Southport – July 20, 2017
Annette, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that fishing the surf with fresh shrimp and sand fleas has produced good numbers of pompano and whiting. When fishing from the pier, anglers are hooking up with speckled trout in the 2-4 lb. range using live shrimp. Those tossing Gotcha plugs are also hooking into small bluefish.
Inshore fishing has remained consistent, and flounder and red drum have been the main targets. Most of the flounder have been between 14-20” and have hit on live pogies or finger mullet fished on a Carolina rig.
The redfish have preferred live bait. Live mud minnows and finger mullet have been the ticket around dock structure and shallow water creeks, and most of the reds have been between 15-22”.
Fishing nearshore has been best around the artificial reefs. Those tossing Stingsilvers and other metal jigs have landed spanish and bluefish.
Davis, of The Tackle Box, reports that flounder have provided the most consistent action inshore. Anglers using live finger mullet pinned on a Carolina rig have had the best luck landing fish. While some flounder are still small, there are plenty in the 18-22” range.
Redfish and speckled trout have been feeding in the area creeks and marshes. Tossing a live shrimp or finger mullet on a float rig in the early morning or late afternoon has been the best way to land limits of both species.
Just off the beach, anglers trolling Clarkspoons have found plenty of spanish to put in the cooler. Working close to tide lines, nearshore structure, and bait pods has produced best.
Offshore, the grouper are still biting. Targeting 120′ of water has been the most productive, and dropping cut baits and live cigar minnows has been the ticket.
Out to the 30 mile range, kings are feeding well. Most of these fish have been in the 10-15 lb. class, but quite a few fish between 20-30 lbs. have been landed as well. Trolling Drone spoons and dead cigar minnows has worked best.
Jimmy, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that flounder fishing remains hot, and many anglers are finding their limits of keeper fish. Fishing Cedar Creek, Cape Creek, and the Southport waterfront with live pogies, finger mullet, or mud minnows has been the ticket. Those electing to throw artificial lures are having luck with Falling Tide, Z-Man and Gulp plastics.
Throwing Zara Spook Jr. topwater plugs early in the morning and late in the evening has produced speckled trout that have pushed the 7 lb. mark, but most fish have been in the 16-22” range. Targeting areas like creek mouths with flowing water and the Davis Canal has produced limits of fish. During the heat of the day, fishing live shrimp under a float rig or live minnows on Carolina rigs has worked best.
Redfish have been feeding well in the shallow water bays and creeks in the lower Cape Fear River. Artificial lures like Falling tide and Z-Man plastics have worked well on the reds. When the fish decide to be picky, rigging a live mud minnow or finger mullet on a Carolina rig has been the best bet.
The Elizabeth River is holding good numbers of keeper black drum, and anglers are finding success casting fresh shrimp on Carolina rigs.
Sheepshead are feeding well around area bridge and dock structure. Targeting slack tide and dropping live fiddler crabs and sand fleas has worked best.
Nearshore, the spanish bite continues to provide those casting jigs and trolling Clarkspoons with plenty of action. A few cobia have also been landed.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that spanish and kings have been holding together between the mouth of the Cape Fear River and Frying Pan Shoals. Trolling green, gold, and silver Clarkspoons has been the best way to land good numbers of fish. Targeting bait pods around 30′ of water has also been a good way to find high concentrations of fish. Large bluefish and false albacore have been in the mix, too.
Shark fishing for spinner sharks near the mouth of the river has provided anglers with plenty of action. Rigging large cut and chunk baits on 8/0 and 9/0 offset circle hooks with heavy mono leader has been the key to hooking high numbers of sharks.
Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that the redfish bite inshore has been hit or miss. The best bet for catching consistent numbers of fish has been rigging a live finger mullet on a Carolina rig and targeting oyster banks and marsh lines.
The flounder bite has been consistent, but the size of fish has varied greatly. Some days anglers are landing fish that are just shy of the legal limit, and the next day they are finding most fish are in the 15-18” range. Fishing live finger mullet or pogies on a Carolina rig near deeper cuts in creeks and around dock structure has produced best.
Nearshore, the spanish and bluefish bite has kept those trolling Clarkspoons busy. Most fish have been in the 1-3 lb. range, but a few of the spanish have pushed the 4-5 lb. mark.
Sharks are feeding well around the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Drift fishing with chunk and cut baits will do the trick when targeting the sharks.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that nearshore fishing has kept anglers busy with large schools of bluefish in the 2-5 lb. range, as well as a few schools of spanish. Trolling and casting spoons around bait pods has been the key to hooking into high numbers of fish. A few false albacore have been mixed in. While fishing the bait pods, anglers have noted seeing a few tarpon migrating up the beach.
Closer to the river mouth, those drift fishing with large cut or chunk baits have been finding plenty of shark action.
Out in the 20-25 mile range, kings have been feeding well, but most fish have been under the 10 lb. mark. Trolling with dead cigar minnows has yielded high numbers of kings.
The offshore bottom fishing has slowed down considerably, but a few snapper and grouper are being landed. Most anglers are having a tough time keeping sharks off the line.
Dave, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that those fishing the bottom with fresh shrimp and sand fleas have landed pompano, croaker, and sea mullet. A few anglers fishing early in the morning with live shrimp have landed speckled trout (up to 3 lbs.).
A few sharks are feeding off the end of the pier, and fishing large cut baits on the bottom has worked best.