Carolina Beach – August 2020
Bryan, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that red drum fishing has been strong in the Cape Fear River. Fish are being caught by anglers fishing Carolina-rigged live mullet near deeper grass banks along shorelines and spoil islands.
Snow’s Cut is holding good-sized sheepshead and black drum around its bottom structure, with fiddler crabs being the best producing bait.
Flounder, though not open yet, are being caught around the deeper docks of the ICW from Carolina Beach up to Wrightsville.
Surf anglers are reporting great numbers of sea mullet and pompano while bottom fishing with sand fleas, shrimp, and Fishbites.
Anglers fishing the local piers in the early mornings are catching spanish mackerel and bluefish with Gotcha plugs.
Nearshore trips are returning with good numbers of spanish mackerel from anglers trolling Clarkspoons from the beach out to 40’.
King mackerel are being caught in the 50’+ range with live and dead baits fished on Big Nic Mac-A-Hoo rigs.
Christian, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that good numbers of lower slot-sized red drum are hitting live baits around oyster points and drop-offs. Tide cycle hasn’t made a difference in recent trips, with the smaller and larger (over-slot) both feeding well.
Speckled trout (17” range) are being picked up in these same areas with live bait offerings and soft plastics.
Anglers are catching good numbers of flounder while bottom fishing for reds. Most have been larger fish (in the 20” range and up to 5 lbs.).
Fishing cut shrimp around oyster beds and structure is producing black drum.
Luke, of Spot On Charters, reports that flounder fishing has been outstanding this summer. Deep holes, banks, and docks in the lower Cape Fear River have large fish stacked up on them, just in time for keeper season to open.
Red drum are a bit scattered with the hot water, with most action being around the spoil islands and into Snow’s Cut.
Anglers fishing early and late are catching large speckled trout that stuck around these inshore areas. Targeting them during these early and late hours is important, as the heat pushes them deep.
Nearshore structure has been holding some large drum and flounder. Both species are hitting Carolina-rigged live menhaden and mullet.
A few cobia are still in the area, a pleasant surprise to some anglers fishing these nearshore wrecks.
Tommy, of Mungo Fishing Charters, reports that inshore fishing has been steady regardless of hot water temperatures. More than enough bait in the area has kept fish active.
Red drum are holding on deeper banks in the marshes and along pilings in the ICW.
Speckled trout are in these same areas, with live baits being best at getting their attention.
Flounder have been caught in good numbers all season, and anglers looking forward to keeper season should be prepared with both live-bait rigs and bucktails.
Rod, of OnMyWay Fishing Charters, reports that spanish mackerel action has been good in the 35-40’ depth range with all the bait balls along the beach.
King mackerel have pushed off a bit into the 10 mile range. Slow-trolled Blue Water Candy dead bait rigs with ballyhoo or cigar minnows has been producing most of the action. Focus your efforts around live bottoms, ledges, wrecks, and any place holding plentiful bait.
These areas are also holding lots of barracuda willing to hit the same rigs.
Scattered mahi and a few sailfish are out in the 18-30 mile range. Ballyhoo on small Blue Water Candy Sea Witch skirts have been deadly.
There are some good eddies coming off the Stream, bringing wahoo into areas over rocks well inshore of the break.
Bottom fishing has been mostly in the 25-40 mile range, with structure around the Tower holding amberjacks and African pompano.
Cameron, of Kure Beach Pier, reports that rising water temperatures have the bottom fishing anglers seeing the most action. Sheepshead, sea mullet, and spadefish are all being caught with shrimp or sand fleas.
The bluefish and spanish mackerel bite has slowed down, but anglers anticipate this action picking right back up as the bait pushes once again onto the beaches from deeper water. In the meantime, anglers casting plugs are having the most success in the early mornings and evenings.