Gary Hurley

Wrightsville Beach April 2006

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Tex, at Tex’s Tackle, reports speckled trout, red drum, bluefish, and occasionally some flounder being caught recently. Mirrolures, grubs and Berkley Gulp baits have been producing the best.
Some gray trout are on the inshore rocks and reefs getting hooked on jigs. And sea mullet are picking up in the surf and inlets.
Nearshore, sea bass are in the 20 to 35 mile range, with a few being caught as close as 5 miles. Grouper are in the 20 to 40 mile range, with some undersized fish a little closer. Kings are out about 30 miles or so and near the Tower in anything above 68 degree water.
In the gulf stream, yellowfin and blackfin tuna are sporadically being caught. Wahoo are biting as well, some in the 60 to 70 lb. range. The Steeples and 260 areas have been producing well when the water temps are good.
Capt. Jim, at Plan 9 Charters, reports that sea bass is the main action off the beach. Hit the areas 5-10 miles off, and you can expect fish in the 12-14” range. No bonitos yet, but you can find a few porgies and pinfish.
Bluefish have been running along the beaches. The sizes are anywhere from 12” up to 2 pounds.
In the 30-35 mile range, there are plenty of grouper. The sea bass are also around, as well as kings in the 10 pound class.
Most of the gulf stream action has been to the north, such as at Swansboro Hole.
Capt. Jot, at Fortune Hunter Charters, reports that inshore the main bite has been specks. He’s been finding them around Wrightsville Beach, in Masonboro Inlet, and the surrounding creeks. The average size is 1-3 pounds, and they’re hitting twitch baits or Berkley Gulp on jigs.
Nearshore, the Liberty Ship and 5 Mile Boxcars are producing sea bass, ring tails, and some tautogs. The blues are also in the mix. For blues you can troll with Clark spoons or jig the bottom with metal spoons.
Matt, at Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports a few fish beginning to show in the surf. The water temperature is finally getting to 60 degrees. Virginia mullet, as well as a few spots, are biting cut shrimp.
A few early bluefish have begun to arrive as well. They will eat cut bait, and as the water warms they should start hitting plugs as they get more aggressive.