Fish Post

Southport – June 8, 2017

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John, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers are hooking solid numbers of speckled trout from the piers and beach. Most of the specks are biting on fresh shrimp and live minnows.

Inshore, anglers have been landing limits of flounder on bucktails tipped with strip baits or soft plastics. Red and black drum have been feeding in the backwaters. Anglers are finding the majority of redfish around marsh grass while floating a live mud minnow on a float rig. The black drum have been most prominent in the shallow creeks near oyster structure and are willing to eat fresh or live shrimp.

Nearshore anglers have found that the spanish and blues have moved a little further off of the beach. Most fish have been caught in the 2-3 mile range while trolling Clarkspoons.

In the 10+ mile range is where anglers have had the most success with kings, although they do seem to be scattered since the rain. Trolling cigar minnows has been the best bet to boat a king.


Tim, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers fishing inshore for flounder are finding many fish in the 2-4 lb. range, with some as large as 8 lbs. weighed in. Pogies have produced the larger flounder, whereas live or fresh shrimp has produced better numbers of fish.

Anglers searching for redfish have been most successful using live pogies on Carolina rigs and float rigs near marsh lines and points. Using lighter leaders and small weights has been the key to landing good number of redfish.

Nearshore, anglers have been connecting with spanish while trolling Clarkspoons 1-3 miles off the beach. Anglers fishing the nearshore reefs have started to pick up a flounder here and there by dropping live minnows to the bottom.

Cobia are still in the area, but not as thick as in weeks past. Anglers are finding a few fish around nearshore structure and on bait balls close to the beach.

Offshore in the 15-25 mile range, anglers are hooking a few kings while trolling cigar minnows and Drone spoons. Out to the 20-25 mile range, the mahi are scattered, but if you find the fish, they will certainly take a skirted ballyhoo.

Bottom fishing in the 30+ mile range has produced keeper-size scamp grouper.


Jonathan Hatch, of Southport, landed this 8 lb. 10 oz. sheepshead on a fiddler crab in the Cape Fear River near the Southport waterfront.


Davis, of The Tackle Box, reports that the inshore flounder bite in area creeks has been solid on mud minnows and Gulp swimming mullets in chartreuse. Speckled trout have also been hanging around in the waterway and creeks, and they are feeding best around the marsh lines. Anglers are finding trout willing to take topwater lures at first light, and then as the day progresses, Gulp and Vudu shrimp have been the ticket.

Redfish have moved in to shallow creeks, and they are ready to eat a Gulp shrimp or live finger mullet hooked on a Carolina rig.

Nearshore, anglers are trolling Clarkspoons on planers just off the beach in the 1-3 mile range and hooking a fair number of spanish.

Moving out to the 10 mile range, kings have been caught, but they are scattered. When anglers are able to make it out, live pogies seem to be the ticket for the kings.

In the 40+ mile range, mahi are feeding but sparse. Trolling rigged ballyhoo with a blue and white or pink and white skirt should give anglers the best chance of drawing a bite.


Jacob, of J&J Charters, reports that redfish and black drum have been feeding well. In the morning, both species are holding in 2-4′ of water around docks and oyster beds in the waterway. As the sun comes up and the water temperature rises, anglers are finding them moving to deeper holes in the 8-10′ range.

Speckled trout have been feeding well at first light, and anglers are throwing a variety of topwater lures to tempt them to eat. Live pogies (when you can find them) have also worked well on the trout. Flounder have been mixed in with the other species, and more keeper-size fish are showing. Anglers are finding that finger mullet tends to work best on the flatfish.


Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that keeper flounder have begun to move in to their usual summer spots. Anglers are landing most fish on live finger mullet or peanut pogies on a Carolina rig.

Nearshore, the spanish are still feeding well, but anglers are finding them in deeper water than in previous weeks. The key to boating good numbers of spanish is to troll pink and green Clarkspoons near clean water around the inlets.

Out to the 8-20 mile range, anglers are hooking solid numbers of kings, but most have been on the smaller side. Cobia have been in the same areas, and most fish have been in the 40+ lb. range.

Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that inshore the redfish (25-28” range) have been feeding on live pogies. Anglers have had the most success fishing Carolina rigs on the bottom in area creeks.

Flounder have been feeding in the area creeks, too, and are also willing to take a live pogey hooked on a Carolina rig.

Offshore in the 40 mile range, anglers are connecting with mahi and kings while light lining live pogies. Bottom fishing in that same range has been filling the coolers with grouper, including scamps that have surpassed the 20 lb. mark.


Brayden Brennick with two flounder caught while fishing in the Southport area with his cousin Charlie Miller.

Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that the nearshore spanish bite has been consistent. Closer to the beach, the size of spanish range from 12-18”, while out to the 3-5 mile range the size has been more in the 18-22” range.

The shark action is also heating up right off the beach. While drift fishing with cut bait on the bottom, anglers are hooking blacktip, spinner, blacknose, and bull sharks.

The cobia bite has been hit or miss, depending on the water clarity. On days when the water clears up, anglers are having success targeting the nearshore reefs and bait balls while pitching live pogies and bucktails.

Offshore in the 15 mile range, the kings are scattered. Most kings caught have been in the 5-15 lb. range.

In the 35-40 mile range, skirted ballyhoo in blue and white has been the ticket to get the mahi to bite. When dropping to the bottom in the 40 mile range, anglers are hooking up with grouper, black sea bass, beeliners, triggerfish, and grunts. Cut squid and cigar minnows have been working best on the bottom fish.


Dave, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that there have been multiple citation pompano caught on fresh shrimp. A 5+ lb. trout fell for fresh shrimp on the bottom, too. Blues and spanish have been mixed together and hitting Gotcha plugs when the water is clear.

Anglers fishing the end of the pier casting Gotcha plugs have also connected with small kings.

Shark fishing has picked up for anglers fishing cut bait on the bottom.