Fish Post

Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – August 15, 2019

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Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that slot reds have been chewing on finger mullet in the backwaters.

Some trout have been caught on live shrimp, and there have been steady numbers of black drum at low tide caught on live shrimp as well. Throwing topwater Zara Spooks at first daylight has also produced some action from the trout.

Flounder have been consistent, with a near 50% keeper rate.

Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that kings are still being found in depths of 60-80’, and a few cobia have been seen here and there.

For the larger assorted bottom fish, fish Carolina-rigged, medium-sized, live pinfish or menhaden in 85-100’ of water over natural structure, and you will catch fish.

The Stream is firing back up, as wahoo are beginning to show in greater numbers.

Douglas Hubbard with a 6.25 lb., 25″ trout caught on a Gulp swimbait near Ocean Isle Bridge.

Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that mackerel has been the name of the game over the past few weeks, with big spanish and kings coming from the waters around the nearshore ARs. Live bait fishing has been effective for producing spanish anywhere from 3-8 lbs., especially when pulling mullet minnows on a small king rig. The kings (anywhere from 10-35 lbs.) have been going after dead cigar minnows.


Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the flounder bite has been steady from fishing live mullet on Carolina rigs at nearshore reefs and in deep holes in the creeks and rivers. Most fish at the reefs have been in the 16-18” range, with a few larger ones in the mix.

The trout bite has been steady on live shrimp around oyster rocks at high tide. Most trout have been 14-16”.

The red drum action has slowed, but the few being caught are good ones (25-30”). The best bite has been on live pogies and finger mullet in 1-3’ of water near shell banks in the ICW.

Offshore, king mackerel have been biting in the 70-80’ range on live pogies. A stray mahi or two may also come along while slow trolling.

The grouper have slowed some, but there are a few being caught in the 150-200’ range on live pinfish and pogies.


Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that the flounder bite is on fire both nearshore and in the backwaters. Fishing larger mullet on Carolina rigs has made the difference in keeper or short fish. The flounder have been on deep banks closer to area inlets and around points in the marsh with good current.

Red drum and trout have both been coming in in good numbers. The go-to method is drifting live shrimp under a slip float. The reds are also eager to eat a live mullet. The trout have been on shell banks along the ICW and in the creeks.

Shawn Simpson, of Elon, NC, with a 21″ tripletail caught near the Ocean Isle Beach Bridge on live mullet.

Kyle, of Spekulator Charters, reports that the flounder fishing remains quite good from one end of the county to the other. The nearshore wrecks/artificial reefs have been producing especially well, with nice catches both in terms of numbers and size.

The inshore waters also continue to produce plenty of flounder, including many keepers, and live finger mullet or menhaden fished on a Carolina rig should be the baits of choice (both inside and offshore).

Redfish are providing some good action throughout the Ocean Isle and surrounding areas.  Redfish are, of course, a schooling fish, and landing in the right spot often means that you should be able to get multiple bites in the same area. The reds have been holding in a variety of locations, with some staging on deep water spots of 15-20+’, and others in the shallows of a couple feet or less.

Oftentimes, if the tidal conditions are right and the fish are there, the reds won’t be too picky about eating, so it is not a bad idea to keep moving around a bit until you land on a school. Live or fresh cut mullet and menhaden fished on the bottom on a Carolina rig is typically as good of a method of targeting them as any this time of year.

The speckled trout fishing has slowed somewhat throughout the area, but there are still specks being caught (including a few 4+ lb. fish). Live shrimp under a float is the preferred method for targeting them, but the small pinfish and croakers that also enjoy eating live shrimp can make fishing that way frustrating this time of year. Quite a few trout have been falling to anglers targeting flounder or reds with mullet or menhaden.


Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that water temperatures continue to stay more in the normal range for what should be expected this time of year. It’s not impossible to get a flounder, red drum, or trout bite in the inshore waters, but anglers are having to work to generate some action.

Nearshore fishing has still been all about mackerel, with both kings and spanish still being caught.


Bre, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that flounder, black drum, and sheepshead have made up the majority of the pier’s catch over the last few weeks. Live minnows have been working well for the flatties, while bait shrimp are attracting the drum. The sheepshead have been partial to sand fleas.

Some bluefish and whiting have also been coming in, with Gotcha plugs working best for the blues.

Morning has been the best time to fish, especially if the tide is falling before noon.