Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – October 24, 2019
Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that inshore fishing along the waterway has picked back up. Flounder and slot-sized redfish have been feeding well along the docks and in the creeks. Live finger mullet has been the best bait for the flatfish and reds.
Just off the beach, the bull redfish bite has improved a little. Targeting pogie pods has been the best way to hook a few of these trophy fish.
Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that anglers looking for kings have had success close to the beach around structure and out to the 10-20 mile range. Live pogies have been the best bait, and most fish landed have been in the 20-30 lb. range. A few large spanish and false albacore have also been in the mix.
In the 10-20 mile range, the bottom bite for black sea bass has been solid.
Out in the 20-45 mile range, the gag grouper are chewing well. Those dropping grouper rigs with live pinfish or pogies have found the most fish. A few grunts are in the mix as well, and dead cigar minnows should do the job.
Out past the 45 mile mark, the wahoo action has picked up. Rigged ballyhoo with dark skirts has been the ticket to landing a few. Some dolphin and blackfin tuna have also been in the mix.
Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that the spanish bite remains strong along the beach. Anglers trolling Clarkspoons on #1 planers have landed good numbers of fish.
Around nearshore structure and bait pods, bull redfish have continued to show up. Those using cut menhaden on drum rigs have had the best success.
Trolling live baits nearshore has produced a few large cobia and good numbers of quality kings. Most kings have been landed near Shallotte Inlet and have been in the 20-45 lb. range. Good numbers of kings have also been landed in the 20-40 mile range over live bottom. Dead cigar minnows have worked best in this zone.
In the 40-50 mile areas, anglers have found plenty of grouper, and dropping live pinfish to the bottom has been the best way to hook them.
Tripp, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that the flounder bite is starting to pick back up as some cooler water has moved in, and most fish are eating finger mullet in deep holes around the area creeks.
Bull reds are holding steady, with cut pogies on Carolina rigs getting the most attention.
The speckled trout bite has been decent, and most of the fish are coming off live shrimp fished around oyster beds.
Nearshore, the pogies have appeared in big numbers along the beach, and some good-sized kings have shown alongside them. The kings are mostly being caught in 15-30’ of water around the piers and bait pods.
Spanish are also being caught along the beach, with Clarkspoons serving as the best way to fool them.
Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that most of the focus has been on big red drum in the inlets and on the beaches, but the creek fishing has been getting better and better every day.
The water temps cooling down some has the inshore trout fishing on fire, especially drifting live shrimp under a slip cork on the deeper edges of shell banks off the ICW. The trout have also been biting well in the shallower water on suspending baits like the MirrOlure MR-27 in pink or purple colors. Z-Man Trout Trick baits have also produced, when worked at a good pace on 3/16 oz. jigs.
The slot redfish are biting consistently on live and cut mullet fished around oyster beds on the lower portions of the tide (when the fish are more concentrated). Look for the reds to start to schooling up tighter as the water continues to cool down. The trout fishing will also start to become more consistent with cooler temps.
The bull reds are still biting in the inlets and along the beachfronts, when anglers can find the bait pods. Large live pogies fished on the bottom has been the ticket for the big drum.
Kyle, of Speckulator Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that a few bull redfish have shown up around the jetties, but the numbers aren’t great. Most of the bigger reds have held around bait pods a few miles off the beach.
The false albacore and spanish bite has been strong near the beach. Trolling spoons or casting jigs to busting fish has worked best.
Anglers targeting red drum inshore have found good numbers of fish in the creeks. Live minnows on Carolina rigs have been the best bet. A few keeper-sized flounder have been in the mix with the reds.
The speckled trout fishing has heated up. Anglers have had the most success with live shrimp, and the bite should continue to improve in the coming weeks.
Stewart, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that surf fishing has picked up. Anglers fishing the suds and from the piers have found good numbers of flounder, bluefish, and spot. Bloodworms and cut bait have been the top producers.
The inshore flounder bite has picked up along the waterway and in the marsh. Anglers using live finger mullet and mud minnows on Carolina rigs have had the most success.
Just off the beach, the big red drum have started to show up in better numbers. Large cut baits have worked best on the reds.
The king bite is still hot along the beaches. Anglers slow trolling live baits have caught the biggest numbers of fish.
David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that some reds between 25-30” have been caught, and black drum up to 6.14 lbs. have come in as well. Whiting, pompano, and flounder are also biting. Bloodworms and frozen shrimp have been the go-to baits for pier anglers over the past two weeks.