Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – June 6, 2019
Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that keeper flatties are in the backwaters and also starting to show at nearshore reefs.
Trout are being caught on live shrimp under a popping cork. The local shrimp are finally big enough to catch in a cast net, and they are a great bait to use (if you can find them).
Both black and red drum are chewing, so fishing an oyster bed on the falling tide with live shrimp is sure to produce.
Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that spanish mackerel are biting well in 20-30’ of water outside of the inlet mouths. Trolling #00 Clark Spoons on #1 planers has been most productive. Cobia have been moving into the area and can show up just about anywhere. Look for schools of menhaden along the beach and jump from pod to pod casting a bucktail into the school. The other productive way is to fish various wrecks and artificial reefs, by anchoring and chumming.
King mackerel are biting in the 50-70’ depth range. The kings are mostly all schoolie size (6-10 lb. range), and as such, they prefer slow-trolled, dead cigar minnows. If you want to use artificials, they will bite #1 or #2 silver Clarkspoons on a #2 or #3 planer (or you can use a diving plug).
Grouper and snapper fishing is strong in the 90-120’ depth range. Live bait such as menhaden or pinfish will get bites, and keep the bait up 10-30’ off the bottom for the snapper and triggerfish.
Mahi have been holding deep, in the 200+’ depths, and they are mostly around areas that have grass. Trolling ballyhoo is the most common technique. Also, don’t be surprised to see a sailfish or blue marlin.
Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that several slot red drum are being caught on mud minnows and cut shrimp. The best places to look are docks close to a creek mouth and fishing on the falling tide. Artificial baits like Gulp shrimp and Bass Assassins are solid search baits when looking for schools of redfish (and trout).
King mackerel are chewing from close to the beach out to 15 miles, and cobia are biting nearshore as well.
The black sea bass are thick everywhere in the 45-65’ range, with a few flounder in the mix, too. Occasionally a bull drum or bluefish is caught as well. Cut baits on two-drop rigs or 2 oz. bucktails tipped with a strip bait work best.
The king mackerel are thick around Frying Pan Tower. Cigar minnows trolled slow will work great, along with Drone spoons and Sea Witches trolled behind planers.
Bottom fishing has been great in those areas as well.
Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the inshore flounder bite is fantastic, with the majority of fish in the 17-21” range. The flatties are mostly biting any type of live bait on a Carolina rig around deeper holes and structure.
The redfish bite has slowed down with the temps being so high. The ones that are feeding are mostly interested in live pogies on Carolina rigs around docks or structure.
Trout and black drum are both still around, and they’re holding in the same areas—around oyster rocks and deeper holes. The live shrimp have made their way into the creeks, so they are the bait of choice.
King mackerel have shown up in full force between 10-40 miles on live bottom and around area wrecks. Most of the fish have been between 6-12 lbs., but bigger ones are out there as well.
The grouper bite is still on in the 120’-150’ range. Live menhaden and cigar minnows are the best option.
Mahi have slowed some, but they are still in strong numbers in 600-800’ of water.
Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that the red drum bite is still consistent. The reds have been found along cut-outs in deep grass banks and along shell banks. Live shrimp under a float or mud minnow and smaller pogies fished on the bottom have both produced fish.
The same has held true for flounder. Keeper fish are now being caught much more regularly, with pogies and mud minnows fished on the bottom being the go to bait.
Trout fishing has slowed down, but the ones being caught are in the 20-23” range.
Black drum are hiding under docks along the ICW and falling for dead fresh shrimp. With water temps warming up and holding in the 80 degree and up range, getting an early start is important.
Kyle, of Spekulator Charters, reports that not only have the numbers of flounder being caught increased, but there have been quite a few 2-3 lb. fish, as well as some over 5 lbs. The key to finding the larger specimens has simply been to use larger baits, especially menhaden and mullet in the 4-6” range.
The speckled trout have continued to bite consistently, with a lot of fish in the 16-20” range. Live shrimp under a slip float or popping cork have been producing most of the trout bites, but there are still some being caught on artificials.
The redfish and black drum are regularly providing action. The live shrimp fished under a float for trout have also been producing reds and blacks, as has live shrimp on the bottom on a Carolina rig around structure.
Off the beach, the spanish mackerel bite continues to be very good (as long as the water conditions are good). Trolling spoons behind planers or casting plugs to breaking fish have both produced.
Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that a little bit of everything is biting, with red drum and flounder being the most cooperative inshore. Live bait has worked best.
Off the beach, the name of the game is finding clean water. Once you do, there are plenty of big bluefish, spanish, and kings to be caught.
David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports good catches of trout, whiting, and pompano. A few black drum have also been caught on shrimp.