Southport – September 29, 2016
Jimmy, of Wildlife Bait & Tackle, reports that the flounder bite has really picked up. The flatfish are biting on the Southport waterfront all the way to Snow’s Cut, and they will take live bait, artificials, and bucktails. Those looking for flatfish out on Yaupon Reef should use live bait or bucktails between 1-1.5 oz.
The speckled trout bite is great in the early morning or late afternoon on topwaters. Those targeting the fish in the heat of the day are having success with the MR-17s, Badonk-a-donks, and curly tail grubs.
Reds in the area are falling for the curly tail grubs as well, but anglers should use those with bright colored tails when targeting the fish. Goldspoons are also working, along with Gulp in nuclear chicken and Cajun Sleigh.
Black drum can be found in Wildlife Creek, Dutchman Creek, and around the ADM pier, and most that are being caught are keeper sized.
Sheepshead have been reported in abundance, and those looking to target these crustacean lovers should look around structure with barnacles, like the ADM pier and the Oak Island Bridge. Drop down sand fleas, barnacles, or fiddler crabs to hook the fish.
The spots have started to show up in the surf, along with Virginia mullet and pompano, and surf anglers should use artificial bloodworms and bait shrimp when fishing in the suds.
King mackerel can be found from Yaupon Reef to the Oak Island Pier, and they will take light lined baits. The spanish are still mixed in, with casting jigs or trolling with Clarkspoons being the go-to for the fish.
John, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are catching king mackerel and spanish around the piers.
The big reds have returned to the area, and anglers should look for them in the surf, around piers, and on the local reefs. Live bait is the ticket for hooking these old fish, and anglers have had success with pogies, mullet, pinfish, and blues.
There’s still a flounder bite in the backwater (in creeks and canals), but that flounder bite, along with the black and red drum, is sporadic.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that activity along the beaches is heating up with king mackerel and redfish working bait pods, from right behind the breakers out to the nearshore structure. Mullet and menhaden are plentiful, and both species will fall for either. Anglers are also reporting tarpon feeding around bait pods in the vicinity of the Hot Hole, and there are cobia working the river channel out to the Lighthouse Rocks.
Bluefish (from bait size to 4 lbs.) and large schools of false albacore are feeding along the beach tide lines and around reefs and structure 3-5 miles out. Keep a rod with a metal jig, like a Stingsilver, handy as the fish are fun to fight on light tackle.
Citation-sized spanish mackerel and over-slot red drum are falling for live baits around the nearshore reefs. Flounder and trout are also hanging around this structure, and they will fall for live finger mullet or Gulp-tipped bucktails.
Trolling for spanish around the inlets and bait pods continues to produce solid numbers of fish.
Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that all of the fishing focus right now is on the big red drum. The citation fish are schooled up along the beach, and following the schools of bait will help you find the old fish. Use live or cut bait on a drum rig to hook the fish.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that small red drum are biting in the backwater. You can hook up with these rat reds using mullet and shrimp on a Carolina rig.
The flounder has been hit and miss, but the fish that are being caught are bigger. These fish are taking mullet on a Carolina rig.
The trout bite has been up and down, biting one day and then not the next.
On the beach, the big red drum have returned, and anglers can target them around bait schools and at the artificial reefs. Casting dead pogies to them will work to hook the old fish.
A good number of spanish are still off the beach, and citation-sized fish are mixed in. Trolling Clarkspoons will hook the smaller fish, with the bigger ones biting live mullet.
King mackerel have also shown back up off the beach, and these larger kings are taking live pogies.
Tommy, of Oak Island Pier, reports that anglers are connecting with flounder and whiting on bottom rigs. Those anglers throwing Gotcha plugs have hooked bluefish and spanish mackerel.
The water temp is in low 80s.
Steve, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that there was a recent run of citation-sized red drum, with fourteen landed in one day. Anglers are also hooking kings from the end of the pier, as well as a cobia.
Bottom fishermen are connecting with a variety of panfish, including croaker and whiting.