Gary Hurley

Wrightsville Beach July 25, 2013

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Capt. Jamie Rushing, of Seagate Charters, with a healthy summer speckled trout that struck a topwater plug near Wrightsville Beach.

Ryan, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that the spanish mackerel bite is improving again at Wrightsville, and boats are catching good numbers while trolling Clarkspoons and other flashy lures within a few miles of the beachfront.

King mackerel are feeding from the 10 mile range on offshore, with a solid bite around 23 Mile Rock last week. Live baits, dead cigar minnows, and ballyhoo will fool the kings.

Decent numbers of dolphin are also feeding around 23 Mile Rock, and anglers have also seen some sailfish scattered from there on out to the Gulf Stream. Live and dead baits will attract attention from the dolphin and sails.

Bottom fishermen are reporting action with gag grouper around bottom structure from 10 miles on offshore, with reds and scamps out 30 + miles. Plenty of black sea bass are in the same areas. Live, cut, and dead baits will all attract attention from the grouper, with smaller cut baits and squid hard for the bass to turn down.

Surf casters are connecting with some sea mullet, croaker, and small bluefish at Wrightsville on shrimp and cut baits. A few puppy drum are mixed in. Some ladyfish are also around the surf and biting a variety of baits and lures.

Inshore, the sheepshead bite remains hot around docks, bridges, and other structure. Fiddler crabs fished close to the pilings will tempt bites from the sheeps.

Anglers are finding flounder in the inlets, the marshes, and around docks inshore. Areas with current are producing the best fishing. Live baits and Gulps are top choices for the flatfish.

Red drum are feeding in many of the same areas, and some black drum are mixed in around the docks. The reds will fall for the same baits as the flatfish, with shrimp a better bet for the black drum.

Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that anglers are still catching big numbers of flounder around Wrightsville Beach, with good fishing in the inlets and creeks right now. Most are falling for live finger mullet and mud minnows, but anglers are also hooking good numbers on Gulp baits pinned to jigheads.

Brayden Stoudt and Will Newton with a red drum that struck a live bait on a bucktail in Masonboro Inlet. They were fishing with Capt. Andre Nel of Feel Good Fishing Charters.

There has been a decent red drum bite in the creeks, and reds are also feeding around docks in the ICW and behind the barrier islands. Live baits and Gulps are tough for the reds to turn down.

Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that the summertime speckled trout bite continues, with anglers hooking the fish near the inlets in the early morning hours on topwater plugs and soft plastic baits.

Flounder are feeding around the inlets as well, and they’re taking an interest in Gulp baits and live mud minnows and finger mullet.

The flatfish bite is also turning on around nearshore structure like the Liberty Ship. Live baits on heavier Carolina rigs are fooling the flatfish in the ocean.

Blacktips and other sizeable sharks are looking for meals behind shrimp boats within a few miles of the beaches, and they are quick to pounce on cut and dead baits.

Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that there was an excellent spanish mackerel bite off Wrightsville Beach last week, and the fish were feeding close to the beach in around 20’ of water. Trolled Clarkspoons are tough for the spanish mackerel to resist.

Gray trout and black sea bass are feeding at structure within a few miles of the beaches. Both will take an interest in cut baits on bottom rigs or small vertical jigs worked along the bottom.

Steve, of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, reports that anglers are catching some flounder and solid red drum from the pier on live baits and Gulps.

Sheepshead are feeding along the pilings and biting sand fleas.

Bottom fishermen are connecting with some spot on shrimp and bloodworms.

Live-baiters fishing from the end of the pier have hooked several barracuda recently.

The water is 76 degrees.