Sarah Gagliardo

Southport – October 13, 2016

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Jimmy, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that before the storm anglers were connecting with a lot of red drum in the surf and right off the beach, with most being close to citation size. Post-Hurricane Matthew, reports have started to come in of anglers still hooking the big fish in the surf.

Flounder, up to 6 lbs., have been reported, but most of the fish being landed are in the  2-4 lb. class. Bucktails have been working with flounder strips, but the flatfish will also fall for live bait and Gulp soft plastics.

Kristen Willits, of Lewisburg, PA, with a 36” drum caught off Oak Island using menhaden.

Kristen Willits, of Lewisburg, PA, with a 36” drum caught off Oak Island using menhaden.

The backwaters are still holding black drum, and anglers should target them with cut mullet and shrimp on two-drop bottom rigs. Those targeting black drum with sand fleas should also find success, and they may also hook sheepshead in the process.

Speckled trout are hitting topwater in the early mornings and late evenings, and during the day anglers should target the fish with MR17s. Soft curly tail grubs are also fooling the specks.

Spanish mackerel in the 6-7 lb. class have recently been reported, but the majority of the spanish  are in the 2-4 lb. range. There were also kings working the beach before the storm, and with the return of the red drum, the possibility of that bite also returning is positive.

 

Angie, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers were connecting with blues and large red drum in the surf prior to Hurricane Matthew. The reds reported were 40-50”.

Although the storm has only recently passed, anglers on the beach are finding success hooking the large reds again, along with bluefish still feeding in the area.

Chris Bryant, of Dallas, with a bull red drum caught on light tackle while fishing off Oak Island with Capt. Mark Greene of Angry Pelican Charters.

Chris Bryant, of Dallas, with a bull red drum caught on light tackle while fishing off Oak Island with Capt. Mark Greene of Angry Pelican Charters.

Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that the bull reds have been feeding in very shallow water along the beaches, and anglers continue to have success hooking them. Large finger mullet or menhaden on Carolina rigs are the go-to for hooking the old drum.

King mackerel have been feeding along the beaches and nearshore structure. Double-up live bait rigs and bright skirts will help set your offering apart from the large bait pods the fish are working around.

Bluefish, spanish mackerel, and false albacore are also feeding around bait pods, in the inlets, and on nearshore structure.

Luci Geisler with a red drum caught on a menhaden while fishing the beach at Oak Island.

Luci Geisler with a red drum caught on a menhaden while fishing the beach at Oak Island.

Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that there were a lot of big red drum right off the beach, and anglers could target the citation-sized fish using pogies on a Carolina rig.

King mackerel were also feeding right off the beach and taking live bait. The fish were between 15-30 lbs., and anglers could expect big spanish mixed in with them (in the 4-5 lb. range).

Breanna Jones, of Shallotte, with a bull drum caught off Oak Island on a live pogie.

Breanna Jones, of Shallotte, with a bull drum caught off Oak Island on a live pogie.

Oak Island Pier has been closed indefinitely, as the T-section of the pier collapsed during the storm. Other pilings have broken off, too, leaving 75’ of the pier remaining. The Town of Oak Island is unsure at this time if they will rebuild the pier or when a decision will be made.

Dalton Leonard, of Lexington, with a red drum caught and released off Ocean Crest Pier. The fish bit a king mackerel rig with a live pogie.

Dalton Leonard, of Lexington, with a red drum caught and released off Ocean Crest Pier. The fish bit a king mackerel rig with a live pogie.

Steve, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that there is damage on the T-section of the pier, and many boards have blown up. The pier estimates they will reopen during the latter part of the week.

Lillie Snyder, of Singers Glen, VA, with a speckled trout that bit cut mullet while surf fishing at Oak Island.

Lillie Snyder, of Singers Glen, VA, with a speckled trout that bit cut mullet while surf fishing at Oak Island.