Going fishing? Check out what’s biting off Cape Fear piers

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The Kure Beach Fishing Pier. (By: Cory Mannion)
The Kure Beach Fishing Pier (Photo by Cory Mannion)

WILMINGTON — The piers that dot the Carolina shores can be an anglers dream, but what to fish, and where, can be tough to know. Port City Daily has compiled a list of who’s catching what in our “Weekly Pier Fishing Report.”


Kure Beach Fishing Pier

Woody Murphy of the Kure Beach pier is reporting a solid bite of  “chopper” (big) blue fish. The largest this week was 13 lbs. caught on “cut bait,” with several others in the 10 to 12 lb. range. Cut bait refers to the practice of using cut pieces of dead fish as bait.

Virginia mullet, aka “whiting” or “white croaker” as they are commonly called, are being caught up to two and a half pounds on shrimp fished along the bottom, Murphy reports.

A little tunny, or false albacore
Local angler Skip Redinger with a ‘little tunny’. (By: Cory Mannion)

Fisherman using live bait fished on “king rigs” are reporting a bite of small false albacore, or “little tunny,” in the early morning hours. According to the Avalon Fishing Pier website, “a king rig is a two rod system used with live bait to catch bigger fish off a pier, namely king mackeral and cobia.”

Kure Beach Fishing Pier is open April 1-Nov. 30, and costs $8 per person with a one rod limit. King fishing is open from May 15-Oct. 1 from 5 am to sunset, and costs $16 per person with a 3 rod limit.

Shark fishing is open June 1-Sept. 15 from 12 am to 5 am, and costs $16 per person with a 3 rod limit.

Kure Beach Pier is located at 100 Atlantic Ave., Kure Beach, NC 28449. For information contact (910)458-5524, or visit its website at kurebeachfishingpier.com.

Carolina Beach Fishing Pier

The Carolina Beach FIshing Pier North Extension
The Carolina Beach Fishing Pier is reporting the occasional “puppy drum.” (Photo by Cory Mannion)

The Carolina Beach Fishing Pier is reporting a good bite of virginia mullet (whiting), puffer fish (northern puffer), and the occasional black sea bass using shrimp as bait.

Fisherman are reporting chopper blue fish being caught on live pinfish. Pier staff said a few puppy drum — small red drum or redfish — have been caught in the surf, as well.

Carolina Beach Fishing Pier is located at 1800 Carolina Beach Ave., N. Carolina Beach, NC 28428. The Pier is open 24 hours a day, pricing for fishing varies. For more information call (910)458-5518, or visit their Facebook page.

Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier

Johnny Mercers Pier at Wrightsville Beach
A good flounder bite has been reported in the surf off Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier. (Photo by Cory Mannion)

Warren Knowles at Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier in Wrightsville Beach is reporting a good all around bite, with fisherman having the most success on chopper blues in the morning and evening hours.

Knowles added the best bet for blue fish is to use a “Gotcha!” plug. In addition to blue fish, Knowles reports a good flounder bite in the surf, with anglers fishing live mud minnows on the bottom for the best opportunities.

Virginia mullet are being caught using shrimp fished along the bottom. Knowles also said that a 15.5 lb false albacore was caught on a “Gotcha!” plug by and angler sight fishing from the pier earlier in the week.

Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier is located at 23 E Salisbury St, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 and is open 24 hours a day. Typically the cost $8 per rod per day to fish on the pier. For king fishing, it is $24 per day for a three rod setup.

For more information call (910)256-2743, or visit its Facebook page.

Surf City Ocean Pier

A 'Gotcha!' plug like this was used to land a 15.5 lb false albacore this week
‘Gotcha!’ plugs like these have been anglers go to baits for chopper blues off of area piers. (By: Cory Mannion)

Chris Powers of the Surf City Pier in Topsail Beach is reporting a good bite of Virginia mullet this week, with the most action occurring in the overnight hours. Powers said shrimp were the bait of choice for whiting, and reports the occasional black drum being caught as well.

Powers also reports good numbers of chopper blue fish, and suggests targeting them with “Gotcha!” or “Tsunami” for the most success.

The Surf City Ocean Pier is located at 112 South Shore Dr, Surf City, NC 28445. The pier is open 24 hours a day from mid March – Dec. 1, and costs $10 per rod to fish for anglers over 11 years of age. For children 10 and under, the cost is $5 per rod.

For king fishing, the cost is $30 per day.

For information call (910)328-3521, or visit the website at surfcityoceanpier.com.


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