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Ocean Isle NC ICW


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My family and another family are heading back to Ocean Isle in August and staying in a house on a canal that connects to the ICW.  I took a guided fishing trip up and down the ICW 2 years ago and will likely do the same again this year but want to spend spare time fishing off the dock that's on the canal.  From what I've read, seems like you can have a decent chance at the usual red/black drum, flounder, maybe some speckled trout, and sheepshead.  I just want to feel as many tight lines as possible, have our kids have a chance to catch some fish, and possibly throw some in a cast iron if we're lucky enough.  Any tips and tricks would be appreciated.  Seems like carolina rigging either live or gulp style baits is the best bet but most of what I'm reading is old info and more about being out in the ICW and not from the dock.  Thanks in advance!

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Is the dock lighted at night?  Kids can have a ball catching trout under the lights at night (at least in Texas anyways). Pretty hard to go wrong with a popping cork and live shrimp.  Free/Fly lining a live shrimp will seduce bigger fish but requires some talent.  Fishing a jig head and swim bait type body works well here and I suspect it would there too,

FM.

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17 hours ago, Fishingmickey said:

Is the dock lighted at night?  Kids can have a ball catching trout under the lights at night (at least in Texas anyways). Pretty hard to go wrong with a popping cork and live shrimp.  Free/Fly lining a live shrimp will seduce bigger fish but requires some talent.  Fishing a jig head and swim bait type body works well here and I suspect it would there too,

FM.

I don't think the dock itself is lighted but there's a light back off the dock a bit.  Jig head and swim bait type is on the radar.  Shrimp seem to be a no brainer.

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1 hour ago, hokiehunter373 said:

I don't think the dock itself is lighted but there's a light back off the dock a bit.  Jig head and swim bait type is on the radar.  Shrimp seem to be a no brainer.

 

You'll get pecked to death by pinfish if you use shrimp, but if you can manage to snag one you can turn them into bait as well.

 

Get some gulp shrimp for those jigheads.

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2 hours ago, heyitskirby said:

 

You'll get pecked to death by pinfish if you use shrimp, but if you can manage to snag one you can turn them into bait as well.

 

Get some gulp shrimp for those jigheads.

I've heard that too.  A jar of gulp shrimp/crabs are in one of my online carts now

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  • Super User

Your other choice is to buy some live shrimp and use them as bait. You can keep them in a bait bucket tied to the dock.   

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1 hour ago, hokiehunter373 said:

I've heard that too.  A jar of gulp shrimp/crabs are in one of my online carts now

Gross! I’d get it at the bait shop once I got there haha

 

Disgusted Fart GIF by Gogglebox Australia
 

my mom nearly strung me up when I put some gulp minnows in her car 

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I caught my first decent fish in the surf at Ocean Isle when I was 8. It was a 4 pound or so black drum, caught on fresh dead shrimp. My cousin caught a nice flounder that day on shrimp too.

I love Ocean Isle, nothing but pleasant memories . I hope to get back there myself someday .

If inshore doesn’t work out, try the surf. Use shrimp and get some blood worms- the spots love them!

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On 3/15/2024 at 6:26 PM, N Florida Mike said:

I caught my first decent fish in the surf at Ocean Isle when I was 8. It was a 4 pound or so black drum, caught on fresh dead shrimp. My cousin caught a nice flounder that day on shrimp too.

I love Ocean Isle, nothing but pleasant memories . I hope to get back there myself someday .

If inshore doesn’t work out, try the surf. Use shrimp and get some blood worms- the spots love them!

This will be our 3rd time going down.  Our guided trip treated us very well 2 years ago.  We caught a couple big black drum like this one and a whole bunch of slot sized ones.  I'd love to catch some reds, flounder (even though you can't keep them now), specks, or whatever else that will bite.

 

image.jpeg.a2c5f034cf9a3169085d90b282f15c8f.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.8e5b7e0e3500812173fabd16c60c1515.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.f743694c70c2b7f2db176534a1e4b6bd.jpeg

 

Good to know about the bloodworms and spots.  Thanks.  The public pier on the beach has been on my mind 

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11 hours ago, N Florida Mike said:

I assume they still sell the bloodworms. It’s been awhile.

Did you fish from the beach or from the pier?  I don't really have anything built to beat the surf so I'd probably have to rent a rod from them once I'm down there

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Ive done both. Where I surf fished was just to the right of the pier. 

I primarily fish a 9 foot rod with a reel such as a Abu garcia blackmax 60. That size is more sporty when you’re catching smaller fish like whiting , spots, croakers etc, but it can handle the occasional bigger fish…And they aren’t all that expensive.

I would start with a 3 oz pyramid sinker, and more if the current isnt allowing the rig to stay stationary, and a # 1 or 2 circle or kale hook. I use a “ fish finder” rig ( thats what we call them here anyway. )  You thread on a sliding sinker clip with sinker, then I put on a red bead to keep the sinker clip from hitting the knot, then tie a  barrel swivel under it to a 12 -14 inch leader with the hook tied directly to the line. I also like putting a bead just above the hook as an attractant. I usually use 20 pound mono with a 15 pound leader but that’s me. You can get away with 12 until you hook a bigger fish…
I use fresh ( never frozen) dead shrimp ( or bloodworms) and I peel the shrimp. For the smaller fish mentioned above, I use no more than a half inch cut of shrimp. 

Make sure to give a report, and Id love to see some current pics from there…

 

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