Flounder, red drum and speckled trout are all biting in the Cape Fear River downstream from Snow’s Cut and in the Carolina Beach area, despite runoff from recent rains that has brought plenty of freshwater into the area.

Dennis Barbour of Island Tackle and Hardware in Carolina Beach said fish seem to be adjusting to the runoff, thanks in part to the full moon on Monday night.

“I think one of the things that is helping us here is this is the first place any sea water can be put back into the river water,” said Barbour (910-458-3049). “There are two rising tides a day that bring new ocean water into the Intracoastal Waterway and the river. The flounder, red drum and trout obviously like this.”

Tides have been higher than normal thanks to the full moon of Monday night, so even more new ocean water than usual has been flowing in the past few days.

Finger mullet have been around most of the area’s bays and spoil islands, and they’re drawing plenty attention from predator fish.

“Fishermen are having their best luck catching some of those finger mullet and using them for bait,” Barbour said. “They are using Carolina rigs to fish them on the bottom and suspending them under floats to fish them in the water column or to drift an area with the tide.” 

Barbour advised fishermen to concentrate on the small points or anything else that disrupts the water flow in the bays and behind the spoil islands. The schools of bait usually move along the banks with the tide, and points or anything that disrupts the water flow tends to concentrate them. 

While reds, trout and flounder will show up on sand banks, they prefer the banks with grass lines that are a little deeper. Flounder and red drum may be there at any stage of the tide as long as there is a foot or so of water. Trout avoid the really shallow water, but move up along the grass lines when the tide is rising and stay to feed through the first couple of hours of the falling tide.