Saturday, October 26, 2013

VA / NC trip part 6 - Ocean Isle Beach

As I mentioned in the last post, we took a short trip to the coast after fishing below the Lake Waccamaw dam. We made our way south, arriving at Ocean Isle Beach with plenty of daylight left. Before going to the town's fishing pier, we poked around for a while on the inland side of the island. We saw some large killifish racing along by shore. Lucky for us, they would stop their zooming around when they saw bait hit the surface.

Striped Killifish (Fundulus majalis) - new hook & line species #142

Females had horizontal stripes instead of vertical bars.

I was surprised by how wide-bodied striped killifish are compared to other killifish and topminnows.

Near the boat ramp we found tiny gobies hanging out among the mussels attached to the concrete pilings. It was amazing how aggressive they were despite their small size.

Naked Goby (Gobiosoma bosc) - new hook & line species #143

Mummichogs were the most common species among the saltwater grasses. It was neat to catch them in pure saltwater since we had found them earlier in the trip in pure freshwater.

Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus)

Fishing among the rocks produced my first pinfish. I thought it was a pretty neat fish, but Miciah and Bryce insisted I would get tired of catching them at some point. The first of any species is always an experience though!

Pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides) - new hook & line species #144

We packed up our gear and headed to the ocean side of the island to fish from the pay pier. This was my first time seeing the Atlantic ocean in about 12 years. I was a very tired but happy species angler.

We fished Sabiki rigs from the pier, each hook tipped with a strip of squid. The squid did an excellent job staying on the hooks. The bite was slow, but over the next hour we caught half a dozen Florida pompanos. It was a new lifer for each of us.

Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) - new hook & line species #145

As the sun went down the bite dropped off, so we called it a day and headed back to Lake Waccamaw for some freshwater night fishing.


  1. Jealous of the Florida Pompano...I watched several of my friends catch them in front of me, but Joy and I failed to get our own. Great pics! Those striped killifish are neat too!

  2. Did you try bottom fishing off the pier?

  3. Josh, I've been hearing a lot of people say they haven't caught a pompano yet. Isn't it strange that that was the only species we caught from the pier? Do they only come close to shore at certain times? Either way I'll count myself lucky.

    WI RR, Miciah or Bryce had some cut bait on the bottom, but I don't think it got any action. I was letting the weight on my Sabiki hit bottom in hopes that a goby or blenny or something would hit one of the lower hooks. Nothing but pompanos though.