Wrightsville Beach – October 26, 2017
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that plenty of red drum and flounder are actively feeding in the marshes near inlets and around waterway docks. Black drum, sheepshead, bluefish, and ladyfish are also being caught inshore, with MirrOlures and Z-Man soft plastics producing the most fish. The speckled trout bite has been decent and will only get better as water temperatures drop.
Surf fishing has continued to be very productive over the last few weeks. Cut mullet has been producing reds, flounder, and bluefish, while fresh shrimp, sand fleas, and bloodworm-flavored Fishbites have been catching nice-sized pompano, black drum, and sea mullet. A few speckled trout have also been coming from the surf, mostly on MirrOlures and grubs.
Both false albacore and king fishing has been fantastic right along the beach. Most anglers targeting the albacore are sight casting with Epoxy jigs and Shore Lures. The kings have been hitting live bait, dead cigar minnows, and Drone spoons.
There continues to be fantastic fishing for flounder, gray trout, and big reds at the nearshore AR’s.
As for bottom fishing, gag grouper are being caught in better numbers. Live pinfish and live (or frozen) cigar minnows are among the best baits to send down. Using smaller hooks and baits will catch grunts, triggerfish, and sea bass around the same spots.
In the Gulf Steam, wahoo over 70 lbs. are being pulled in by using high-speed trolling lures. There has also been a good number of blackfins, which should start responding even better to poppers and trolled lures in the coming weeks.
Sailfish and a few blue marlin are in the mix, too.
Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that trout fishing has really kicked into full swing, with several fish weighed in last week in the 4-6 lb. range. Creek mouths and marsh banks behind Masonboro and Lee Island have been producing the biggest numbers of trout.
Flounder are also biting strong, thanks to several 6 lb.+ fish being caught on live bait, and the few inshore reds that are still being caught have mostly fallen for scented soft plastics and topwater lures.
Surf fishing has been great for pompano and mullet, with sand flea Fishbites and cut shrimp getting the most bites. Trout are starting to show up in greater numbers and are going for MirrOlures and swim baits, while large numbers of blues, spanish and false albacore are responding well to casting jigs near the south end.
The biggest kings have been right on the beach, but there have been fish pretty much everywhere in the 2-10 mile range. False albacore are also on fire just outside the inlet and out to 5 miles.
Wahoo fishing has been up and down, but not for the lack of fish in the water. Several large schools have been reported along the break around the Same Ole and in the mid-200s.
Gag grouper fishing has improved with cooler water temperatures, and a few larger sea bass are starting to show up in the same 80-90’ areas. Scamp grouper, triggers, and beeliners are also biting strong in the 40+ mile range.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that a few speckled trout have been caught around the area, with early light and twilight serving as the best time to find them. There should be plenty more trout filling boats in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, flounder are hitting Blue Water Candy plastics on their X-eyed ball jig heads, while cut baits are working well for the big reds that are still in the area.
Spanish mackerel, false albacore, and king mackerel are all biting strong near area inlets. Live cigar minnows and threadfin herring work well for the kings.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that inshore flounder fishing is on fire, with most of the fish biting live mullet on the outgoing tide. Red drum are also feeding really well, especially when fishing live bait on structure.
Bluefish are expected to be swarming the area in the next week or so, as they move from the Pamlico area, and some big trout are already here. Pink Z-Man and Blue Water Candy plastics have been working the best.
A few cobia have been showing up lately, and kings are scattered. The biggest kings have been caught in between the beach and 14 miles out.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that nearshore anglers have seen some of the best king fishing of the year. Most of the action has been from just off the beach to 10 miles out. False albacore and spanish have been everywhere as well.
Offshore, wahoo and sailfish are biting like crazy, while mahi and blackfins have been scattered. Bottom fishing has been slowing down (mostly due to the swell), but there has been a decent scamp, pinky, beeliner, and triggerfish bite.
Donny, of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, reports that quite a few kings were caught early last week. Most were in the 13-14 lb. range, though a few of the bigger fish went nearly 30 lbs.
A handful of 3-4 lb. false albacore and some big blues have been caught on Gotcha plugs, and small spanish have been mixed in as well.