In what continues to be a pleasantly surprising summer, the three species of the inshore grand slam are biting in the creeks and marshes around Southport.

Capt. Tommy Rickman of Southport Angler Outfitters said the fishing has been good since the spring and shows no signs of slowing. Rickman said flounder fishing was excellent, with some big flounder in the lower Cape Fear River and enough flounder for many fishermen to catch limits. The big news was a 10.10-pound doormat that Tim Lee of Fayetteville caught to win the monthly tournament at The Tackle Box.

"We've also got a really good redfish bite going on," said Rickman (866-395-FISH). "Our full moon was today (Aug. 2), and the big reds had been up in the grass for a week. It's been great; there are some reds in the grass at almost every high tide. If it gets any better, we'll be seeing them from the store. 


"If anyone wants to catch a red tailing in the grass, this is the time. They are moving up there on most high tides and they are aggressive. We watched one destroy a school of minnows just before dark the other night. On days when the tide is high late in the afternoon, they are always in there and sometimes are so noisy you hear them before you see them."


Rickman said there were also a surprising number of summer trout being caught. He said most of the trout were from just short to barely keepers, but there were a few really nice ones mixed in.


Rickman said the flounder and redfish are feeding pretty steady and will readily hit artificials. He said they like paddletails and jerkbaits fished slowly across the bottom and often go crazy over a Redfish Magic. He said the water in the river and creeks around Southport is often dirty and the flash and thump of the spinner help them locate the bait.


"While the reds and flounder will hit artificials, there is no bait like live shrimp," Rickman said. "The negative is that everything eats them, and you waste a bunch on bait thieves and such. The positive is that even the trout won't turn them down and that's really saying something as hot as the water is right now.

  Rickman likes to rig his shrimp under an adjustable depth Lowcountry Lightning rattling float from Betts Tackle. He said these floats do several things to help him catch trout and reds in the creeks around Southport. He said the first thing is they allow adjusting the depth of the bait under the float so he can fish them as shallow or deep as needed. The second thing is the brass beads on the brass tube that goes through the float make loud clicks when you work the float and he believes this calls trout and drum.