Southport fishing action after Hurricane Dorian

Plenty of slot redfish are biting around Southport, along with speckled trout.

Inshore, nearshore, and offshore anglers finding plenty of action

With North Carolina’s flounder season now closed, Captains Butch Foster and Chris Foster of Yeah Right Charters said anglers can still find plenty of hungry fish in the backwaters around the Southport/Bald Head Island areas.

Before the flounder ban, many inshore anglers were accustomed to fishing for the inshore slam of redfish, flounder, and speckled trout. Now they have to drop the flounder tactics. But they can still continue catching plenty of redfish and specks. And that will get even better as the water begins to cool off with the end of summer.

“As we continue into the month of September and going forward, anglers should not have a problem locating hungry fish that are willing to put up a great fight, and that also provide great table fare,” said Foster.

Plenty of bull redfish are around, but anglers looking for some keepers are also having their share of luck.

“We are finding several slot-sized red drum on our trips right now. They are moving into their feeding zones with the tides. Persistence in areas that you know hold these fish is key. A Green Tiger Betts Halo Shad tipped with Pro-Cure Mullet scent will entice a bite from these drum. Anglers casting these in eddies behind oyster beds as the tide falls will catch their share,” he said.

When fishing for red drum, don’t be surprised if a speckled trout bites

As a bonus, this same lure works on speckled trout, and in the same locations.

“Quality speckled trout also like these same locations. So you are targeting both with this technique while casting artificial baits,” said Foster.

He said the king mackerel bite was hot on the nearshore reefs, just off the beaches, and in the old river channel before Hurricane Dorian hit. The storm stirred up the water pretty good. But Foster expects they are still willing to bite, even if they aren’t in the same locations.

Speckled trout live in the same inshore haunts as redfish, and will bite the same lures.

“The king mackerel might have moved back offshore a few miles. But if you can find the accumulations of bait along with structure, you’ll most likely find some hungry kingfish as well. Slow trolling live pogies on live bait rigs is the go-to technique,” he said.

Further offshore, anglers are catching grouper and snapper.

“In the 80 to 120 foot range, the grouper and various snappers are feeding. Squid fished on a two-hook bottom rig will quickly fill the cooler with vermilion and gray snapper. Cigar minnows fished on the bottom will add nice scamp and gag grouper to your take,” Foster said.

Redfish in a variety of sizes are biting in the inshore waters around Southport.

And even that far out, Foster said anglers should always be prepared to run across some king mackerel.

“Be sure to have a light line out as well while anchored up on your bottom fishing structure to entice a bite from a roaming king mackerel,” he said.

Click here to read about Capt. Butch Foster’s freshwater fishing tips for White Lake.

About Brian Cope 2783 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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