Southport/Oak Island – Aug 16, 2018
John, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are doing fairly well with flounder both inshore and nearshore. Live minnows and Gulp-tipped bucktails are working equally well. Most of the flounder have been between 17-18”.
A few slot-sized reds and some nice black drum have been found here and there in the inshore waters.
Off the beach, the spanish bite has picked back up, especially with the presence of pogies in the area.
Tim, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that a lot of nice flounder have been caught on the Southport waterfront and in the area creeks over the past few weeks. Mullet, peanut pogies, and Gulp Swimming Mullet are producing the most bites. Some anglers have been using high-low rigs with a Berkley Nemesis rigged high and a Gulp new penny shrimp rigged low.
A few tripletail have also been caught inshore, with cut or live bait both working, as well as Vudu Shrimp hung under a bobber.
Both black and red drum have been hitting the same baits used to target flounder, and topwater fishing has been productive for trout.
There hasn’t been as much action on the nearshore reefs, as the inshore bite has been too good to justify leaving the inlets.
A little further out, though, some 30 lb. kings have been pulled in. Mostly, the weather has been a little too rough to cover any real distance off the beach.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that spanish mackerel and bluefish are feeding on glass minnows on top of the shoals and, surprisingly, in the dirty water along the beach between the mouth of the Cape Fear and Lockwood Folly Inlet. Water in the 15-30’ depths seems to be the sweet spot, with green, red, silver, and gold spoons all producing bites. Tide lines are holding better fish, and in the green water they seem to be feeding deeper.
There are still some nice spanish and mid-teen kings working the nearshore structure around the river channel. Live bait or cigar minnows will draw strikes, and make sure to focus your efforts on the cleaner, greener water to increase your chances. Bright orange and green Blue Water Candy shovels have been the ticket on the minnows.
Offshore, the king mackerel and mahi are feeding in the same areas, from 15 miles off the beach out to the Tower.
Luke, of Spot On Charters, reports that it’s still a little hard to get too far north in the Cape Fear River due to difficulties in keeping bait alive, but everything to the south has been great. It hasn’t been hard to find a dozen reds and a dozen flounder in a given day, with almost all of the reds being upper to over-slot and the flatties staying above the 20” mark. Carolina-rigged pogies and mullet have been getting the job done, while calm waters have been making topwater fishing easy for the reds in the morning. A few speckled trout have been mixed in with the topwater reds.
Flounder have been aggressive and easy to find on the nearshore wrecks, with 50 fish days not out of the realm of possibility. Very few of these fish have been undersized, and while some have been as big as 5 lbs., most of them are averaging in the 2-3 lb. range. Pogies and mullets will both work on a Carolina rig, but mullet are preferable, as they’re a heartier bait.
Robert, of Reelin’ Pelican Fishing Charters, reports that inshore fishing can be productive for flounder, black drum, and redfish, depending on the tide stage that you’re fishing. The drum have been a little more active at low tide, where they will attack fresh cut shrimp or finger mullet and can mostly be found in deeper holes. The black drum have predominantly been in the 16-20” range, though there have been a couple of throwbacks, and the red drum are averaging about 24”.
While there have been less flounder biting in recent weeks, the fish have been bigger, with most of them sitting in the 16-22” range. The flounder are going for bucktails and finger mullet at higher tide stages, and they can often be found up against the banks.
Nearshore fishing has been all about kings. Most of the kings have been in the 6-15 lb. class, but in another month or so, the big ones should start to show up. The 20-30 mile range has been the best area to search, but since the water is warm just about everywhere, the fish have been spread out. Finding clean water and bait should find the fish.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that spanish up to about 20” are being caught near the river channel on spoons, and you can also find the spanish scattered up and down the beach. Shark fishing has slowed, but it should pick back up soon.
The nearshore reefs are holding 15-20” flounder, and there have been some really big (up to 6 or 7 lb.) spanish mixed in with them. Live bait is the key to getting a bite.
Kings have been in depths of 50-80’. With all of the brown water closer to shore, they’ve pushed off the beach a little more than usual for this time of year, but they’re in good numbers once you get out and find them.
Offshore, you can find more kings in the 30-40 mile range.
Bottom fishing has been difficult, presumably due to the new moon, because even if your electronics are showing fish, they’ve been unwilling to bite. Once the moon phase changes, things should pick back up.
Steve, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that fishing has been pretty slow due to a lot of river water muddying up the ocean around the pier, but when it clears, fishing should improve. There has been a decent 2-3 lb. spanish bite and a few 18-20” flounder being caught on shrimp and menhaden.