Southport/Oak Island – Aug 30, 2018
Annette, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that a few flounder between 17-21” have been coming in, with Gulp-tipped bucktails, finger mullet, and shrimp accounting for most of the action.
Slot reds and keeper black drum are being caught with fresh shrimp.
Speckled trout have been sparse, with one or two fish coming in sporadically.
There have been a lot of sheepshead from the waterfront down to Lockwood Folly, but no monsters have been in the mix. Most have been small.
A few spots have been found swimming along the beach, as have some nice whiting. There are a lot of sharks and skates in the mix, too.
Offshore, near the tower, black bass are hugging the bottom, and 16-28 lb. king mackerel are being pulled in on the troll.
Tim, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that there has been a great red drum bite inshore, especially with over-slot fish. Plenty of reds over 30” have been attacking small peanut pogies.
Flounder fishing has been decent, and a few black drum have come in here and there. Sheepshead are still biting, though they have been small. There haven’t been a lot of trout in the area either, but the bite is picking up.
In the surf, lots of large whiting have been landed, and the catches have included several citation-sized fish.
Just off the beach, the spanish mackerel have been getting bigger, and tarpon have been seen patrolling as well.
Grouper and black sea bass are firing up on the offshore bottom.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that inshore flounder and redfish are biting in the creeks and in the Lockwood Folly River around docks.
There are plenty of big flounder biting on the nearshore reefs, with a few trout coming into the mix, too.
Spanish are feeding near bait pods along the beach, where smaller baits in green and red are working better in the murky water, which hasn’t seemed to affect the mackerel’s activity. The spanish are currently in shallower water than has been seen for most of the summer.
Kings are swimming between 15-20 miles. Cigar minnows pulled behind Pirate Plugs, or slow trolling live bait, will find the kings.
Luke, of Spot On Charters, reports that focusing on the area around Bald Head Island and the middle section of the Cape Fear has been productive, as the water is still just a little too fresh further upstream. Flounder and red drum have been the main targets, with finger mullet serving as the predominant bait simply because it’s been so easy to find.
Topwaters have also been producing redfish bites in the early morning when the wind cooperates, and while the wind has been consistent, it’s been consistently bad.
The flounder will be in the clearest water you can find, and toward the later parts of the day, the holes where you can find them will be limited.
Trout haven’t been a primary target, but anglers looking for them should key in on busting shrimp along the grass line. The bite will continue to improve as the water gets cooler. Large shrimp are being pulled in on cast net throws, so all the signs are there.
Big flounder and red drum can be found on the nearshore reefs when the wind isn’t howling.
Robert, of Reelin’ Pelican Fishing Charters, reports that the red drum bite has been hot on the falling tide and flounder are biting at high tide (especially during the first two hours of the rising tide and the last two of the falling). Finger mullet have been the bait of choice for both.
Flounder are still biting on the nearshore reefs, though not as many as expected due to the water still being a little bit dirty. Most of the flatties have been found out in deeper, cleaner water. Finger mullet are a better bait choice than pogies, which are getting chewed up by trash fish.
There have also been a bunch of big sharks swimming off the beach, with a 400 lb. bull being one of them.
Offshore fishing has been slow.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that fishing has been limited to nearshore areas due to the wind and weather. Spanish fishing has been consistent, and while the fish have been a little more spread out than usual, they have all been big. Spoons are the go-to lure.
Shark fishing is producing everything from spinners to hammerheads.
Steve, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that the water has finally started to clear up in the past few days, and the bite is turning back on because of it. Spanish and red drum have been the main targets so far.