Southport May 23, 2013
Steve, of The Tackle Box, reports that the Southport fishing scene is coming alive. Offshore, blue water trollers are connecting with big numbers of dolphin along with some wahoo and stray blackfin tunas. All the Gulf Stream pelagics are taking an interest in ballyhoo paired with skirted trolling lures.
Grouper season is open, and the fish have been cooperative. Anglers are connecting with the delicious bottom feeders at structure from the 90’ depths all the way out to 240’ of water. Live and cut baits, or frozen baits like cigar minnows, squid, and sardines, will all fool the grouper and smaller bottom fish like triggerfish, sea bass, grunts, and more.
Not many boats have been king mackerel fishing lately. Anglers have hooked a few from the Oak Island piers, and they should soon be spreading out to some of their typical summertime spots within 20 miles of shore. Live menhaden and bluefish (or dead cigar minnows) will tempt bites from the kings.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish have shown up along the beachfront and around the mouth of the river. Anglers are catching both (with some big spanish) while trolling Clarkspoons deep behind #1 and #2 planers.
Cobia have shown up and are following pods of menhaden along the beachfront and just offshore. Anglers can tempt them to bite live baits or bucktail jigs with large soft plastic trailers.
Inshore, the trout bite has been solid recently (with good numbers of 4-5+ lb. fish weighed in). Anglers are hooking them in the creeks, the river, and the ICW around oyster rocks, points, and other current breaks. Live shrimp are the top bait for the specks, but anglers can also hook them on topwater plugs, soft plastics, and suspending hard lures.
Red drum are feeding in the bays and on the flats around Southport, and they’ve been taking a hearty interest in topwater plugs lately. When they don’t want to eat on top, soft plastics and live or cut baits will trick the reds into feeding.
Flounder fishing is turning on in the creeks. Anglers are connecting with the flatfish while working bucktails, Gulp baits, and live mud minnows along the bottom.
Wally, of Oak Island Fishing Charters, reports that the Gulf Stream action has been hot lately. Anglers are catching big numbers of gaffer dolphin (some very big bulls). Wahoo and other pelagics are mixed in with the dolphin, and all are taking an interest in skirted ballyhoo.
Grouper are on the feed around offshore bottom structure, and anglers put together easy limits at spots in 90’of water (including gags, scamps, and reds). Cut baits were particularly effective last week, but live and frozen baits can produce results with the grouper as well.
Cobia and king mackerel are showing up along the beachfront. Both fish have a tough time turning down a live menhaden, and there have been plenty of them for anglers to net for the livewell.
Annette, of Dutchman’s Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers have caught several king mackerel and cobia from the Oak Island piers recently. Live bluefish and menhaden are fooling both.
Bluefish and spanish mackerel are feeding along the beachfront, and anglers are hooking them on Gotcha plugs off the piers and while trolling Clarkspoons from boats.
Inshore, some speckled trout and flounder are feeding in the creeks and taking an interest in live baits and soft plastics.
Tommy, of Oak Island Pier, reports that live baiters have landed several cobia and king mackerel from the end of the pier over the past week.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are taking an interest in metal lures that anglers are working from the piers.
More bluefish and some sea mullet are biting cut baits and shrimp on bottom rigs.
Speckled trout have also begun to feed around the pier and will bite live shrimp, mud minnows, and occasionally artificial lures like grubs.