Carolina Beach – April 25, 2019
Red, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that a few flounder are starting to pop up around docks and muddy bottoms. Mud minnows have been the bait of choice.
Redfish have been hanging out around docks as well, though they prefer fresh shrimp on a Carolina rig or artificial baits. Black drum have been caught on oyster beds with shrimp or sand fleas.
Trout have been falling for topwater baits and live shrimp behind popping corks.
In the surf, there are redfish, whiting, and keeper black drum being landed on sand fleas, mud minnows, and both live and fresh shrimp. A few small flounder are starting to pop up as well.
Around the 10 mile mark, bluefish, spanish, false albacore, and bonito are all available and will fall for Yo-Zuri Deep Divers and planer/spoon combos.
On the nearshore bottom, black sea bass, pinkies, ringtails, and other assorted bottom fish are being tricked with squid and cigar minnows.
King mackerel are around the 20 mile range now. Drone spoons and planers, as well as cigar minnows, should generate hook-ups.
In the Gulf Stream, a few blackfin tuna have been biting, and some dolphin are showing up. Skirts and ballyhoo are the best tactic.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that a mixed bag of keeper black drum and some smaller fish are being caught. Pieces of dead shrimp on Carolina rigs have been working best when fished on the bottom. If you’re fishing in a stronger current, use a 3/4 oz. sinker.
Some redfish have come in using this same tactic, or anglers are hooking up by sight casting with artificials. Most of the fish are undersized, but some keepers have been mixed in, the majority of which have been between 17-20”.
A few trout have been caught on artificials as well. Most of the specks have been undersized, too, but some keepers are biting.
Luke, of Coastline Charters, reports that the red and black drum bite remains strong on oyster bars and docks, where fresh Carolina-rigged shrimp or, if you’re specifically targeting the reds, Carolina-rigged mud minnows have been the go-to options to bring in big numbers of fish. Z-Man swimbaits and shrimp are fooling the reds as well.
There are still fish in the backs of creeks and along the grass banks, and their numbers will improve as the summer draws closer.
Speckled trout have been biting along the ICW and connected creeks. Fishing Z-Man products on a Blue Water Candy jig is the way to go with the specks. MirrOlure MR17s have also been producing good numbers of fish. If you can get on the water early, topwater baits are effective weapons as well.
The first run of false albacore, as well as Atlantic bonito, have made it to the beach. Look for both of these fish in the same areas, typically around birds that you see diving toward bait. You can catch sight of the fish busting the bait from down below, especially first thing in the morning and late in the evening. Most of them have been holding to structures close to the beach. Trolling #1-3 planers with a gold Clarkspoon is a deadly combo for both species.
There have been a lot of bluefish in the mix when trolling, which means you can expect to see the first run of spanish mackerel coming soon.
Ben, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that whiting, croakers, and a few puffers have been biting shrimp and cut mullet filets.