Fish Post

Southport June 21, 2012

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Justin Smith, of Ohio, with a 5.02 lb. flounder that he hooked near Southport while fishing with Capt. Wayne Freeman of Flat Fish Charters. Weighed in at Wildlife Tackle.

Patrick, of Twister Charters, reports that the grouper bite has been excellent around offshore structure in 100-120’ of water recently. Gags and scamps are making up the majority of the catch, and live menhaden are fooling both. Amberjacks and cobia are in the same areas and will also take an interest in live baits.

Sea bass, grunts, beeliners, and other bottom feeders are in the same areas and will pounce on squid or cut baits on bottom rigs.

Anglers have also been catching good numbers of legal sea bass on half-day trips around structure in 40-60’ of water.

King mackerel action has been decent at spots in the 60’ range recently, with live cigar minnows and menhaden tempting most of the bites from the bigger fish.

Gulf Stream trollers are still finding decent dolphin action (mostly smaller fish but a few straggler bulls in the mix). A few wahoo and billfish are mixed in, and all the blue water gamefish are biting skirted ballyhoo.

Closer to shore, the spanish mackerel and bluefish bite has been excellent for boaters trolling Clarkspoons just off the inlets and beachfront.

Some large sharks are in the same areas and will attack cut baits fished behind a drifting boat.

Inshore, anglers are connecting with some flounder, red and black drum, and a few speckled trout near Lockwood Folly Inlet. Live finger mullet and menhaden or Gulp baits will attract attention from all the inshore fish.


Tommy, of The Tackle Box, reports that red drum are still feeding inshore in the area, with good action on flooded grass flats during last week’s new moon tides. Anglers can find the fish feeding around grass edges and oyster rocks when the tide is lower and tempt them to bite live baits, soft plastics, or flies.

Anglers are still catching a few speckled trout around hard structure with good current flow inshore. Live shrimp are producing most of the action with the specks.

Corey Whitehead, of Oak Island, with a 4.4 lb. spadefish he hooked on shrimp while fishing from Oak Island Pier.

Flounder fishing has been good around the Southport waterfront and other inshore structure lately, with live menhaden producing the lion’s share of the action.

Pilings, rocks, and other hard structure inshore is playing host to big numbers of sheepshead right now, and they have a tough time resisting a sand flea or fiddler crab fished tight to the structure.

Spanish mackerel have been feeding strong at Yaupon Reef and along the beaches, where boats are trolling Clarkspoons and other small, flashy lures to hook up.


Angie, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that inshore anglers are still putting together some solid catches of red drum, flounder, and speckled trout. Live baits and Gulps or other soft plastics are producing most of the action with all three.

Boaters and pier anglers have been capitalizing on a solid spanish mackerel bite along the beaches lately. Working Gotcha plugs from the pier or trolling Clarkspoons from boats is the way to connect with the spaniards.

Offshore, anglers are reporting decent king mackerel and dolphin action around Frying Pan Tower, where trolled cigar minnows are putting both fish in the boat.


Tommy, of Oak Island Pier, reports that anglers are still catching some quality speckled trout on live shrimp in the early morning hours.

Good numbers of flounder (to 5+ lbs.) are also coming over the rails for anglers fishing live shrimp, finger mullet, and mud minnows.

Sheepshead are feeding along the pilings, where barnacles and fiddler crabs will tempt plenty of bites.

When the water’s clean, anglers have had excellent luck with bluefish and spanish mackerel while working Gotcha plugs from the planks.

Large spadefish and an 11.3 lb. tripletail were also landed from the pier last week.