The typical summer-time weather pattern, known as the doldrums, has arrived, and just in time for the month of July. Water temperatures are reading in the upper seventies to low eighties, brisk southerly winds are an everyday occurrence, heat and humidity are ever increasing and spotty and scattered thunderstorms have been a typical daily guest. Such is the regimen for most days and there doesn’t appear as though there’ll be much relief in the foreseeable future, which is to be expected considering the time of year.
This week the fishing has been less than ideal as strong storms and lots of rain have hindered the fishing and catching. Water conditions were slowly improving but yet more rain and thunderstorms have arrived to muddy the water, not to mention the onslaught of increased boating traffic from the holiday week and weekend. Conditions should slowly improve though, as they always do, and there should be some opportunities for anglers to bring home some fish for dinner, although tactics will need to be adjusted due to conditions.
Inshore, the flounder fishing continues to produce although there are lots of small fish in the mix. Better fishing has been in and around the Cape Fear River and also around Carolina Beach with the better and larger fish coming from live minnows fished on Carolina Rigs around the marsh banks and creek mouths. Some keeper fish have also been coming from the inlets during the first half of falling water. With the increased water temperatures, fishing muddy bottoms and moving water are good locations to start your search.
Red drum fishing had been showing some good signs of getting good, but the cloudy water conditions will need to clear drastically for the fishing to get back on track. Live baits and artificials are all working good for the drum
Surf anglers are reporting some decent fishing for virgina mullet when ocean conditions allow. Fresh shrimp is a hard bait to beat although sand fleas, if you’re lucky enough to find some, have been producing the larger fish. A few anglers have also reported some decent sized pompano showing in the sloughs. Fishermen using fresh shrimp and cut biat have been reporting some decent fishing for black drum during the lower portion of the tides.
Off the beach, ares in the five to ten mile range have been producing some decent king mackerel action, although a vast majority of fish have been rather small. There are some undersized fish in the mix, so make sure to measure carefully if keeping some kings for a meal. Locations inf the fifteen mile range have been producing some better quality of fish along with an occasional dolphin. As the month progresses, the encounters with near shore dolphin should continue to increase for those fishing within twenty miles of the beach.
Bottom fishing, as has been the case for the past few weeks has been good when anglers can get away from the sharks. Fishing depths over one hundred feet will help eliminate the sharks visit although it will not prevent it one hundred percent.