Southport – August 3, 2017
Annette, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that inshore fishing has been steady for most species, especially speckled trout. Tossing live shrimp in the morning has produced limits of specks.
In the surf, fresh shrimp or sand fleas on the bottom are producing whiting, croaker, spot, pompano, and flounder.
Out to the 11-15 mile range, kings and spanish have been feeding well. Most kings have been on the smaller side (in the 5-10 lb. range), but some of the spanish have pushed the 5 lb. mark. Slow trolling small live menhaden or deep diving plugs has worked best.
Davis, of The Tackle Box, reports that inshore fishing has remained steady, and flounder have been providing the most action. Targeting deeper holes near marshes with live mullet or pogies on a Carolina rig has been the best bet.
Around low tide, redfish have been feeding well in area creeks around oyster and dock structure. Live mullet or mud minnows on Carolina rigs have worked best. When fishing with live shrimp on a float rig, anglers are finding speckled trout feeding in the morning and evening hours. Covering lots of water near marsh banks has been the most effective method for finding the specks.
Right off the beach and out to the 10 mile range, spanish have been feeding well. Trolling Clarkspoons has been the ticket to landing good numbers of fish. Out to the 15+ mile range, kings have been willing to strike a trolled cigar minnow.
Bottom fishing around 150′ of water has provided anglers with plenty of action. Beeliners, black sea bass, and grunts have been the main species landed.
Jimmy, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that flounder fishing has stayed steady. Most fish have been in the 2-3 lb. range, but a few fish weighed in have pushed the 7 lb. mark. Targeting docks around the Southport waterfront with live baits on Carolina rigs or Gulp plastics has been the most effective method.
Speckled trout are still feeding well in the area, but the bite has been best early in the morning. Working Zara Spook Jr. topwater plugs around marsh islands in the Cape Fear and Elizabeth rivers has been producing good numbers of fish. In the creeks and bays around Bald Head Island, anglers are having success landing red drum.
Along the Southport waterfront, sheepshead have been holding on dock structure. Targeting them with live fiddler crabs has worked best. Black drum are chewing in the Elizabeth River, and fresh shrimp on the bottom is the ticket to landing limits of fish.
Just off the beach, spanish are feeding well. Light lining live baits near Yaupon Reef has produced the best numbers. A few bluefish have also been mixed in, and a handful of cobia are still hanging around the area.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that trolling Clarkspoons has been the ticket for landing good numbers of spanish. They are feeding from 7-10′ of water near Frying Pan Shoals out to 30-40′ of water outside the inlet. Targeting bait pods has produced larger fish.
On the nearshore reefs, flounder and trout have been feeding. Dropping a live finger mullet or shrimp has been the key to hooking up.
Bottom fishing has slowed down some due to the higher current and abundance of sharks and barracudas.
King fishing has been solid out in the deeper water. Trolling dead baits with Pirate Plugs and Blue Water Candy Shovel Heads has worked well.
Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that the redfish bite has been decent. Most fish are in the creeks and are falling for live pogies on Carolina rigs. The reds have been in the 19-23” range.
Those looking for flounder have had success in some of the same areas as the reds, with a mix of under-sized and keeper fish landed.
Offshore in the 20-40 mile range, anglers are connecting with a few mahi and plenty of kings while light lining live pogies. Bottom fishing in that same range has been filling the coolers with grouper.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that fishing just off the beach has produced some larger spanish (in the 5-6 lb. range), as well as some bluefish (between 3-5 lbs.). Sharks have been holding around the river mouth and near the pier. Anglers drift fishing with large chunk baits have found the most shark action.
Offshore in the 15-20 mile range, kings in the 5-10 lb. class have been plentiful. Moving off to the 20-30 mile range, larger kings (20-25 lbs.) have been landed. Trolling dead cigar minnows and menhaden has been the best producer.
On the bottom in the 35-40 mile range, black sea bass, pink snapper, and grouper have all been landed.
Steve, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that croaker, bluefish, and speckled trout have been feeding. Live shrimp has worked best for the trout, and cut baits have worked for the blues and croaker. Spanish have been feeding off the end of the pier, and they’ve been hitting the king rigs.