Sarah Gagliardo

Wrightsville Beach – March 27, 2017

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Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that red and black drum should continue to provide action around docks and oyster bars in the creeks and waterway, with fresh shrimp and mud minnows producing fish. As the weather warms up, look for schools of red drum to move into the inlets, eventually dispersing into the nearby marshes.

Speckled trout fishing has been decent on most days, and they can be found at a variety of locations, typically in places near deep water with some current flow. Light fluorocarbon and jigheads have been key to catching the trout. Z-Man Paddlerz and Trout Tricks have been working well, along with a variety of MirrOlures.

A few early flounder and bluefish have been caught inshore.

The surf fishing report has been scarce, but anglers that have fished the area are reporting a few sea mullet, black drum, red drum, a few undersized flounder, and bluefish. Fresh shrimp is working with most species right now. Cut mullet will work for the drum and bluefish. There have also been a few speckled trout reported from the deeper sloughs along the beach.

Anglers are starting to catch a few bluefish trolling the beach and around the jetties. Those dropping bucktails and metal jigs to the bottom within the first couple of miles are seeing healthy numbers of short sea bass, tautog, and the occasional flounder. Gray trout and sheepshead are beginning to show as well.

As we get into April and the water continues warming up, the false albacore and Atlantic bonito will make their way inshore to within a few miles of the beach. The best way to target these fish is to either troll Clarkspoons and Yo-Zuri Deep Divers or to cast at them with Stingsilvers and Epoxy jigs.

The fishing offshore has remained steady through the winter months. Anglers venturing out into the 15-30 mile range have been seeing good numbers of sea bass and some pink snapper. Anglers have also been seeing a steady bite of king mackerel and false albacore starting in the 18-20 mile range and all the way out to the Tower. This fishing should only improve in the coming weeks.

The Gulf Stream bite has been strong in the past few weeks. Anglers that have made the run have been reporting a hot wahoo bite. Most of these bites have been coming on skirted ballyhoo or large wahoo plugs and lures, with most fish in the 30-50 lb. class and some fish reaching up into the 70-80 lb. range.

Some anglers have been getting a few blackfin tuna mixed in with the wahoo. There was even a recent report of a couple small yellowfins mixed in with the blackfins.

Jigging has been strong as well, with anglers seeing good numbers of African pompano while using Roscoes and other flat-sided jigs along the bottom. Blackfin tuna have been biting well in the mid-water column on longer, high speed jigs, and the amberjack are also readily biting whenever they get an opportunity to grab ahold of a jig.

Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that striper fishing in the Cape Fear River has continued to be strong, with some nice-sized fish being caught from downtown Wilmington and further up both the Cape Fear and NE Cape Fear rivers. Trolling deep divers and casting larger swimbaits have been productive.

Spring trout fishing has been very good, with several fish up to 6 lbs. being reported. Mainland side creeks and boat basins along the waterway have held the most fish, with DOA shrimp and Z-Man Trout Tricks being the most productive. Deeper waterway docks have been producing both black and red drum, with dead shrimp on jigheads or slowly fished Gulp shrimp producing the most action. A few bluefish have been caught from the inlet and surf.

Sea bass fishing has been good in the 80’ range, and the king mackerel fishing in the 35-40 mile range has been strong, especially near Frying Pan Tower.

When the weather has allowed boats to fish the Gulf Stream, the fishing has been excellent. Trolling anglers are reporting high numbers of wahoo, along with some nice blackfin tuna mixed in. Wahoo have been biting both skirted ballyhoo as well as high-speed lures such as Blue Water Candy Hoodinis and Tormenter Super Smokers. Most of the wahoo action has been around the Nipple and to the north.

The best blackfin bite has been in the 200-300’ range, where smaller Sea Vixen lures and cedar plugs have been the most successful choices. Jig anglers have been catching good numbers of African pompano, blackfin tuna, and amberjacks.

Luke Patton (age 2) and father Matt Patton with their catch of speckled trout. The fish were caught near Mason’s Inlet using a MirrOlure 52M.

Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that red and black drum are biting well around area creeks and along the waterway. Fresh shrimp has been working well on Carolina rigs.

Speckled trout fishing has been great all winter, and water with high salinity and deep zones have been some of the best areas to target. Boat basin areas and dark bottomed creeks with deep water nearby are also holding good numbers of fish.

The trout are biting Blue Water Candy plastics and Z-Man Trout Tricks.

Henry and Matthew Brenneman with a drum caught using shrimp on a jighead in a creek behind Wrightsville Beach. They were fishing with Capt. Lee Parsons.

Lynn, of Shearwater Charters, reports that wahoo fishing was great on the break this past week. The fish were taking skirted ballyhoo behind high speed planers.

The king mackerel fishing has been up and down over the past couple weeks.

Black sea bass have been biting well around bottom structure. The larger fish are being found in deeper water.

Keith Harabin, of Winnabow, with a sea bass caught 9.5 miles off Wrightsville Beach on a jig.

Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that blackfin tuna have been scattered out in the Gulf Stream. Wahoo fishing has been consistent, and there has been a very good bite of African pompano near the break.

Nearshore there have been a few thresher sharks starting to show up, and the bite should improve as more fish begin to move into area waters. Look for the threshers to remain in the area well into April.

Tracey McCarter with a wahoo caught while trolling near the Same Ol’ aboard the “Sarah’s Worry Too” with Capt. Lowell Mason.

Warren, of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, reports that sea mullet and blow toads are biting well on certain days. They are biting two hook bottom rigs baited with fresh shrimp. There are also skates and rays being caught on both shrimp and cut bait.

There are a few black drum showing up. Bluefish have showed up sporadically on warmer days, and once the water stays in the 60’s, their numbers will improve.

The water temperature at the time of reporting was 56 degrees.