Coastal fishing report from Southport, N.C.

Redfish of all sizes are biting aggressively in backwaters out of Southport, N.C.

Fish are beginning their fall feeding habits

Like everyone else, Capt. Chris Foster of Yeah Right Charters in Southport was happy to bid farewell to Hurricane Dorian. And he said the fish are showing some really strong signs of beginning their fall feeding frenzy. Right now, he said catching fish is as simple as going where the baitfish go.

“Follow the bait and you are sure to have a pull soon on the end of your line,” he said.

Plenty of red drum are biting in the backwaters. Foster suggests using cut mullet minnows and artificial lures along the grass lines, especially ones with drop-offs that create eddies from the tidal currents.

The speckled trout are playing right along too.

“We are catching some really nice speckled trout in these water. A Betts Halo Shad is still our bait of choice right now. We are getting many of our hits by bouncing them along the bottom in these areas,” he said.

Flounder are still plentiful too, including some photo-worthy fish. Foster reminds anglers that photos will have to do for now. Keeping them are off limits thanks to the recent closure. He said they are certainly still fun to catch!

Mackerel on the menu

The mackerel fishing is also heating up, and that goes for Spanish and kings. And they are biting in various areas, including just beyond the surf and out farther.

“The large Spanish mackerel have had a showing on the beaches. Trolling #0 Clarkspoons behind a No. 2 planer with a 25-foot-long Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon leader will have them in the fish box in short order,” he said.

Live bait is also working well for the Spanish. And it is offering anglers a shot at some large kings as well.

Every flounder caught in North Carolina waters must be released, but they are still biting and fun to catch.

“Trolling live pogies around the nearshore reefs will give anglers a shot at citation-sized Spanish mackerel. These same baits are attracting the larger king mackerel that have neared the beaches for their fall feeding pattern,” he said.

When the weather permits, offshore anglers are getting into some nice kingfish and quality snapper off the bottom. Wahoo are also around, though not in large numbers yet.

“The wahoo are starting to show up in the Gulf Stream. They are scattered, but the ones being caught seem to be quality fish,” said Foster (828-545-2316).

With all that’s going on along North Carolina’s coast, it’s a great time to be on the water.

“The fish are biting, winter is approaching. It’s time to go fishing!” he said.

Click here to see the latest fishing report out of the Nags Head area.

About Brian Cope 2784 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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