Fish Post

Wrightsville Beach – June 8, 2017

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Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that there has been some good flounder fishing inshore, especially around creeks near the inlets. A lot of the fish are being caught by anglers drifting with Gulp shrimp and jerk shads, but live minnows are always a good option, especially when anchoring in a specific spot.

The red drum fishing has continued to improve. Look for schools of fish to be in shallow water in the creeks and back in the marsh on higher parts of the tide cycle. Red and black drum are also being caught around docks and deeper holes in the creeks. Fresh dead shrimp, cut mullet, and mud minnows fished on a jig head or Carolina rig will work.

Surf anglers are reporting a few sea mullet, flounder, croaker, and pompano; fresh shrimp and live sand fleas are good baits to start with. Bluefish, ladyfish, and spanish have been reported as well. A few slot-sized reds should start running up and down the beach in better numbers soon, and cut bait or shrimp either on a fish finder or two-drop rig will usually do the trick.

Some good numbers of kings and spanish have continued to bite. As long as the water stays relatively clear in the ocean, the spanish will continue to be close to the beach.

Reports on the kings have been coming from 5-20 miles offshore, but most of the bigger fish are in the 15+ mile range. A handful of mahi have been caught in the 10-15 mile range using smaller baits and plugs, but the fishing is going to be much more consistent in the 25-40 mile range.

Jared beard of Wilmington, with a mahi caught 30 miles off Wrightsville Beach. He sight casted to the fish with a jig.

The cobia fishing had slowed down over the last week, but the recent stretch of calm weather has allowed a few anglers to start putting fish in the boat again. They can show up around the nearshore AR’s, buoys, and inlets at any time. Usually they will come closest to the beach when clean offshore water comes in toward shore.

Flounder fishing has been good at the nearshore wrecks. Bouncing a 2 oz. bucktail tipped with a 4″ Gulp shrimp is the easiest way to fish them. Live mullet and menhaden work well for the flounder, too, and they also provide more opportunity for a gray trout or drum.

The grouper fishing has remained steady. Live cigar minnows and pinfish are the best options, but frozen cigar minnows, squid, and strips of false albacore will also work.

Fishing in the Gulf Stream has been strong if you are able to pick the right spot. A lot of the water at the usual spots has blended into a similar temperature range, but the water conditions should change again within a week or so.

The blackfin tuna bite has been good for anglers downsizing the baits in their spread. There are still white and blue marlin being caught, but not in huge numbers like recent weeks. Trolling larger 12″ plugs, large ballyhoo, or rigged spanish mackerel are all good options when chasing larger fish.


Joseph Bagwell with a 9.12 lb. sheepshead that measured 24” long with a 20” girth. It was caught using a fiddler crab on a Carolina rig while fishing docks around Wrightsville Beach on a rising tide.


Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that red drum have been biting very good the past few weeks, especially in the creeks from Wrightsville to Topsail. Topwater action has been good on the falling tide and first thing in the morning. When the sun gets up, fishing soft plastics on jig heads and live minnows around docks has been very productive. There have also been a few larger drum coming from the Masonboro jetties, mainly on live and cut baits.

Flounder fishing has been active so far, especially in the Cape Fear River. Fishing points and oyster rocks around mid-river islands with live menhaden has been the most productive, with some fish up to 7 lbs. being reported. There have also been a few drum and trout in the same areas. Sheepshead and black drum are both being reported, mainly with fiddler crabs and sand fleas fished around bulkheads and dock pilings.

The spanish mackerel bite has been strong. Most of the action has been in 40-45’ of water.

The nearshore wrecks and reefs have been producing nice-sized flounder for anglers fishing Gulp behind a Spro bucktail. There have been a few kings around the 10 mile areas; however, most of this week’s action came from 15-25 miles. There have been some mahi starting to show up around 23 Mile Rock, and the mahi have been caught trolling ballyhoo, cigar minnows, and larger diving plugs.

Gag grouper fishing has been hit or miss, with most of the action coming from 80-90’. The scamp and red grouper bite has been the best it’s been in several years, with most of the action coming from live bottoms and ledges in 110’. Both live and dead baits have been producing scamps up to 20 lbs. and reds up to 25 lbs. There have been plenty of triggerfish in the same areas.

Gulf Stream boaters report a mahi bite that has been decent, but this past week the good water had pushed well offshore. With this week’s east wind, look for the good water to push back inshore and pick up the dolphin bite along the break. The billfish bite has been good, with blue marlin accounting for the majority of the catch. There have been some white marlin and sailfish reported as well.


Trevor, of ProFishNC, reports that king mackerel fishing has been excellent on nearshore structure out to 18 miles. Ballyhoo on a downrigger or planer with a “Hank Brown Rig” with dink ballyhoo trolled 3.5 to 5.5 mph worked well this past week. Mahi have shown up between 18-23 miles, and look for them to push even closer in the following weeks.

Cobia have shown up in good numbers and traveling in larger groups than seen in previous weeks. Casting 2 oz. yellow cobia jigs tipped with 8” glow color curly tails are getting bites while sight casting, and Pro-Cure bait scents will help get bites from more fish.

Flounder fishing has been on “fire” on the nearshore ledges, reefs, and live bottom. Live mullet and menhaden fished on Carolina rigs are how most of the bites are coming. Spadefish have shown up in similar areas and are feeding on jellyfish.

Spanish mackerel fishing has been very good in 28-32’ of water this past week. Pink #00 Clarkspoons behind a #1 planer has accounted for the best action.


Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that red drum are feeding around waterway docks and creeks along the ICW. There are also fish hanging around nearshore wrecks, live bottom, and area inlets.

Flounder are biting well on the nearshore structure, live bottom, and inlets. Live menhaden on Carolina rigs have taken the majority of flounder over this past week.

Spanish fishing has been solid around area inlets and up and down the beach areas, and cobia are still biting around the jetties.


Donnie, of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, reports that anglers are landing spanish and blues on plugs off the end of the pier, mostly early and late in the day.

Bottom fishing has been slow lately, with most of the action consisting of undersized flounder; however, there was a cobia landed.