When someone says the “fishing is on fire,” that usually means one particular species is biting like mad. But for the past couple of weeks, that’s just been a general statement for coastal anglers in both Carolinas. 

Inshore, offshore, nearshore. Redfish, speckled trout, weakfish, flounder, grouper, spadefish, dolphin….the list goes on and on. If you want to catch it, now is the time to do it. 

Capt. Chris Chavis (843-509-9972) of Fin Stalker Charters in Charleston has been on the fish hard, and it’s been a mixed bag depending on what his anglers are up for on any particular trip. The only surprise he’s gotten lately is on one of his most recent trips when the redfish didn’t cooperate particularly well. But the trout and flounder more than made up for it, as his anglers had a field day with both species.

And just a day or two before that inshore trip, Chavis took some anglers offshore to do some bottom fishing. They landed numerous large amberjacks, several cobia, enough black sea bass to make a few meals, and a limit of vermillion snapper.

An inshore trip a few days before that resulted in a dozen redfish, more than a dozen sea trout, and some legal-sized flounder.

Chavis has also put his flyfishing clients on some double-digit amberjacks. King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, spadefish, triggerfish are some of the other fish he’s been catching.

It’s been much the same up around Cape Lookout, N.C., where Capt. Joe Shute’s clients have been having a field day on 10 to 15-pound bluefish on fly and light tackle, jigging for flounder around offshore structure, catching albacore not far off the beaches, and catching amberjacks on reefs and wrecks.

Cobia, king mackerel, and numerous species of sharks have also been biting regularly for Shute (252-240-2744) and his clients. He said plenty of bait balls are easy to spot along the beaches, which are keeping cobia, spanish mackerel, and bluefish in easy reach of anglers.

Chavis and Shute said anglers should look for the hot bite to continue for some time, as conditions have been about as favorable as they’ve seen in some time.