Fish Post

Wrightsville Beach – April 27, 2017

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Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that there have been small and large groups of 9-15 lb. bluefish back in the creeks all the way out to the inlets. Topwater lures have been catching a lot of fish, and larger soft plastics and suspending hard baits (like the Catch 2000) are also working.

A few schools of red and black drum are still feeding around docks and deeper holes in the creeks. Fresh dead shrimp, cut mullet, or mud minnows are good choices for bait.

Some flounder are starting to be caught inshore. Gulp soft plastics and live bait are the best options for the flatfish. Speckled trout are still holding at a few locations, and topwater lures have been working early in the day or when it is overcast. Otherwise, Yo-Zuri or MirrOlure suspending lures and soft plastics rigged with a lightweight jighead are good options.

Surf anglers are reporting good catches sea mullet and black drum, mostly on shrimp and Fishbites (sand flea or shrimp flavor). The large and small bluefish have been biting cut bait and lures. Some small flounder and red drum have been reported as well.

The warmer water temperatures seem to have pushed most of the Atlantic bonito out of our area. Most reports lately have been of just a few scattered fish. The good news is that the warm water brought some king mackerel in to the beach, with good numbers of kings and false albacore being caught in the 3-10 mile range. Yo-Zuri Deep Divers and dronespoons have been catching a lot of the fish.

There are a few gray trout and flounder being caught at the nearshore wrecks, with good black sea bass fishing further out in the 10-30 mile range. Squid or albacore on a two-hook bottom rig is a safe bet.

Gulf Stream boaters are seeing good numbers of blackfin tuna and wahoo when conditions allow. Topwater poppers and jigs have accounted for a large number of the tuna and a few of the wahoo. The fish are also being caught while trolling ballyhoo and plugs.

There have only been a few mahi reported lately. Large numbers of these fish should be moving in to the break over the next few weeks. There were also reports of a few blue and white marlin hooked recently.

Anglers dropping to the bottom with bait or vertical jigs have been catching amberjack, pink snapper, beeliners, and triggerfish.


Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that lots of trout are still being caught in the creek, both on Trout Tricks and topwaters such as Super Spook Jr’s. Topwater red drum action has improved, and Rapala Skitterwalks fished around the shallower bays and flats have been best.

Chopper-sized bluefish (up to 15 lbs.) have been scattered everywhere, both inshore and along the beaches. Bonito have been caught around the Liberty Ship and other structures holding bait in the 1-5 mile range. Trolling #1 Clarkspoons and Yo-Zuri Deep Divers, along with casting diamond jigs, has been the most productive.

King mackerel fishing has been excellent in the 10-12 mile range, with several large false albacore mixed in. Slow trolling cigar minnows on dead bait rigs has worked well, but anglers trolling deep divers and drone spoons have been producing, too.

While the wahoo fishing has slowed a bit, there are still several being reported, mainly from around the Same Ol’. Some larger blackfin are starting to be caught, mostly by trolling cedar plugs or Sea Vixen Flyers. A few dolphin and sailfish have been reported, but look for the gaffer-sized dolphin to show up any day now.

Chris Burley with a 10 lb. bluefish caught 20 miles out of Masonboro Inlet on a cigar minnow.

Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that chopper bluefish are here and in great numbers. The run has been the exceptional, and there are plenty of large fish around. Cut bait and artificials are both catching their share of the blues.

King mackerel are showing up just off the beach, and there have already been a few cobia sightings. Bonito are still holding in the area waters, but they will likely move out soon.

Bottom fishing has been producing some species not typical for this area, including conger eels and hake.

Heather Harmsen with an Atlantic bonito that was caught 3 miles off Wrightsville Beach on a Yo-Zuri Deep Diver.

Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that chopper-sized bluefish are being found all over the marsh, inlets, and beachfronts. Nearshore structure is holding some false albacore and Atlantic bonito. Diving plugs from Rapala and Yo-Zuri are getting bites from these fish. Blue Water Candy casting jigs are also getting attention from the bonito.

Speckled trout are biting during lowlight periods, on topwater plugs like Rapala Skitterwalks and soft plastics by Z-Man.

King mackerel have shown back up on the nearshore wrecks. Deep diving plugs have been working best for them.


Lynn, of Shearwater Charters, reports that king mackerel fishing has been very good over the past week. With the warming water, the fish have pushed closer towards the beach and are being found consistently in the 5-20 mile range. Plugs and spoons are how most of the bites are coming.

Big bluefish are in good numbers around the beaches and nearshore structure. The blues have been eating spoons, deep diving plugs, and topwater baits.

Jessie Vincent with a 13 lb. bluefish that fell for a Gotcha plug in the surf of Wrightsville Beach.

Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that Gulf Stream waters are producing very good catches of blackfin tuna, wahoo, and scattered sailfish. Mahi are also beginning to show up in the trolling spreads.

Jigging has been good for amberjacks and African pompano, and nearshore fishing has been excellent for large bluefish. There are a few bonito and lots of small king mackerel in the 3-7 mile range.


Warren, of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, reports that a consistent bluefish bite has been happening at sunrise and sunset. The blues are taking Gotcha plugs, and there have been large fish in the mix. Chopper blues have been taking live baits off the end of the pier. Both small bluefish and pinfish are getting the bites.

Live mud minnows on Carolina rigs have been catching a few flounder over the past week, as a good mix of keepers have been caught. Pinfish have invaded the pier, and shrimp on bottom rigs have been catching all you want.

There have also been a couple cobia and king sightings this past week.