Southport – June 22, 2017
John, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers have been landing limits of speckled trout while walking the beach. These specks have mostly been in the 14-16” range, but many have been landed in the 18-23” range.
Inshore, black and red drum have been holding around oyster structure in the backwater creeks. Fishing fresh shrimp on Carolina rigs has produced the best numbers of fish. The flounder bite has also been steady, with many fish landed in the 17-18” range. Most of the flatfish are falling for bucktails bounced off the bottom.
Off the beach in the 12-18 mile range, small kings have been willing to take live menhaden. Around the 26 mile range, mahi have been present and will take a trolled ballyhoo skirted or naked.
Jimmy, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers targeting speckled trout have had the best luck by throwing live shrimp or Vudu shrimp rigged on floats. Most specks have been in the 2-3 lb. range, and many 5+ lb. fish have been weighed in.
Targeting flounder around the Southport waterfront docks, Oak Island Bridge, Cape Creek, and Cedar Creek has produced limits, with the average fish being 3 lbs. While flounder fishing, many anglers are hooking into red drum in the same locations and using the same baits.
The Pfizer dock has been holding good numbers of sheepshead, and tossing fiddler crabs seems to be the best bet. Black drum have been feeding well in the area, and many fish are pushing the 16-20” range. Fishing fresh shrimp on Carolina rigs in the Elizabeth River and in Dutchman’s Creek has been the most consistent area for the black drum.
Just off the beach, spanish have been willing to take a trolled Clarkspoon, and out to Lighthouse Rock, small kings have been hitting live menhaden. Cobia are still in the area, and anglers have connected with fish in the 30-60 lb. range while fishing live menhaden around nearshore structure.
Nesbit, of The Tackle Box, reports that many citation flounder have been landed this week, and live mud minnows on Carolina rigs, as well as Gulp plastics, have been the top baits. Keeper trout have also been feeding around the area marshes. Live shirmp or Vudu shrimp under popping corks has produced flounder pushing the 5-6 lb. mark.
Area bridges are holding good numbers of sheepshead, and anglers dropping fiddler crabs have been finding plenty of action.
In the 15 mile range, small kings (5-10 lbs.) have been around, but the bite has slowed down. Out to the 20 mile area, dolphin have been feeding on rigged ballyhoo and dead cigar minnows.
Offshore in the 35-40 mile range, anglers are finding good bottom fishing action with grouper. Live baits dropped to the bottom have worked best.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that cobia and some larger king mackerel are feeding around bait pods along the beach and near the old shipping channel. Large spanish mackerel have been holding in 20-50’ of water, and there are also some nice spanish feeding on the bait pods near the Cape Fear River.
Smaller kings are biting in the 8-15 mile range, with some larger fish feeding a little further offshore. Shark fishing around bait pods off the beach has produced many sharks in the 50-100 lb. class.
Offshore, the mahi action is creeping closer to the beaches, with fish coming over the rail as close as Frying Pan Tower.
Bottom fishing in the 80-100′ range will produce the usual summer mix of grouper, snapper, black sea bass, and triggerfish. Squid and peanut pogies will get the job done, but taking along a bait stick and jigging up some fresh baits is always a great plan.
Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that anglers targeting shallow water creeks with live pogies and mud minnows will find limits of slot-sized redfish, but some fish have pushed the 28” mark. Flounder have been found in these same areas, and using a live menhaden rigged on a Carolina rig near depth changes has been key to landing keeper flounder.
Offshore around 40 miles, light lining live pogies has worked well for kings and mahi. Most of the kings have been on the smaller side, and the mahi have been a mix of slingers and gaffers.
Anglers dropping to the bottom have landed plenty of grouper, including recent catches of 15+ lb. scamps.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that the spanish bite just off the beach has been sporadic, but some fish landed have been in the 3-5 lb. range. Trolling Clarkspoons has been the ticket for spanish, and bluefish have also been mixed in.
Fishing behind the shrimp boats has provided anglers with plenty of shark action. Blacktip and spinner sharks measuring 7-10′ have been landed.
Out 7-15 miles, kings in the 10-12 lb. range have been hitting trolled cigar minnows. In the 30-40 mile area, trolling naked cigar minnows has done the job on larger kings and mahi.
Anglers bottom fishing in the 40 mile range have hooked up with good catches of grouper and snapper by dropping fresh cut bait and squid.
Steve, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that anglers on the pier are landing limits of speckled trout. Most fish have been in the 18-20” range, but many trout over 5 lbs. have been weighed in. Bluefish have been willing to hit Stingsilvers or Gotcha plugs, and many fish have been between 1-3 lbs.
Off the end of the pier, kings have made an appearance, but not too many have been hooked yet. A large jack crevalle was also landed from the pier.