Wrightsville Beach – November 16, 2017
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that the speckled trout bite has been incredible throughout the area. Schools of fish can be found moving into the inlets and through the waterway toward creeks and marshes. Artificial baits and lures (like Z-Man PaddlerZ and Swimming Trout Tricks) are working well, especially in natural colors like Opening Night and Bad Shad. Topwaters are doing the trick both early and late in the day, but the specks are really hitting just about everything right now.
In addition to trout, you’ll find a strong red drum and flounder bite in the same areas.
Surf fishing has been productive over the last few weeks. Cut mullet is catching reds, flounder, and blues, while fresh shrimp, sand fleas, and Fishbites bloodworms have been great for targeting nice-sized pompano, black drum, and sea mullet. Trout fishing has also been strong from the beach. MirrOlures and paddletails are getting the most bites.
Just off the beach and out to 10 miles, the king mackerel and false albacore bite remains strong, though it will begin to slow as the temperature continues to drop. The kings are biting live bait, dead cigar minnows, and Drone spoons, while the false albacore are hitting Epoxy jigs and Shore Lures. Trolling around inlets and local ARs with Yo-Zuri Deep Divers and Clarkspoons has also been effective.
While gag grouper fishing has been getting better, it can be hard at times to get your bait past the kings. Live pinfish and live or frozen cigar minnows are working best, and you may also find a keeper sea bass off the ledges located closer to the beach.
Gulf Stream fishing has picked back up, with multiple 50+ lb. wahoo being caught. High speed lures are great for locating the fish before deploying a spread of ballyhoo and other trolling plugs.
Strong numbers of blackfins have also been around and are responding to poppers, jigs, and trolled lures. In addition, plenty of nice-sized sailfish have been in the mix.
Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that speckled trout fishing has been strong all throughout the area, with MirrOlures and X-raps pulling in most of the fish near inlets (on a rising tide) and Spook Jr. topwaters and 4-5” swimbaits catching most of the fish in the waterway and creeks (on a falling tide).
Flounder fishing has been strong in both size and numbers, with Snow’s Cut, mainland-side docks, and creeks producing high numbers of fish, mostly on live bait.
Anglers targeting trout and flounder are also pulling in plenty of black drum, especially on live shrimp.
The surf has been great for trout, and MirrOlures and swimbaits have been the best tactics. Spot, Virginia mullet, and black drum are being pulled in from the deeper holes, mainly on fresh shrimp and sand flea Fishbites.
King fishing has been productive in the 5-10 mile range, with several 30+ lb. fish being caught on live baits. Trolling cigar minnows and Drone spoons has also been effective, especially when the kings are more scattered. As the water continues to cool, look for the action to slowly start moving further offshore.
Gag grouper and sea bass are hanging in the 70-85’ range, with cigar minnows and cut baits working best. Bottom fishing in the 45-50 mile range has been good for scamps, red porgies, and triggers, in addition to the occasional African pompano.
Gulf Stream fishing has been great when the weather allows, especially on the backside of the last full moon. Nice sailfish and 80+ lb. wahoo have been making up the majority of the bites, mainly on skirted ballyhoo and larger diving plugs. Most of the action has been fairly shallow, from 130-160’.
Larger blackfin are starting to show up and have been found around bait and jack marks in 40-60 fathoms. The blackfins will respond best to trolled cedar plugs and smaller Sea Vixen lures.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that speckled trout are biting well throughout the area. They are mostly being found in creeks, inlets, and the surf. The specks are hitting artificial baits, such as Yo-Zuri crystal shrimp, the Rapala X-Rap, Rat-L-Traps, and MirrOlures, but they will also respond to Bluewater Candy and DOA soft plastics and topwater baits (like the X-Caliber Spook).
Flounder, in addition to slot and over-slot reds, are being caught in area inlets, around docks, and inside the creeks. They are falling for live and cut baits, in addition to soft plastics.
False albacore are still hanging around off the beach and are hitting small casting jigs.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that trout fishing is on fire and the specks are hitting all manner of hard baits and soft plastics (green colors have been producing the most fish, though).
With water temperatures in the mid 60s, the surf and nearshore action can’t be beat. There are plenty of flounder, pompano, and whiting in the surf, and cut shrimp will likely produce the most bites.
Kings are right along the beach and thick all the way out to 10 miles. Dead cigar minnow rigs trolled at 1.5-3.5 knots are pulling in the most fish.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that nearshore fishing has been excellent, with kings and false albacore biting from 3 miles out to 15 miles.
Offshore has been producing sailfish, scattered mahi, and a few wahoo. The wahoo bite should get stronger with the coming moon phase (after being a little slow this week). Popping and jigging continues to be excellent for blackfins up to 30 lbs.
Bottom fishing has been incredible, with a good mix of scamps, gags, triggers, beeliners, and grunts.
Donny, of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, reports an overall slow few weeks, but there has been some good-sized blues, trout around the 2.5 lb. range, and a few whiting. Gotcha plugs are pulling in the most fish.