Fish Post

Carolina Beach – September 26, 2019

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Kevin, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that the beachfront has provided plenty of action for anglers fishing from both the surf and pier.

Those using fresh shrimp and sand fleas have boxed whiting, croaker, and pompano.A few slot-sized red drum have been landed in the suds, too. Cut mullet has been the key getting bites from the reds.

Casting Stingsilvers and Gotchas from the pier has produced good numbers of bluefish.

In the Cape Fear River and waterway, the speckled trout fishing has picked up. Tossing live shrimp under a popping cork or casting hard baits like topwaters and MirrOlure MR17s has produced limits of fish. Those targeting marsh points and shell banks have been most successful. A few slot-sized red drum have been mixed in the same areas.

Out near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the bull red drum bite has started to fire up. Fishing with large pieces of cut mullet near structure has been the best bet.

Those looking for king mackerel have done well in the 22 mile range, but most of the kings have been on the smaller side. A few mahi are being landed in the same areas.

Further offshore, the wahoo bite has improved.

Tommy Prince, from Wilmington, with a gag grouper that hit a butterflied tomtate in 85′ of water and 20 miles off of Carolina Beach.

Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that anglers have been catching a mixed bag of red drum, everything from slot reds to small rat reds to over-slots. Mullet minnows are plentiful and easy to catch, and soaking baits on the bottom with Carolina rigs has produced the majority of the action.

Some black drum have started showing up. Shrimp on a jig head or Carolina rig will entice these tasty fish, and fishing around structure or deeper drop-offs works best.

Those targeting red drum have been hooking flounder using the same tactics. Most of the flounder have been in the 16-18” range, with some 20” fish mixed in.

Anglers are also catching the occasional speckled trout using the same tactics used for the reds and flounder. However, on some days throwing artificials into current rips will produce the better trout bite.

Blues and jack crevalle are roaming the river and river channel, and they will eat basically anything you throw to them.


Luke, of Spot On Charters, reports that redfish have been feeding well in the area creeks. Good numbers of under- to lower-slot fish are being landed, with just a few upper-slot fish in the mix. Live shrimp and finger mullet, as well as dead shrimp, have been the top baits.

Those looking for speckled trout have done well early in the mornings or on overcast days. Soft plastics on jig heads have done the trick, and a mix of natural and bright colors have worked best. Most fish have been 13-15”, but a few 16-18” fish have been in the mix.

The large red drum have made their way to nearshore structure. Fishing with large cut and live baits have done the job at hooking these trophy fish.

Black drum have been plentiful in the lower Cape Fear River. Live or dead bait fished around oyster beds and deeper holes have produced the best numbers of fish.

Sandi Grigg, of Wilmington, NC, with a 17″ speckled trout caught using fresh shrimp on the south end of Fort Fisher.

Luke, of Coastline Charters, reports that redfish action is on fire, with lots of slot and over-slot fish around. Topwater baits early and late in the day are getting action, and then live and cut baits fished along docks, grass banks, oyster bars, and deep holes are great places to look for reds throughout the rest of the day. Fishing soft plastics and other artificial baits are catching reds in these same areas, too.

In the nearshore waters, the reds are feeding strong on live baits around the Masonboro jetties and structures off the beach.

Speckled trout fishing is really starting to improve, with live and artificial baits under a cork producing. Topwater baits and soft plastics are also great choices for the specks. Creek mouths, deep holes, and grass banks are all great places to find these fish.

Black drum are beginning to feed better along the ICW. Fresh shrimp on a Carolina rig around docks and oyster bars is the best tactic.


Rod, of OnMyWay Charters, reports that false albacore have started to show up just off the beach and around nearshore structure. Trolling Clarkspoons and casting jigs have produced plenty of action.

In the 12-25 mile range, the kings have been feeding well. Trolling Drone spoons and dead cigar minnows have boxed good numbers of fish. Most of the kings have been in the 10-20 lb. range, but a few bigger fish have been hooked.

In the 32-45 mile range, the mahi have been present. Anglers keying in on cleaner water have found more action.

Out at the Gulf Stream, the wahoo bite has continued to improve. Those trolling have landed decent numbers of fish on rigged ballyhoo. Some blackfin tuna have also been in the mix, as well as a few white marlin.


Woody, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that anglers casting out fresh shrimp and sand fleas have landed spot and whiting, and those soaking cut mullet on the bottom have hooked up with a few slot-sized red drum.

At the end of the pier, a couple of kings have been landed.