Wrightsville Beach – September 28, 2017
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that red and black drum, flounder, and bluefish are all biting consistently in and just inshore of the inlets. Spanish and ladyfish can be found in and just offshore of the inlets.
Speckled trout fishing has been decent and will improve as the water temperature drops. Most of the fish have been hanging out in the deeper channels near the inlets, as well as around docks and bridges with good current flow. Live bait on a Carolina rig or under a popping cork continues to produce fish, while Gulp shrimp, Z-Man soft plastics, MirrOlures, and X-Raps are also working well.
Surf anglers are finding plenty of blues and slot/over-slot reds, in addition to smaller numbers of pompano, sea mullet, black drum, and spot. Fresh shrimp and live sand fleas are working well, as are sand flea and bloodworm Fishbites.
Spanish, in addition to false albacore, are biting right along the beach. Clarkspoons behind lead weights or planers have been landing the most fish, while Epoxy jigs and Shore Lures are also working.
The nearshore ARs are seeing flounder, gray trout, and some big red drum action, where live bait on a Carolina rig or a Gulp-tipped bucktail is continuing to produce.
The kings (anywhere from 20” to 20 lbs.) can be found in the 5-20 mile range. Live bait will increase your chances of landing a big one, but cigar minnows or ballyhoo on dead bait rigs, Drone spoons, and Yo-Zuri Deep Divers will also work.
Gag grouper, grunts, sea bass, and barracuda are being found in 65’ of water or more, and red grouper and scamps are from 40 miles and out. Using live or frozen cigar minnows, pinfish, or squid will all produce.
In the Gulf, some nice wahoo, blackfins, and sailfish are being pulled in. For the wahoo, Ilanders and Blue Water Candy Jags are doing the trick when skirted with medium ballyhoo on wire rigs.
Jigging and bottom fishing has been good near the break, where scamps, red grouper, triggerfish, and some big amberjack have been caught.
Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that red drum fishing is still going strong, with slot-sized fish coming from the creeks and marshes behind Masonboro. Gold Skitterwalks and chartreuse jerk shads are working best, though live mullet and cut bait are pulling in similar-sized fish along ICW docks.
Over-slot reds (up to 45”) can be found around Masonboro Inlet and nearshore structure just south of Wrightsville.
Trout have been heating up in the waterway creeks and from Figure Eight and further north. Z-Man PaddlerZ and MirrOdines have been landing the most fish.
Spanish are attacking anything along the beach, and acres of false albacore are hanging around just outside the inlets. Trolling Clarkspoons and Deep Divers or casting light tackle (like Don’s jigs) or flies are the top producers.
A few 20-30 lb. kings have been caught nearshore, but most of the bigger kings have been landed between 10-15 miles.
Late season mahi are being caught on ballyhoo around 23 Mile Rock, and gag grouper are falling for dead cigar minnows and sardines in 80-90’ of water.
Gulf Stream anglers (especially around the Same Ole) are catching wahoo and sailfish on ballyhoo with Sea Witches and Jr Ilanders between 25-30 fathoms. Blackfins are falling for Sea Vixen lures and cedar plugs around the Nipple area.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that there has been good redfish action in the area lately, with some citation-sized fish being caught around area inlets and live bottom areas (like John’s Creek). Flounder and gray trout are biting in the same areas, while spanish, false albacore, and blues are biting up and down the beachfront.
The speckled trout action has been fair, with most of the fish falling for topwater baits and soft plastics.
Tarpon are moving through the area and are hitting live or dead baits fished on the bottom.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that since the water temperature is now down into the upper 70s, glass minnows are pushing hard into the area, and they’re being followed by some nice blues. Speckled and gray trout have been out in great numbers, with the specks hitting in the early morning and the grays biting all day.
Plenty of white grunts can be found as close as 1-10 miles out. Spanish are all over the beachfront and out within a couple of miles, although the bite has been strongest between 28-34’ of water.
Big red drum are coming out of the Pamlico and heading south right through the area. Soaked cut bait works best to land these trophy reds.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that spanish, false albacore, and king fishing is hot within 5 miles of the beach.
Offshore, wahoo are still going strong, with multiple fish over 60 lbs. being caught. Blackfins, sailfish, and scattered mahi are also in the mix.
Bottom fishing has been a little off due to a large storm surge and strong current, but it should all improve when the ocean calms.
Donny, at Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, reports that the black and red drum bite has been decent. While there have also been a few flounder caught, most of the recent catch has just been pinfish.
The few spot that have been pulled in have been small.
Only one king has been landed.