Flounder fishing is beginning to pick up around Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach, according to Capt. Rick Bennett of Rod-Man Charters, who said calm, summer weather is making it easy to get out and fish.

“With the warming water, there is a lot of bait showing up, and our flounder fishing is beginning to really fire off,” Bennett said. “The mullet minnows are just getting big enough to start moving around a lot, and there are schools of peanut menhaden moving though the marshes and up and down the Intracoastal Waterway. Both flounder and red drum will readily eat either of them, but the peanut menhaden are a little larger than the mullet minnows right now and I believe they attract larger fish.”

Bennett (910-520-7661) said flounder could be found around the inlets and nearshore artificial reefs, in Snow’s Cut, around the spoil islands in the Cape Fear River, under docks in creeks and along the Intracoastal Waterway and just about anywhere the moving tide might sweep bait past them. He likes to target flounder with a Carolina rig and 1 to 1 ½-inch sinker – depending on the current – and a 12- to 15-inch fluorocarbon leader tied to a No. 2, Eagle Claw 042 series hook. He said flounder are likely to bite any time the tide is moving.

“Flounder fishing is improving, with more and larger fish being caught every week,” he said.

Red drum are in many of the same areas with the flounder. Bennett will target them with the same rig, just replacing the No. 2 hook with a No. 2/0.

“Our best inshore fishing during the summer is for flounder and red drum and both of those are going well,” Bennett said. “There are also some trout in the (Cape Fear) River all the way down to the creeks behind Bald Head Island and they’re biting surprisingly well.”

Bennett said fishermen are using live bait or dead cigar minnows to catch king mackerel and dolphin. He suggests fishing early or late for Spanish mackerel. 

“The kings have stayed offshore a little longer this summer, but they and the dolphin are slowly working their way closer in,” Bennett said. “Spanish mackerel are thick just outside the inlets, and anyone who would like a limit of them shouldn’t have any problems.”