Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – April 25, 2019
Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that redfish between 13-30” have been biting in the inshore waters, but the trout bite has slowed down since the water temperatures hit 70+ degrees.
Flounder are starting to chew. They are mostly small, but there is the occasional 17” fish in the mix.
The whiting bite is also really starting to kick off, with good numbers of fish being caught near the inlets.
Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that pogies are on the beaches, and cobia and kings should be following them in and within pier range in a week.
Bluefish and spanish are biting in 20’ of water, though spanish can be caught out to 40-50’, along with plenty of Atlantic bonito.
King mackerel are a little further out in the 60-80’ range.
Wahoo are still biting on the break, though they’re beginning to thin out. Mahi are starting to show up to replace them, with the biggest concentration being offshore of the break.
Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Bait and Tackle, reports that several slot redfish are being caught on mud minnows and cut shrimp along the docks in the ICW. The best places to look for fish are the docks close to creek mouths on the falling tide. Oyster bars are also a great place to start exploring. Artificial baits like Gulp shrimp and Bass Assassins are productive search baits for finding schools of redfish and trout, and topwater action is also heating up for large speckled trout and reds.
Whiting are thick in the mouth of the Cape Fear River, with the best time to fish being on a falling tide with cut shrimp.
Off the beach, black sea bass are plentiful everywhere along the 45-65’ range, and a few flounder are mixed in (along with bluefish and the occasional bull red drum). Cut baits on two-drop rigs or 2 oz. bucktails tipped with a strip bait work best.
King mackerel have been thick around Frying Pan Tower, as long as water temperatures there are between 65-70 degrees. Slow-trolled cigar minnows work best, along with Drone spoons and Sea Witches trolled behind planers at 7 knots.
Bottom fishing in the same area has also been great.
In the Gulf Stream, the wahoo bite continues to be strong and will likely heat up in April. Big blackfin tuna should be all over the Steeples as well. Ballyhoo trolled on Sea Witches and small trolling feathers will produce for both species.
Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the trout bite is still steady inshore, with quite a few fish in the 3-4 lb. range. Most of the specks are being caught on live shrimp around shell banks and oyster rocks.
The red and black drum bite are both strong on live and dead fresh shrimp on a Carolina rig fished under docks, especially on a falling tide. Most of the reds have been between 24-29”, while the black drum have been around 16”.
A few flounder are starting to bite mud minnows in the deeper holes.
Offshore, the king mackerel action is on fire in the 60-80’ range. The kings are biting cigar minnows, and there have been a few schools of pogies off the beaches.
The Gulf Stream bite has slowed some, but it should improve as the dolphin start to show up when the water warms.
Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that fishing has been fantastic. Lots of upper-slot redfish are biting live shrimp and Gulp shrimp on the falling tide in shallow water on muddy banks near oysters. Smaller reds are caught the same way, but they’re holding tighter to the grass banks.
Citation trout are coming in on live bait. They’re holding in deeper water closer to the inlets, though some have been scattered in the creeks. Mood ring-colored Z-Man Trout Tricks on Eye Strike jigs have accounted for most of the bites.
Flounder are starting to show up and have been biting on live shrimp and mud minnows just off of grass banks.
Black drum are plentiful under almost every dock along the ICW. The best bait is fresh dead shrimp.
David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that whiting were biting before the recent storm, but the bite has slacked off since. Some spanish, pufferfish, bluefish, and a few flounder have come in lately, along with some pompano.