North Carolina Sportsman

Oak Island fishing picking up; Spanish beginning to arrive

Jerry Dilsaver - May 6, 2014
Kathie Brown caught this Spanish mackerel on April 30 on the Ocean Crest Pier on Oak Island.
Ocean Crest Pier
Kathie Brown caught this Spanish mackerel on April 30 on the Ocean Crest Pier on Oak Island.

Paul Anderson of Island Fishing Center in Oak Island said it appears spring has finally arrived and fishing is improving around the moth of the Cape Fear River. He said water has warmed up over the past 10 days of good weather, fish are hungry and becoming more active, and more fish are arriving daily.

“Fishermen in the river, waterway and creeks behind the island are catching a few trout, flounder, red drum and black drum,” Anderson said. “Trout season isn’t open right now, so they have to be released, and a lot of the flounder are just a little short, but we’re getting there. There are slot-size red drum and black drum, and the reds are probably the most-consistent fishing in the backwaters right now.”

Anderson (910-201-4002) said the offshore fishing has also been good, with wahoo and blackfin tuna being caught in eddies along the inshore edge of the Gulf Stream, more dolphin are arriving every week, and king mackerel are closing in on Frying Pan Tower – on rocks and wrecks roughly 35 to 40 miles offshore. He said offshore bottom-fishing has also been good, with fishermen catching limits of black sea bass, plus beeliners, triggerfish, grunts and more. Grouper season opened on May 1 and Anderson said the early reports have been good.

“Pier fishermen have been catching bluefish and whiting for a few weeks, but in the past week, Spanish mackerel have arrived, plus some pompano, red drum and black drum and flounder,” Anderson said. “The action really has been good, and it’s been mixed too. There is something for just about anyone.”

Most flounder have been shorts, but there have been some keepers; fish are hitting cut shrimp.

“The Spanish that pier fishermen are catching range up to about 19 inches,” he said. “Most have been caught by casting Got-Cha lures and retrieving them really fast. Got-Chas will also catch bluefish well.”

Spanish up to five pounds are hitting trolled Clark Spoons a mile or two off the beach.