Southport/Oak Island – August, 2020
Angie, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout are being caught around local piers in the early mornings with live shrimp.
Inshore anglers are reporting hot water temperatures having fish sluggish, but good numbers of red drum are still being landed.
Sheepshead and black drum are holding around structure and pilings throughout the ICW. Fiddler crabs and live shrimp are getting the most strikes.
Nearshore anglers have been finding spanish mackerel everywhere along local beaches out to the otherside of the shoals.
Kings are being caught at the Lighthouse Rocks area with live and dead baits.
Mahi are scattered in the hot water temperatures, with some reporting fish as near as 12 miles. Keeping an eye out for good bluewater and floating debris can lead to hooking into a few fish.
Bottom fishing anglers are doing well while fishing structured areas around the Tower.
Mark, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that offshore anglers have been finding good numbers of king mackerel around structure and live bottoms. Slow-trolling with live baits or dead bait rigs with cigar minnows are both great tactics when searching for bites.
Spanish mackerel are being caught anywhere from just outside the breakers to the nearshore reefs. Trolling Clarkspoons behind planers is the best setup.
The creeks and marshes behind Bald Head Island are holding good numbers of red drum and black drum. Local anglers have been stocking up on Heddon topwater plugs for the redfish action, while black drum have been striking live shrimp.
A few speckled trout are holding in deeper holes throughout the inshore creeks. Live bait has been the best bet with the water temperatures having fish acting sluggish.
Anglers are really looking forward to flounder season opening up this year, as the bite has been hot around the Southport waterfront. Smaller bucktails rigged with Gulp soft plastics are a go-to setup for the area, and they help anglers quickly work along ledges and holes near docks. The flounder don’t seem to be hung up on any certain color, with white and pink both getting strikes.
Ryan, of Conjured Up, reports that the recent heat wave slowed the beachfront bite of king mackerel. These fish have temporarily pushed off into deeper water (along with some of the bait). Even the menhaden schools have been pushed down, with anglers finding bait more often with the sonar versus “flipping” baits on the surface.
Mahi are still holding in the area offshore of Frying Pan Tower. Finding a good grass line has been important in being able to fill the cooler.
Inshore, anglers are catching speckled trout in holes around the inlet while fishing live shrimp.
Redfish are also holding in some of these deeper holes off the ICW, and they’re hitting live mullet and menhaden.
There are plenty of flounder being caught and released on Carolina-rigged live baits in the inshore waters and nearshore wrecks.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that nearshore trips are limiting out on good-sized spanish mackerel while pulling spoons off the beach.
Large king mackerel and sharks are being caught by anglers slow-trolling live baits.
Inshore, the sheepshead fishing has been great, with fiddler crabs pulling some larger fish off barnacle-covered pilings.
Flounder fishing is shaping up to have a good season. Carolina-rigged live baits fished along deeper grass banks and docks have been getting plenty of action.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that nearshore fishing has been centered around the spanish and king mackerel bite. The recent heat has the spanish mackerel bite hit or miss, with trolling spoons being the preferred method.
King mackerel have better numbers closer to 15 miles versus along the beach. Slow-trolling live bait has been the most productive method in both areas.
Offshore, the bottom fishing bite has been great. Working ledges and structure in the 80’+ range is producing beeliners, black sea bass, triggerfish, grouper, and African pompano.
Lynn, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that anglers have been seeing a great variety of species being caught in recent days.
Bottom rigs with shrimp and sandfleas have been producing pompano and spadefish.
Sheepshead are picking off baits fished up against the pilings.
Spanish mackerel are hitting Gotcha plugs and casting jigs that imitate the glass minnows they feed on.
There has been a nice run of speckled trout hitting live shrimp and artificial shrimp (Vudu).
King mackerel fishing was a bit slow compared to recent weeks, mostly due to high water temperatures.
Teresa, of Oak Island Pier, reports that speckled trout are being caught early in the mornings with live shrimp.
Pompano are feeding on cut shrimp and sand fleas fished on the bottom.
Carolina-rigged cut baits are catching plenty of rod-bending sharks and rays.