Wrightsville Beach – August 3, 2017
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that anglers fishing with live bait and Gulp shrimp (and other scented soft plastics) have been catching slot-sized drum and flounder in the ICW and creeks. Black drum and sheepshead can be caught fishing fiddler crabs around docks.
Surf anglers are reporting slot-sized red fish, black drum, croaker, sea mullet, and a few pompano have been biting. Fresh shrimp or live sand fleas have been the best all-around baits, and cut mullet on a fish finder rig is a good way to target drum, bluefish, and smaller sharks. Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and bluefish can be caught from the surf, too, and the best method is to use small casting jigs (ranging from 1-2 oz.).
Spanish mackerel action is steady within a few miles of the beach. Troll small Clarkspoons behind lead weights or planers.
Flounder, gray trout, and large redfish are on the nearshore AR’s. Bucktails tipped with Gulp, live bait on a Carolina rig, or Stingsilvers are the best options.
Kings have been coming from 8-25 miles offshore, with mahi mixed in. Live bait is best, but cigar minnows or ballyhoo on dead bait rigs will work. Some boats are also having success with Drone spoons and Yo-Zuri Deep Divers, but having a bait deep on the downrigger or a planer has been making the biggest difference.
There are some gag grouper being caught in 80-100′, along with amberjack, barracuda, and the usual bottomfish. The red and scamp grouper bite has been great in the 40+ mile range. Live cigar minnows and pinfish are the best options, but dead cigar minnows, squid, and strips of false albacore will also work.
In the Gulf Stream, there have been some small blackfin, and trolling with smaller plugs and small ballyhoo should produce fish. There are a few wahoo being caught. White and blue marlin, sailfish, and mahi are around, but not in great numbers. Pulling a spread of small and medium-sized ballyhoo skirted with Sea Witches or llanders is a good way to cover water.
Ben, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that red drum fishing behind Masonboro, Lee Island, and Figure 8 has been great. Soft plastics (such as Gulp jerk shads and Z-Man PaddlerZ) have been working well, and so has fishing finger mullet on a Carolina rig around docks adjacent to inlets and deeper holes.
Good numbers of flounder have been landed around the jetty, along deeper channels, and in inland creeks. Fishing with finger mullet and Gulp shrimp has been working best on the flatfish.
Anglers are also finding good numbers of flounder on the nearshore wrecks. Fishing 2 oz. Spro bucktails with Gulp shrimp trailers has been most effective in the deeper water.
Spanish mackerel fishing has been good off the beach. There has also been a number of undersized king mackerel in the mix (up to 10 miles out).
Larger kings have been in the 23-30 mile range. Fishing live menhaden is the best bet for hooking into a nice king.
There has been very little mahi action inshore.
Scamp and red grouper fishing is good in about 100-130′ of water. Live bait and cigar minnows will land the grouper, and squid on bottom-drop rigs will help land a variety of other bottom species.
The Gulf Stream fishing has been slow. There are a few wahoo and blackfin tuna.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that nearshore there have been a steady number of spanish and king mackerel from 0-15 miles off the beach, and the flounder bite has been great around nearshore structure.
Bottom fishing has been good, with gag groupers being caught while fishing from depths of 85-120’. They are mixed with reds and scamps, along with grunts, pinkies, beeliners, triggers, and porgies.
In the Gulf Stream, there has been a few blackfin tuna, as well as scattered wahoo and billfish.
Trevor, of ProFishNC, reports that the sheepshead fishing has been great, especially if you scrape some barnacles off the pilings to chum the water to get them fired up.
Black sea bass are in the 1-3 mile range. Dropping mullet in this same range has been producing limits of flounder, and very large gray trout can be caught using diamond jigs.
King mackerel are consistent in the 5-10 mile range. Trolling ballyhoo at a slow speed and set 20’ down in the water column, pulling Yo-Zuri Deep Divers, or dragging large Clarkspoons behind a #2 planer will put fish in the boat.
Sharks are everywhere, and anglers fishing big baits with wire leaders can catch bonnetheads, hammerheads, tigers, blacktips, nurse, and spinner sharks.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that red drum are biting well throughout the area, and they can be caught on live baits (such as finger mullet and menhaden), cut or dead baits, and artificial lures (such as the Rapala Skitter Walk and the Z-Man PaddlerZ).
Flounder are being caught in the inshore creeks, around the inlets, and on the nearshore wrecks.
Some speckled trout are taking an interest in topwater plugs early in the morning or late in the evening.
Spanish and false albacore fishing has been good off the beaches. Trolling spoons behind planers or casting Blue Water Candy jigs has been producing most of the fish.
A few cobia are still around, and anglers should be on the lookout for tarpon.
Warren, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports that flounder have been taking live mud minnows near the shore break, with a few lower-slot red drum mixed in.
Bottom fishing has been producing many spadefish throughout the day, and then both black drum and sharks at night.
Tossing Gotcha plugs has been landing high numbers of spanish mackerel in the 2-3 lb. range. Both ladyfish and bluefish have been mixed in with the spanish.