Kyle Lewis at Island Tackle and Hardware in Carolina Beach said more fish are arriving daily in area waters and action is picking up from the backwaters to the Gulf Stream.

“We had a push of larger Spanish mackerel during May, but they usually come during April,” Lewis said. “They arrived a few weeks late, but bit well while they were here. Those big Spanish are about gone, but a lot of smaller, but legal, ones have replaced them and are biting well. Fishermen are also catching a few cobia around Carolina Beach Inlet, the reefs and the rocks along the beach.”

Lewis (910-458-3049) said fishermen are catching Spanish up and down the beach on Clark Spoons and drone spoons trolled behind planers and trolling sinkers. The larger fish will hit Yo-Zuri Deep Divers that are trolled below the surface.

“In the past few weeks, there have been some great days to head offshore, and the offshore fishermen are catching a mixed bag,” Lewis said. “Fishermen trolling temperature breaks and weed lines are catching a few scattered blackfin tuna and wahoo, and the dolphin numbers are growing. The weed lines are badly broken up and grass is scattered, or the catches would be better. Some dolphin are already breaking away from the Gulf Stream and moving closer to shore. 

“They are catching some kings and a good mixture of offshore bottomfish a little closer in,” Lewis said. “In addition to grouper, offshore fishermen are catching limits of nice black sea bass, beeliners, grunts and porgies. That action has remained steady whenever the conditions are good to head out 30 to 40 miles.” 

Lewis said fishing inside the inlets has been slow but is improving. Some flounder and red drum are in the cuts around spoil islands in the Cape Fear River and back in the creeks. Live bait – minnows or shrimp – has been most productive, but reds are also hitting soft plastics. Trout, which can be legally kept on June 15, are hitting Rapalas and MirrOlures.