Southport/Oak Island – June 20, 2019
Angie, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers are mostly catching whiting and croaker, with the majority of bites for both coming on fresh shrimp.
The piers are seeing whiting, blues, and pompano, as well as red and black drum. For the drum, try soaking cut bait or live finger mullet.
There’s also been some speckled trout action from the piers. The specks have been small, and live shrimp has been out-producing any other method for targeting the trout.
Inside, the boats are doing well with flounder and red drum. The action has been steady for both species on live bait and artificial baits (especially topwaters for the reds).
Bottom anglers have been catching black sea bass, red and vermilion snapper, and grunts.
Tim, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that the inshore flounder bite has been steadily improving these past couple of weeks. More anglers are catching both more fish and bigger fish, including some citations. The flounder have been hitting a variety of baits, including peanut pogies, dead finger mullet, and Gulp soft plastics.
Off the beach at the nearshore reefs, the flounder have been biting mostly bucktails.
The red drum action has been steady, with fish located up in the creeks, around marsh areas, and holding on docks. They’re hitting the same baits as the flounder. The topwater bite for reds is good in the early mornings on Heddon Super Spook Jrs. and MirrOlure Top Dogs. Occasionally, a trout can also be caught in the early morning on a topwater plug.
Black drum are staging in the same spots as the red drum, but they prefer shrimp.
In the surf, the main two species have been pompano and whiting. The whiting are running a little small, but the pompano have been a better class of fish (2-3 lbs.). For bait, go with Fishbites or sand fleas.
At Lighthouse Rock, there have been kings and cobia landed.
The bottom fishing bite has been good for grouper in 90-150’ of water. The other assorted bottom fish—such as sea bass, grunts, porgies, and beeliners—have been steady.
Robert, of Reelin’ Pelican Fishing Charters, reports that the red drum, black drum, sheepshead, speckled trout, and flounder bite is hot in the creeks. Fishing live shrimp, pogies, or mud minnows at low or falling tide while working along the banks are the best ways to bring fish to the boat.
Flounder, spanish, and kings are all steady in the ocean around nearshore ARs. Keeper flounder have been chewing fresh shrimp on a Carolina rig, and the mackerel have been responding to spoons and baits on a light line.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that finding bait along the beach has been challenging at times over the last week or so, but when you find it, spanish, bluefish, and some huge sharks are going to be close by. Trolling spoons or light lining around bait will draw strikes.
King mackerel are feeding alongside some larger spanish mackerel around 10-12 miles off the beach. Larger Clarkspoons, stick baits, and cigar minnows on pink or blue skirts have been producing limits of fish.
Shark fishing east of the river channel has been good in 35-40’ of water. The sharks are full grown, so break out the big sticks and heavy leader.
Inshore, the bite has been good around tide changes (either direction). Shrimp, pogies, mud minnows, and pearl-colored soft plastic swimming mullet should all get the job done on the red drum, black drum, and flounder now feeding in the creeks.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that more keeper flounder are showing up inshore, along with mid-slot reds. There are still some trout in the mix as well, but the trout are harder to find. Live minnows or shrimp are the best bait options for finding the flounder and reds.
Spanish mackerel are plentiful right off the beach, and trolling spoons behind a #1 planer will produce. The king mackerel are from near the beach to 10 miles out, with cobia also showing up occasionally.
Offshore bottom fishing is on fire, including African pompano, and mahi are starting to make their way inshore.
Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that flounder fishing is picking up in the backwater creeks and the Cape Fear River, and red and black drum are also biting. Pogies or any live bait on a Carolina rig has worked well for the flatties and reds, while the black drum still prefer shrimp.
Spanish are close to the shore and can be easily fooled by a trolled Clarkspoon.
King mackerel are in the 45-65’ range, and frozen cigar minnows have been the bait of choice.
Further off, mahi are still around, if you can find a weed line.
On the bottom, scamp and gag grouper are biting in 120’ of water. Cigar minnows are bringing the majority of the fish to the boat.
Lynn, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that whiting, croakers, bluefish, trout, pompano, and flounder have all been pulled in. Live shrimp has been the top producer.