Fish Post

Carolina Beach – August 29, 2019

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Red, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that redfish are back up in the creeks, where they can be found on topwater lures, DOA baits, and finger mullet. Speckled trout are starting to show up in better numbers as well, and they can be fooled with DOAs and MirrOlure MR17s and MR18s.

Good-sized flounder are coming in regularly, with live finger mullet, pogies, and mud minnows serving as the best baits.

Black drum are over the oyster beds and around deep docks. They’re hitting best on fiddler crabs or sand fleas. A few sheepshead are around the same areas, but not in nearly the same numbers that they were this time last year.

Surf fishing has produced good numbers of whiting and pompano, and there are also a lot of sharks patrolling the beach. A few flounder and reds have come in from the surf, too. Sand fleas and live mullet have been the top producing baits for surf anglers.

Nearshore, spanish are still going for Clarkspoon/planer combos, while kings prefer live menhaden or Drone spoon/planer combos. Both species can be found within five miles.

In the 30+ mile range, trolling has been great for blackfin, wahoo, and a few scattered mahi.

Bottom fishing has been excellent, with a mixed bag of beeliners, triggers, grunts, gag grouper, and red grouper all coming over the rails. Live pinfish, cigar minnows, and squid have been the baits of choice.

Wahoo and sailfish action is improving, and they can both be found in the Stream.

Juliana Benson and Bailey Lea, of Hampstead, NC, with some flounder caught in the Got-Em-On Live Bait Club tournament on August 24. They were fishing with their dads in the Carolina Beach area.

Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that good numbers of red drum are showing up inshore, and the catch includes a mixed bag of lower-slot, upper-slot, and over-slot fish. Look for the reds on solid structure (such as oyster beds and shell bottoms). Deep, hard-bottomed holes are the best, with finger mullet being the most attractive bait fished around high and low tide.

Flounder are responding well to Gulp shrimp and Z-Man PaddlerZ on 1/4 oz. jig heads, as well as live mullet on bottom rigs, when fishing creek mouths with a fast-moving current. An occasional speckled trout has been caught fishing the same way.


Luke, of Spot On Charters, reports that flounder and red drum have been the main targets, with finger mullet serving as the predominant bait simply because it’s been so easy to find.

Topwaters have also been producing redfish bites early in the morning and late in the evening.

The flounder will be in the clearest water you can find, and toward the later parts of the day, the holes where you can find them will be limited.

Trout haven’t been a primary target, but anglers looking for them should key in on busting shrimp along the grass line. The trout bite will continue to improve as the water gets cooler. Large shrimp are being pulled in on cast net throws, so all the signs are there.

Big flounder and red drum can be found on the nearshore reefs.

Anna (age 11) from Boone, NC, with a red drum that hit a mullet minnow in the creeks behind Bald Head Island. She was fishing with Capt. Christian Wolfe, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters.

Luke, of Coastline Charters, reports that inshore flounder fishing is on fire. Lots of fish have moved in from the nearshore wrecks, and the flounder are hanging around oyster bars, deep holes, grass banks, and boat docks. Lots of smaller fish are present, but plenty of keepers are in the mix as well. Carolina-rigged finger mullet and menhaden are getting crushed by the flatties.

The inshore redfish action is decent. Expect to catch the reds in the same places as the flounder. Live and cut baits are working well for the reds, but artificial baits, such as Z-Man products with Blue Water Candy jigs, are still catching fish. Topwater baits early in the morning and late in the evening will also produce.

There is currently a good trout bite. Topwater baits early in the morning seem to be working best for the specks.

The nearshore flounder and redfish action is fantastic. Live baits on a Carolina rig are getting the best action from flounder and reds. Bucktails are also a good option to get a flounder’s attention. Fishing tight to structure in the ocean will be the best bet for both the reds and flounder.


Rod, of OnMyWay Fishing Charters, reports that nearshore spanish mackerel are biting between 4-6 miles out in the live bottom areas, where a trolled Clarkspoon will fool them.

In the 20 mile range, big spanish and kings (in the 30 lb. range) are happy to strike a trolled dead cigar minnow.

From 23 Mile Rock and beyond, mahi fishing should be productive. If you head toward the National Wreck, you’ll be in a prime spot to start fast trolling small ballyhoo. There are plenty of ledges in this area, too, so stop and fish them for about 15 minutes at a time. If you get a bite, then stick around, but if after 15 minutes you don’t get any action, then move on. Looking for clean water and subsurface bait are two other ways to key in on some decent dolphin action.

In the 35-55 mile range, coolers are being filled with gags, scamps, reds, triggers, beeliners, and pinkies. You can spend the entire day anchored in one spot and catch all of these fish and more.

There have been a few scattered wahoo out at the break, but expect wahoo fishing to pick up come October.


Anthony, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that a lot of bluefish and a few spanish have been landed, and while anglers have seen a big king and a few tarpon swimming off the end of the pier, they haven’t been able to hook much.

Flounder, black drum, sheepshead, croaker, and pompano are hugging the bottom.