Wrightsville Beach – November 17, 2016
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that speckled trout fishing remains excellent. Good reports continue to come from creeks and marshes near the inlets, with decent fishing around waterway bridges and docks. Recently more fish are starting to be caught from the creeks on the mainland side of the waterway.
The fish have been responding well to topwater baits, Trout Tricks, grubs, amd suspending hard baits like MirrOlures and Rapala X-Raps.
Red and black drum are being steadily caught in the creeks. Most anglers are fishing around docks or oyster bars with shrimp or mud minnows. Soft plastics and Gulps fished on a jighead can be effective for these fish as well.
The surf zone is producing a variety of fish. Bluefish, red drum, flounder, and trout are all being caught on Carolina rigs and fish finder rigs with live or cut bait.
Anglers fishing bloodworms, shrimp, and sand fleas are reporting some pompano, sea mullet, croaker, and black drum. Fishing large cut bait, especially at night, will produce sharks and the occasional large red drum. More anglers are starting to catch spots in the waterway, with schools of fish periodically coming within range for surf anglers.
Bluefish are around in good sizes and numbers, as smaller fish typically move in towards the end of November. A few false albacore are still being caught off the beach. The best fishing has been 5 miles off and further.
Anglers fishing near the inlets and on the bottom around nearshore reefs are still seeing good numbers of big bull redfish, as well as plenty of gray trout and some flounder.
King mackerel fishing has been great 8-12 miles off the beach, with a very strong beach bite earlier in the week as well. Most of the fish offshore are 15-30 lbs., with a few 40+ lb. fish in the mix.
The gag grouper fishing has been strong at bottom structure starting at around 65′ of water out to 90′. Along with the gags, anglers are also seeing decent numbers of black sea bass and grunts in the same depth.
Gulf Stream boaters are reporting decent wahoo fishing. Blackfin tuna are being caught, and a few sailfish are being reported.
Anglers dropping to the bottom have had good catches of beeliners, triggerfish, pink snapper, and scamp and red grouper.
Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that red drum are being caught best in creeks near inlets, mostly on live and cut mullet, though jigheads and soft plastics are working, too.
Trout fishing has continued to be strong, although most fish have moved from the inland side creeks to the stretches on the ocean side of the waterway. When the tide is slow, live shrimp or Vudu shrimp under a popping cork has been very effective.
More trout are also being reported from the jetty, and a few bull red drum are still being caught from the end of the jetty on cut mullet on the bottom.
Surf anglers are reporting solid catches of bluefish and red drum on cut bait, and sand fleas and shrimp are accounting for good catches of sea mullet and black drum. The best sea mullet fishing has been at night on the higher tide.
Nearshore anglers have been catching false albacore on casting jigs as well as on fly gear. Most of the fish have been feeding on glass minnows from 1/2-2 miles off the beach in front of Wrightsville and Masonboro.
King mackerel fishing has been red hot, with the majority of the bite from 7-10 miles offshore. As the water cools, look for these fish to move offshore with the 68-70 degree water temps.
Gag grouper and seabass have been biting well in the 20 mile range.
Trevor, of ProFishNC, reports that big seabass and gag grouper have moved in closer to shore, and king mackerel fishing has been productive in the 3-10 mile range.
Inshore, the trout fishing continues to provide steady action, but the average size of the fish is beginning to get smaller with the cooler water temperatures. Black drum are holding around waterway docks and falling for fresh cut shrimp.
The jetty is producing trout, a few large red drum, and lots of rays.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that speckled trout are biting well. The sizes of fish have been mixed as of late, and the fish are taking a variety of hard and soft baits.
Red drum are holding around inlets and docks, and a few black drum are in the same areas.
When the weather permits, there are large schools of red drum to target along the beach fronts. It takes calm conditions to spot the fish and safely target them, though.
Lynn, of Shearwater Charters, reports that king mackerel fishing has been good in the 10-12 mile range. The fish are biting both live and dead bait.
Warren, of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, reports that bluefish are being caught in great numbers. Sea mullet are biting cut shrimp, and the best fishing has been at night.
Big red drum have been landed in the evenings on fish finder rigs with cut bait. False albacore have been pushing past the pier at times, but the fishing for them has been sporadic.
Speckled trout are being caught consistently early in the morning before the sun rises. The fish have been of quality size (in the 2.5-3 lb. range), and Gulp shrimp in new penny on 3/8 oz. jigheads has worked the best.