Fish Post

Ocean Isle/Holden Beach – July 2, 2020

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Jeff, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that decent-sized finger mullet are finally here.

Red and black drum have been scattered throughout the area, but your best chance of finding them is to fish live shrimp at creek mouths in the middle of the falling tide.

Trout are still around, and they’re chewing best on live shrimp under a popping cork.

A lot of smaller trout have been around the inlets and the Little River jetties.

Sheepshead are biting, and the Ocean Isle Bridge is the best place to search for these bait stealers.

Jerry Garrett with a grouper that hit a pogie 62 miles offshore. He was fishing with Rigged and Ready Charters out of Holden Beach.

Brant, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center, reports that spanish fishing has been excellent in depths of 25-35’. The king mackerel have been a little farther offshore, with most of the action in the 55-70’ range. Almost all of the kings that have been caught have been between 10-12 lbs.

Some mahi have been mixed in with the kings, especially in depths of 65+’.

On the bottom, summer is definitely in full swing, with all of the grouper and snapper biting in 100’ of water and deeper.

Matt Matthews, of Missouri, with a upper slot red drum caught using fresh shrimp. He was fishing Ocean Isle with Capt. Jeff Williamson, of Ocean Isle Fishing Center.

Kevin, of Rigged and Ready Charters, reports that the waters near the beach have been providing plenty of spanish mackerel and bluefish action, especially when trolling Clarkspoons. There have been a lot of summertime king mackerel in the 10-20 mile range, where cigar minnows or any type of live bait should produce bites.

Good grouper fishing can be found between 45-55 miles offshore, with the hot spots being in 90-110’ of water. While searching for the grouper, you’re likely to come across plenty of beeliners, triggers, black sea bass, amberjacks, grunts, and big American reds as well. Your top three choices for bait should be pinfish, cigar minnows, and menhaden.

Trip, of Capt’n Hook Outdoors, reports that inshore the flounder bite is incredible, even though you cannot keep any. Tons of flounder between 15-22” are being caught on pogies. The trout and redfish bite has been hit or miss, and most of the trout and reds are being caught on live shrimp around deep oyster banks. There are a few black drum scattered around, and they can be caught on dead shrimp on the bottom.

Offshore, the king mackerel bite is steady on live bait all the way from the beach to 100’. The bigger spanish mackerel are mixed in with the kings in the shallow water.

Grouper are biting from the 100-250’ range. These can be caught on live or dead bait on circle hooks.

Tim, of Tideline Charters, reports that the fishing has been decent despite the amount of rain, and the rising tide has been better (bringing in cleaner water). Redfish have been hitting cut mullet and live shrimp really tight to oyster beds early in the rising tide.

Trout have still been hanging around. Live shrimp floated along deeper grass banks have produced most of the trout action.

Black drum are readily available under most docks, and dead shrimp will lure them out.

Cecil, of Rod and Reel Shop, reports that in the surf there have been lots of pompano being caught, and sand fleas or fresh shrimp are the best options. Whiting, spots, and croakers are chewing on fresh shrimp, and then bluefish and red drum are being caught on cut mullet.

Spanish mackerel are biting right off the beach from 1-1.5 miles (in 25-30’of water).

King mackerel are in good numbers at the Shark Hole, but the kings are starting to move closer to shore.

David, of Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, reports that plenty of trout, pompano, black drum, and a few spots are all being brought over the rails.