Southport – June 7, 2018
Annette, of Dutchman Bait and Tackle, reports that red drum can be found just about anywhere inshore, and they are biting both live and artificial (especially topwater) baits. Some flounder have been caught, but even the keepers have been a little skinny. Speckled trout have been found sporadically, but there aren’t any really hot holes yet.
A few spots have been caught on bloodworms by surf anglers, and a 45 lb. cobia was landed off the pier.
Spanish have been biting just off the beach.
Bad weather conditions have made offshore fishing difficult, but anglers have still been finding a lot of mahi and a few wahoo.
Bottom anglers have been limiting out on black sea bass and finding a couple of red and vermilion snapper here and there.
Tim, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that black and red drum are biting just about everywhere and that plenty of big flounder are coming in as well. The average size for the flatties has been between 5-7 lbs., but fish as big as 12 lbs. have been found. Mud minnows, in addition to bucktail jigs and Gulps, have been working for the flounder (and the reds).
Speckled trout season opens soon, and fish close to 5 lbs. are starting to show up. They’re taking interest in mud minnows, too.
Surf fishing has been slow, with a few pompano and whiting being the only catches of note.
Spanish mackerel (6-7 lbs.) are being caught right off the beach, where a 0 or 00 Clarkspoon will do the most damage. A few cobia and kings have come from just off the beach as well.
Schoolie kings have been reeled in near the Shark Hole, where pogies or Drone spoons are top choice baits. A few dolphin have been caught offshore as well.
On the bottom, the grouper bite is decent. Pinfish, squid, and cigar minnows are all great at grabbing their attention, and you may also find a trigger or beeliner.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that spanish mackerel are feeding right along the beach in about 30’ of water. Working the inlets on the falling tide has been producing some nice fish in good numbers even in the dirty water produced by the last couple weeks of rain.
Cobia, kings, and bluefish are all falling for live baits slow trolled around structure from just off the beach out to 10 miles.
Offshore water temperatures are warming. Mahi are now starting to work inshore of the Stream, while the wahoo and blackfin tuna bite continues to be strong along the ledges and breaks in 120’ of water.
The bottom bite has been steady with all the usual suspects feeding over structure and ledges southwest of the tower. Squid, cigar minnows, and a variety of live baits fished right on the bottom will get the job done.
Luke, of Spot On Charters, reports that while fishing has been slow overall due to the rain, the strong presence of red drum in the area hasn’t been affected. Reds are being caught in big numbers, and almost all of the fish are either mid to upper, or just over, slot-sized. Putting a pogie on a Carolina rig is the best way to fool the drum (and pogies are abundant in the river right now), but Vudu shrimp have been productive as well.
The flounder bite has been slow, with the fish being virtually non-existent in the Cape Fear and too small when found around nearshore wrecks.
There have been a few small trout here and there, but the bite is overall inconsistent.
Robert, of Reelin’ Pelican Fishing Charters, reports that red drum, flounder, and trout are running hot in the Southport area, with double-digit days between the three species being possible. The drum have been mid to upper-slot, while the flounder are around the 18-20” range. The river has been more productive than the creeks, and mud minnows have accounted for most of the fish, though pogies or mullet (if you can find them) are better for finding the big flounder.
Nearshore, sharks are just about everywhere. It’s hard to keep a line in the water without pulling one up, especially when fishing near the bait pods off the beach.
Offshore, slow trolling live pogies is producing on the kings, with fish as big as 50 lbs. coming in. A couple of cobia and plenty of bottom fish are also being caught.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that on the beach, finding clear water will usually find a citation spanish mackerel, especially if you’re trolling Clarkspoons. Big sharks are out in full force as well, especially in the river channel. Blacktips, spinners, and small blacknoses are all biting.
The dirty water has pushed the kings offshore a little further than usual, but they should be moving back in soon. As of now, they’re hanging in the 15-30 mile range, where trolling a dead cigar minnow should get a fish with no problem. There have been a few cobia mixed in with the kings.
Gaffer-sized mahi can be found between 30-35 miles. Trolling cigar minnows or Mackahoos will produce bites.
On the bottom, huge black sea bass, some nice beeliners, and a few grouper have all come in. Squid and cut bait are both excellent choices for getting the bottom feeders’ attention.
Sailfish have been spotted by the Blackjack. They’re moving in, so get ready.
Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that flounder fishing is picking up in backwater creeks and the Cape Fear River. Both red and black drum are also readily biting. Pogies on Carolina rigs have been working well for the flatties and reds, while the black drum prefer shrimp.
Spanish are thick off the beach and can be easily fooled by a trolled Clarkspoon.
Mahi are thick in the Gulf Stream.
On the bottom, scamp and gag grouper are both biting in 130’ of water. Cigar minnows are working well for bait.
Steve, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that bluefish and spanish are being caught on Gotcha plugs, and a few scattered spots have been pulled in as well.