Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – August, 2020
Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that inshore water temperatures have been extremely high (up to 92 degrees). This has made fishing early and late in the days very helpful in finding feeding fish.
Speckled trout are holding along deep grass lines, with live bait and popping corks keeping baits in their mid-water column strike zone.
Flounder fishing has been strong, as they seem to be less sluggish with all the hot water. Carolina-rigged live mullet and shrimp will be great setups for anglers targeting them when the season opens.
Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that nearshore trips have been finding good numbers of spanish mackerel while trolling and casting spoons just off the beach.
King mackerel fishing is fairly scattered with the recent high water temperatures. Fish are being landed from the beach out to 30 miles. Both live baits and dead bait rigs are getting strikes when targeting areas of structure that are holding bait.
Further offshore, anglers are catching some mahi and large wahoo (up to 77 lbs.). Both species are being found from the break into the 120’-140’ depth range. Finding good water, or a slight temperature break, has helped locate an active bite.
Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that water temperatures up to 89 degrees have really made getting out on the water early imperative for a successful trip.
Anglers are catching redfish on the upper-end of incoming tide cycles by fishing deeper grass banks with Carolina-rigged live mullet. As the tide changes to low, anglers are targeting exposed oyster bed areas with live mullet on 1/4 oz. jig heads.
The speckled trout still around the area are being caught along these same deeper grass banks with live shrimp under floats.
Docks along the ICW are holding black and red drum, with both species responding well to bottom-rigged live shrimp.
Flounder have been stacked up from the inshore creek mouths out to nearshore structure. Anglers look forward to next month’s opening to target these fish with Carolina-rigged live mullet.
When conditions have allowed, the spanish mackerel bite has been good just off the beaches. Casting green and yellow jigs to surface feeding schools is getting some good action.
Trip, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that as anglers anticipate flounder season opening, the bite has been wide open. Multiple fish over 20” are hitting Carolina-rigged live mullet.
Speckled trout fishing continues to be steady, with a good class of 12-18” fish feeding on live shrimp under floats.
A few slot-sized red drum are mixed in. They’re also feeding on live bait offerings, but it seems as if recent heat waves have the drum bite slowed down.
Offshore, king mackerel fishing has been good in the 65-80’ depth range. Slow-trolled live pogies and dead bait rigs with cigar minnows are seeing most of the action.
Out at the break, trolling skirted ballyhoo is producing scattered mahi and tuna.
Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that nearshore spanish mackerel fishing has been steady from the beaches out to nearshore reefs. Fish are being located by either trolling spoons behind planers or sight-casting to surface-feeding schools.
King mackerel fishing has been very good, with live baits being the most productive for the larger fish.
Sharks have also been striking the live baits intended for kings.
Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that surf anglers are catching croakers and nice-sized spot in deeper holes of the wash. Bloodworms have been the hot ticket for bait.
Speckled trout are being caught in the surf around local piers with live shrimp. Targeting the early morning bite has been most productive.
Inshore anglers are catching (and releasing) larger 22-24” flounder on Carolina-rigged live baits.
Nearshore anglers are reporting large numbers of spanish mackerel around the 30’ depth range. Trolling spoons is a surefire way to pick up bites, with casting jigs working well when the fish are surface feeding.
King mackerel are holding from the sea buoy to deeper offshore structure. Slow-trolling live baits and dead-bait rigs have been equally productive.
David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that the speckled trout bite has been very good in the early mornings. Anglers coming prepared with live shrimp are seeing the best action.
Bottom fishing has been producing pompano and nice-sized whiting. Smaller pieces of bait shrimp work well for both species, but live shrimp has been bringing in the larger fish.
Anglers king mackerel fishing have had a slow week with the temperatures rising, but they anticipate the bite picking up as it gets later in the season.