Fish Post

Carolina Beach – June 6, 2019

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John, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that there are plenty of black and red drum biting. Live shrimp is the best option, but menhaden or mud minnows will get the job done. Docks and oyster beds are a good place to look for the drum.

In the surf, whiting and pompano are biting, as are a few small flounder, with more keepers mixed in now (especially around the south end).

Kings are in the 35 mile range, mahi are biting between 40-50 miles, and the usual suspects for this time of year (wahoo, blackfin, and mahi) can be found in the Stream.

Closer to the beach (from 10 miles and in), there are plenty of kings and spanish mackerel, along with a few bonita. Trolling live baits, as well as Clarkspoons and Drone spoons behind planers, are working best.

Cobia are still around and biting in the nearshore waters.

Grouper are chewing around 30 miles out, along with scamps, snappers, beeliners, and grunts. Squid, dead cigar minnows, and live baits will bring them in.

Barry Fowler showing off an over-slot red drum he caught on live bait while fishing back in a creek off the lower Cape Fear River.

Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that black drum are falling for pieces of dead shrimp on the bottom on the lower tide. Carolina rigs with a 3/4 oz. egg sinker will do the trick, along with dead shrimp on a jig head when the current is not too strong. The sizes of the fish have varied, with most being smaller but some 17-18” fish are around.

Red drum can be found in the same locations. The reds are mostly mid- to upper-slot fish, with an occasional over-slot mixed in. Live menhaden and minnows are working best on the bottom with a Carolina rig or jig head (if the current allows).

Sheepshead are in the usual locations, such as along dock pilings and other hard structures. Live fiddler crabs work best, and they are the easiest bait to find. Most sheeps are in the 1-3 lb. range, with some 4-6 lb. fish making an occasional appearance.

Flounder are here in good numbers and are eating both live baits and artificial lures. Soft plastics, such as Gulp jerk shads or shrimp, are great if you can keep the junk fish away.

Speckled trout have been feeding on live baits recently. Most of the trout have been good quality fish (20-22”) and are biting best on the falling or rising tide in the early mornings or late evenings.

Tyler Chabot with an 18 lb. gag grouper that fell for a live croaker about 40 miles out of Carolina Beach. He was fishing aboard the “LedgeHammer,” with Capt. Phil Miligan.

Luke, of Coastline Charters, reports that inshore fishing has gone straight into the typical summer patterns.

The red drum are hanging tight to docks and creeks in deep holes and oyster bars. Fishing live and cut baits on Carolina rigs or soft plastics on a Blue Water Candy jig head will produce. Also look to throw topwaters early and late in the day for the reds.

Decent numbers of flounder are hanging just off the beach on wrecks and structures. Bucktails and live bait have been the go to options. There are a few flounder along the ICW docks and creek mouths. Live bait on a Carolina rig or Z-Man products on a Blue Water Candy jig head are tough to beat.

Great numbers of sheepshead are hanging around docks and bridges. Carolina-rigged fiddler crabs dropped tight to structure is producing best.


Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that there are plenty of spanish just off the beach. You can also find the spanish around the tideline (2.5-3 miles out) after a falling tide. Clarkspoons will always produce fish of any size, but Big Nik’s Spanish Candy jigs have been getting the bigger ones (3-4 lbs.).

Cobia are biting, along with school kings. The kings are readily biting in the 7-14 mile range and even out around the ledges near the Schoolhouse area. Slow-trolling dead cigar minnows with Blue Water Candy dead bait rigs in pink or cotton candy have been working wonders. Fishing is especially well at the 8 Mile Rock.

Nearshore mahi have started to show, but they’re not showing very often and there’s not much size to them.

King mackerel are biting in the 6-12 mile range. For anglers trolling cigar minnows on Blue Water Candy rigs, pink Sea Witches, and Drone spoons, as well as slow-trolling live pogies.

Bottom fishing has been fantastic in the 20-35 mile range. Squid and cigar minnows have produced good numbers of scamps, gags, black sea bass, grunts, and triggerfish.

In the Gulf Stream, fishing has been strong when the weather cooperates. There are plenty of mahi and tuna out there, and ballyhoo with Sea Witches (in blue and white, blue, and chartreuse) are great at catching them. The key to finding them is finding a clear water shot. Sailfish, as well as white and blue marlin, are starting to make an appearance.


Anthony, with Kure Beach Pier, reports that a 100 lb. tarpon has been landed. A few 25-35 lb. king mackerel have been brought in as well.

Bluefish, whiting, and spanish are all biting, and small flounder have been caught on live bait.