Southport/Oak Island – May 9, 2019
Angie, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that the whiting action is strong. Fresh shrimp remains the top bait for these fish, but Fishbites and bloodworms have been producing as well.
Spanish mackerel are hot off the piers, and Gotcha plugs are working best.
Chopper bluefish are falling for cut bait and shrimp in the surf and off the piers.
Redfish are in the creeks now, and fresh shrimp or mud minnows on a Carolina rig will be the best option. Artificial swim baits like Vudu shrimp will work well, too.
The black drum bite is steady. The majority are still undersized, but there are larger drum being brought in on fresh shrimp on Carolina rigs near docks (on a falling tide).
King mackerel are showing up nearshore, with a few already landed off the piers. Larger kings have been caught anywhere from 5-35 miles.
Smaller flounder are being hooked, but more keepers are starting to show. Vudu soft plastics, bucktails, or curlytails are all great options for flatties, as well as fresh shrimp.
Offshore, large black sea bass are being caught on wrecks and structure. Dropping down squid and shrimp are sure to bring the bass in the boat.
At the Gulf Stream, anglers have been finding dolphin, yellowfin and blackfin tuna, and still a few wahoo. The mahi have been moving in with the floating grass.
Robert, of Reelin’ Pelican Fishing Charters, reports that inshore action from red drum, black drum, and flounder is heating up. Pogies and mullet are readily available now for bait, and their presence is also bringing in the fish.
Beachfront king and spanish mackerel are here, and cobia are starting to make an appearance. There’s still some bonito around as well.
Offshore, mahi are biting in the Gulf Stream. Wahoo are still around, too, but they’re in low numbers.
Bottom fishing for grouper has been red hot.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that inshore water temps topped 70 degrees, and bait is getting more plentiful by the day. Live shrimp continues to be the favorite among keeper red and black drum.
Nearshore spanish and king mackerel are feeding on the beach alongside large bluefish. Live baits, cigar minnows, and just about anything shiny in your tackle box will generate hook-ups from these three species.
If you are targeting spanish, Clarkspoons in silver, red, or green, and then matched to the size of the bait that the fish are feeding on, is important. There are a lot of bluefish in the area right now, so your speed over structure and around bait will determine which fish you are going to be bringing to the rail.
Offshore, the bottom bite has been very good. Since grouper season opened May 1, the action is only going to heat up.
Black sea bass, snapper, and triggers are feeding over structure and ledges in the 80’+ range.
Trolling in the 120’+ of water is getting better by the day. Mahi are finally moving in from the south to join the remaining wahoo and blackfin tuna that are feeding in the Stream.
Kings are spread out from the Tower to the beach and are holding over rocks and wrecks. The majority of these fish are schoolies, but there are some nicer fish mixed in with them.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that big spanish mackerel are being caught near the beach. Casting spoons are doing well for these fish, as have trolling cigar minnows. Near the shoals, there are big bluefish mixed with bonito and an occasional king.
Cobia are already coming in hot, and that action is expected to continue to get better.
Scamp and gag grouper are chewing. Dropping down squid and cigar minnows is fooling both.
Big black sea bass are biting in bottom areas around the 30 mile range.
Around the Gulf Stream, the mahi have arrived, with plenty of blackfins, some yellowfins, and still a few wahoo.
Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that backwater flounder are showing up in good numbers. Smaller flounder are plentiful, but keepers are starting to come in. Fresh shrimp or pogies is the best option.
Black and red drum have been consistently falling for live bait in the creeks. There are still a few trout around, but they are now harder to find. Live bait will bring in the larger of both.
Spanish mackerel are biting just off the beach, and trolling Clarkspoons has been the top producer.
King mackerel (and cobia) have also started to show near the beach. Frozen cigar minnows or live pogies will be the ticket for the kings.
The grouper bite is as good as it can get, as they are biting almost anything you put down on the bottom. Snappers and triggerfish have been mixed in. Most of the bottom fish can best be targeted with cigar minnows.
Mahi have shown up in good numbers at the Gulf Stream. Ballyhoo is the bait of choice to bring them to the boat.
Lynn, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that several nice king mackerel have been landed recently.
There have also been good numbers of bluefish and spanish mackerel caught, and they are biting best on Gotcha plugs. The spanish have been typically 19-22”.
Flounder have been landed from the planks, with more keepers coming in. Live bait works best.
Citation-sized pompano have been popping up occasionally, and the whiting bite is hot.