Even with inshore water temperatures approaching the mid to upper eighty degree range and substantial rains muddying the waters; the fish have been cooperating with local anglers on a regular basis for the month of August. As many fishermen know, the month of August is normally a slow month for fishing as the heat affects both anglers and fish alike, but this has not been the case so far and it looks like the fishing may get even better going into this weekend. A substantial cold front and high pressure is forecast to arrive on Friday, bringing with it a drop in high temperatures of between ten and fifteen degrees. Unfortunately this front is also bringing with it winds from the north east in the 15 to 25 knot range and large seas, hampering those anglers wanting to head offshore.
Inshore, the fishing has been consistent for those targeting red drum around the docks and creeks. Most of the fish in these locations have been slot sized and with the abundance of baitfish in the area waters, most anglers have been having better luck by using fresh cut bait instead of whole live minnows. Carolina rigs will work just as well with cut menhaden or mullet. Some anglers are also electing to throw scented soft artificial baits and are also having decent luck. Cut bait is also still producing some over slot fish around both Masonboro Inlet and Carolina Beach Inlet.
The same tactic is holding true for those seeking flounder as the abundance of bait is keeping the fish full and not being able to be enticed by fishermen’s offerings of live minnows. Slowly fishing strips of cut bait will work but there are also lots of bait stealers around and that can become rather tiresome having to constantly change baits, thus a lot of anglers are utilizing scented soft artificial baits and having decent success. Anglers fishing the near shore wrecks and ledges within three to five miles out are having some good luck with keeper flounder on both artificial baits and live finger mullet.
Along the surf anglers are finding some slot sized red drum on cut bait. Fresh shrimp is producing some catches of virginia mullet, black drum and pompano. Sand fleas will normally attract the larger fish so it’s sometimes worth the effort to find some and utilizing both baits once you get set up in a fishy looking location.
Off the beach, the spanish mackerel fishing has been good for anglers trolling Clark Spoons and the fish have consistently remained around the thirty foot depths throughout the summer. Early mornings allow anglers to troll spoons closer to the surface but as the sun gets up and the day starts heating, the fish move to deeper waters and anglers must accommodate to get the spoons deeper and deploy them on small planers. While this takes a little of the fun out of fighting fish, it’s a good way to fill the cooler with some fresh fish for dinner.
The live bait fishermen have not been having much luck from the king mackerel close to the beach, but there have been some reports of tarpon being hooked with a few landed the past couple of weeks. Anglers targeting king mackerel have reported areas starting around twenty miles are holding the larger fish. Some dolphin are also being found in the same areas with more quantity and quality of fish being found in the thirty mile range. Bottom fishing has also been good in the thirty mile area.
Gulf Stream fishing has been producing some good catches of wahoo around the Steeples and Same Ole Hole along with some blackfin tuna and dolphin.