fish (15-30 lbs.).
In around 150’ of water, some nice scamp and gag grouper have been caught. Cigar minnows and live pinfish have fooled these fish.
Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that the trout are still scarce, but a few can be caught.
The flounder bite continues to improve, in numbers as well as size. The majority of the fish being landed are between 17-20”. Deeper water is seeming to hold the most fish, with plenty coming from creek holes and deeper parts of Tubb’s Inlet. Mud minnows and tiger minnows on Carolina rigs, as well as Gulp curly tails on jig heads, have produced fish.
The redfish are still biting, and the bite is best from around two hours before until dead low tide. They’ve ranged from 18-22” and are biting on small live baits (peanut pogies, mud minnows, etc.) as well as 4” Gulp curly tail baits in pearl and chartreuse. Many of the reds are being found along the banks near Calabash.
Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that there are lots of bluefish still around, and they are falling for both bait and artificials.
Some whiting and croaker are being caught, but many are smaller-sized fish. They continue to bite best on fresh shrimp.
Some black drum are being found, with the best numbers seen around docks and deep holes. Carolina-rigged fresh shrimp has done the trick for these fish.
The flounder have arrived in good numbers, with many keeper-size fish being caught recently. Small live baits have worked the best.
Redfish are actively feeding, with live baits and scented artificials fooling these mainly slot-sized fish.
At the Gulf Stream, the mahi bite is hot, and a few wahoo are mixed in. Ballyhoo is working for both of these fish.
David, of Ocean Isle Pier, reports that plenty of bluefish are biting, with a few spanish mackerel mixed in. Gotcha plugs are fooling both species.
Some nice whiting are being caught, mostly on fresh shrimp.
A few flounder have been seen, but most are still small.
There have also been a few black drum feeding in the area, and they’re biting best on bottom-rigged fresh shrimp.