Fish Post

Southport October 10, 2013

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Marine artist Hayden Hammond with a red drum that bit a live menhaden in the Cape Fear River while he was fishing with Luke Donat and Scott Hampton.

Marine artist Hayden Hammond with a red drum that bit a live menhaden in the Cape Fear River while he was fishing with Luke Donat and Scott Hampton.

Tommy, of The Tackle Box, reports that anglers are seeing some solid king mackerel action along the beachfront at Oak Island, at nearshore spots like Yaupon Reef, and on out the Cape Fear River channel to Lighthouse Rocks. Live menhaden and bluefish are the best bets for anglers looking to connect with the kings, but anglers can also troll dead cigar minnows with success.

Gulf Stream trollers are reporting a red-hot wahoo bite while trolling the blue water around spots like the Blackjack Hole and Steeples. Ballyhoo paired with skirted trolling lures, especially in darker hues, are fooling most of the wahoo.

Grouper are feeding around offshore structure like rocks, wrecks, and live bottoms in 90’+ of water, and they’ve been quite cooperative lately, with some boats hauling home limit catches. Live baits like menhaden and pinfish are the best bets for anglers looking to weed through the smaller bottomfish to get to the grouper.

Inshore, anglers are still finding red drum feeding on the flats and in the bays off the lower Cape Fear River and ICW. They’ll bite topwater plugs, soft plastic lures, and a wide variety of other artificials and natural baits.

Flounder are feeding heavily with the arrival of fall, and anglers are hooking good numbers of citation (5+ lbs.) fish. Live baits like menhaden and finger mullet are top choices for the flatfish, but anglers can also hook up while working scented soft plastics like Gulps. The creeks, inshore structure (like docks), inlets, and nearshore structure (like Yaupon Reef) are all holding good numbers of flounder right now, and the action should hold up until the water temperatures dip deeply as winter approaches.

Speckled trout are also looking for meals in the creeks, marshes, and around inshore structure. Live shrimp are almost impossible for the specks to turn down, but anglers can also tempt them to bite topwater plugs, soft plastics, and a wide variety of other artificial lures.

Wally, of Oak Island Fishing Charters, reports that the inshore flounder and red drum action remains excellent around Southport and Bald Head Island. Anglers are finding both fish feeding in the creeks, marshes, and around structure like oyster bars and docks. Live shrimp and finger mullet are tough for both of the inshore predators to turn down.

Spanish mackerel and bluefish are feeding along the beachfront and around the inlets. Anglers can hook large numbers of both while trolling Clarkspoons behind planers and trolling weights.

Jason Fralin with a speckled trout that fell for a topwater plug in the lower Cape Fear River.

Jason Fralin with a speckled trout that fell for a topwater plug in the lower Cape Fear River.

King mackerel are also making an appearance just off the beaches and around nearshore structure like Yaupon Reef. Live baits like menhaden are the best bet for the kings.

Bottom fishing has been solid, with good numbers of grouper ending up in the fish boxes. Targeting bottom structure in 100’ of water and deeper is the best bet for anglers looking for a grouper dinner, and live baits further up the odds.

Angie, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are hooking some big spanish mackerel from the piers and from boats fishing within a few miles of the beachfront. Casting lures like Gotcha plugs, trolled Clarkspoons, and live baits are all fooling the spaniards.

Surf and pier anglers are hooking some sea mullet, but the big spot runs haven’t begun yet.

A few large red drum have also been falling for shrimp and cut baits in the surf and off the piers.

King mackerel have made a decent appearance at nearshore and offshore structure. Live baits are fooling most of the kings, and they also have been tempting bites from some cobia.

Tommy, of Oak Island Pier, reports that anglers are hooking sea mullet and black drum while bottom fishing with shrimp and other baits.

Flounder are falling for live baits fished on the bottom as well.

Plug casters are connecting with spanish mackerel and bluefish while working Gotchas, and some larger spanish are taking an interest in live baits on the surface.

Vance, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that anglers landed several king mackerel while live-baiting from the end of the pier last week.

Some spanish mackerel are falling for Gotcha plugs that anglers are working from the pier.

Some spot and sea mullet are coming over the rails, but the big fall runs haven’t begun yet.

Flounder are taking an interest in live baits under the pier.