Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – August 29, 2019
Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that flounder have still been a little slow, but the redfish are cooperating, with 22-30” fish coming in consistently. Fishing pockets in the grass banks and around oyster beds during a falling tide has been effective, with 3-4” Carolina-rigged finger mullet drawing the most strikes.
Pearl white Gulp shrimp have also been bringing reds over the rail, especially when paired with 1/4 oz. Blue Water Candy jig heads.
Black drum have been biting around dead low tide, with fresh cut shrimp on the same 1/4 oz. Blue Water Candy jig heads getting the most attention.
Trout are chewing, though most of them have been small. Fishing deeper holes around points in the creeks with live shrimp under a popping cork has provided the most connections.
Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that over-sized spanish are chewing in 50-60’ of water, while king mackerel are being found in 60-90’ of water. Both are hitting dead cigar minnows slow trolled behind small skirts. The spanish, which have been between 3-6 lbs., have sometimes been bigger than the kings, though the average size for the kings has been between 10-20 lbs.
In the Gulf Stream, wahoo fishing is picking up every day, and there have been scattered mahi and the occasional blackfin caught as well.
On the bottom, red snapper have been holding in 80’ of water, while a lot of scamps are being pulled up from 100’.
Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that spanish and bluefish have been steadily hitting Clarkspoons fished just off the beach.
There have been a lot of summertime king mackerel in the 10-20 mile range, where cigar minnows or live bait are producing.
Some good grouper action has been enjoyed by anglers dropping down about 45-55 miles offshore in 90-110’ of water. Beeliners, black sea bass, triggers, jacks, grunts, and big American reds have all been in the mix, with live pinfish, cigar minnows, and menhaden getting the most bites.
Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the inshore redfish bite is very strong in shallow areas near shell banks on the side of the creeks and the ICW. Most of the fish have been 25-30” and biting live mullet and live pogies. There’s been lots of rain making the water very dirty, so cut bait is also a good idea, as the fish are mostly feeding on scent.
The trout bite has slowed, although the few that have been caught have been 21-23” fish. These trout have mostly been biting pogies, and they’re mixed in with the red drum.
The flounder bite was very good before the storms. Several 17-20” fish were being caught on each trip. The flatties have slowed due to dirty water in the last few days, but expect them to bite well again as soon as the waters clear up some.
Offshore king mackerel are still biting consistently in the 65-85’ range, and the best action has been on live pogies.
A few cobia have been caught swimming up to the boat while slow trolling.
Bottom fishing has been decent in the 120-140’ range. The most consistent haul in the deeper water has been triggers, beeliners, and grouper.
Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that the increase in bait everywhere has caused the redfish bite to be fantastic. The reds have been biting on both tides, and fishing live mullet and live pogies around shelly banks has been the ticket. Bigger baits have yielded the bigger fish.
Fishing the drains of larger creeks where the tide is falling out has been where anglers have found the flounder while fishing with the same baits used for the red drum.
The trout action has slowed down, but the trout that have been caught have been 20+”. They too, have hit live mullet.
Hunter, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that inshore fishing in August is all about flounder and the occasional drum, with sheepshead in the mix as well (if you know how to catch them). Some black drum have been biting in the typical areas, and anglers have also come across the occasional spot run.
In the surf, the name of the game has been finding whiting and pompano while avoiding the many sand sharks that have been chewing up bait.
Spanish are just off the beach, and kings are very scattered.
On the bottom, there has been a good presence of black sea bass on the nearshore rocks.
Mahi are as close as 18 miles, if you can find blue water, while wahoo and the occasional mahi are hanging around the 30 fathom line.
David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that the dirty water that’s been swirling around the pier finally started to clear up, and fishing has improved drastically because of it. Other than the occasional spot here and there, pier anglers are finding spanish, trout, big flounder, and some nice whiting.