Southport Fishing Forecast March 2015

March means the days are getting longer, the sun will be stronger now and the water will be warming more as the days progress more into the spring season and Mother Nature has pre-programmed its creatures that it is time to start getting more active now. Let’s start off on the inside with Speckled Trout. March will find these fish moving from the back of the creeks to the mouths where they will feed in the ICW and other creeks and rivers in the Southport/Oak Island, NC area. Also, the Red Drum and Flounder will be doing likewise. They will be getting warmer and more active now on nearly a daily basis, so just work your favorite areas like oyster beds and points with your favorite trout lure’s like MirrOLures, D.O.A., Berkley Gulp!, Billy Bay Halo shrimp and give them a good coat of Pro Cure Inshore Saltwater Super Gel and you will have a combo that should mean success!!

March will also find the whiting (Virginia Mullet) bite to be on the rise. The freshest shrimp available here is a bait of choice rigged up on a double drop rig on a #2 hook and 3 oz. weight fished on the “Pig Fish” grounds in the mouth of the Cape Fear should bring some of these very tasty pan fish home for dinner.

March is usually when we have the run of the Spiny Dog Sharks off the beach of Southport/Oak Island, NC. These are great fish to introduce kid’s to fishing/catching. Just be aware of the spines on the base of the top fins, they are very sharp and these sharks know how to bend and manipulate as to get one impaled into you, so be very careful handling them and you will have a blast catching these fish. And believe it or not, they are very delicious when filleted out and grilled!! Only drawback to these fish is that if you are fishing for something else and they find you, you will have to just pick up and leave the area because they will not leave you once you are found. March is also a good time to catch some nice Blue Fish that will be making their way to the beaches now as well.

March should find the King Mackerel moving closer to areas like the Frying Pan Tower area and Horseshoe Areas. Frozen cigar minnows rigged on Pirate plugs will get the job done just fine this time of year. Bottom fishing will be wide open as it always is here in our area of the coast. Double drop rigs baited with squid on double drop rigs with a Mustad 39960D circle hook and 16 oz weight is all you need to catch limits of Black Bass, Snappers, and all the other bottom species we have offshore. Often this time of year fishermen will make the trip to the Tower and catch King Mackerel then before heading back will get a box full of great tasting bottom fish to round out the day’s trip!!

Grouper season is usually still closed in March, but when this fishery opens up, take the time to catch live bait by jigging it up with sibiki rigs before you head to your grouper spots. Grouper fishing and bottom fishing are different and to target each one seperately and have maximum success takes two entirely different approaches!!

March in the Gulf Stream will be mostly Wahoo and Black Fin Tuna but I don’t see that as a problem. Just get a good weather window and I’ll run to the stream any day for Wahoo and Black Fin Tuna. My favorite lures for the stream is Ballyhoo rigged on Laceration Lure hair lures. The fish love ’em and for high speed trolling we make our own rigs with 2 oz egg sinkers and Blue Water Candy Lure’s Jag 3’s rigged on cable. I plan on having a you tube video out soon on how to make these high speed lures that we catch fish on while running to the stream and covering ground looking for the fish when we get there. I will announce it on our fishing reports page on our web site when it is posted!!
Just be sure to check the latest regulations and proclamations at the NCDMF website so as not to have any surprises when you get checked by fisheries officials. Have a great and safe spring catching fish and Thanks for taking the time to read my forecast and for supporting the Coastal Angler Magazine. God Bless You All!!!

Fish On!!!!

Capt. Butch Foster