Wrightsville Beach – Aug 2, 2018
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that flounder fishing is continuing to heat up inshore, near the inlets, and out in the ocean, where Gulps and live bait have been the best options for drawing strikes.
Redfish are swimming around creeks and flats in the marsh. Topwater lures have been working well for catching them, especially early and late in the day. Cut and live baits are always good options, too. Suspending twitch baits like the Rapala Twitchin’ Mullet and Z-Man soft plastics rigged weedless have been catching drum as well.
Black drum and sheepshead have been hanging around docks and bridges in the waterway. Any type of crab, sand fleas, or shrimp are all great bait choices.
Surf fishing around Wrightsville has been hit or miss. Anglers are reporting a few sea mullet, pompano, croaker, and black drum. Shrimp, cut mullet, salt clams, and Fishbites are all good options for bottom fishing. Live finger mullet will give a better shot at flounder and red drum, and casting jigs may pull in a bluefish or spanish mackerel.
Outside of the inlets, expect some spanish to still be biting, but the schools may be more spread out. Standard lures should still work for the spanish, but if you want to target bigger fish, try drifting or slow trolling with live pogies and finger mullet.
Only a handful of cobia have been seen and caught in the area recently, but they’re still worth looking for around baitballs and ARs.
There have been some big red drum and tarpon in the ocean and around the Masonboro jetties. Most of them are being caught with cut or live bait, but bucktails and larger swimbaits will work, too.
Live mullet and bucktails tipped with Gulp baits have been producing some nice-sized flounder off the nearshore wrecks, and some gray trout are starting to come into the mix as well.
King mackerel fishing has been great at the wrecks and ledges from 7-20+ miles off the beach, where live bluefish and menhaden will produce the biggest fish.
There have been scattered mahi and sailfish caught in that range, with the most consistent fishing being between 20-30 miles. Trolling Blue Water Candy Wedgies with dead cigar minnows, squid, or small ballyhoo should bring fish over the rails, but Deep Divers and Drone spoons are worth putting in the spread as well.
Gags can be found on ledges in the 15+ mile range, along with sea bass, porgies, and grunts. Scamps and red grouper have been biting in the 30+ mile range, along with beeliners and a few triggerfish. American red snapper will be open for six days in August, so look for them around structure and ledges in the 30-40 mile range.
Fishing in the Stream has been hit or miss, with a lot of the action being reported inshore of the break. Blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish are still a possibility, along with a mixed bag of blackfin, mahi, and wahoo, depending on the areas you target and how you fish. Jr Ilanders, Ilander Trackers, and Blue Water Candy Sea Witches are the best lures for putting fish in the box.
Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that flounder fishing has been good along ICW docks, especially towards the south. Red drum are being caught on Skitter Walks and other topwater lures, particularly behind Masonboro and Figure 8 islands. Larger reds (40”+) have been coming in from Masonboro Inlet, with both live and cut bait fished on the bottom producing the best results.
The rain and dirty water has affected spanish mackerel numbers, though some decent catches have still been caught between 3-5 miles. Trolling Yo-Zuri Deep Divers and Clarkspoons have been getting the most bites.
Flounder fishing on the nearshore reefs and wrecks has been very productive, with 2 oz. bucktails and Otter Tails bringing in fish up to 6 lbs. Several tarpon have also been seen in the area. Most of them have been found near the Frying Pan Shoals up to John’s Creek.
Kings have been scarce but not completely absent. The best action has been in the 10-20 mile range. Dolphin and a few sailfish have been found around 23 Mile Rock on Sea Vixen lures and small ballyhoo, but the bite will continue to push offshore due to the dirty water.
Gag grouper fishing continues to improve, with most of the action coming from depths of 80-90’ of water on cigar minnows. When the weather has allowed, pompano, amberjacks, and a few larger kings have been caught with live menhaden around Frying Pan Tower.
Gulf Stream reports have been few and far between, with sailfish and dolphin accounting for most of the action. The best bite has been offshore of the break in 400-600’ of water. Small ballyhoo with dredges and teasers have accounted for most of the action. A few wahoo have also been reported, and the bite will only improve with the next moon cycle.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that redfish are continuing to bite well despite the heavy rains in the area. A few speckled trout have been caught, too, with Skitter Walks and Excalibur Spooks providing most of the action.
Ladyfish can be found busting on schools of mullet in the ICW.
Founder have moved toward the inlets, where they are happy to bite from there out to the nearshore wrecks.
Spanish mackerel are feeding up and down the beach.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that drum and flounder are biting hard in the inlet mouths, as most of them have moved there due to all the dirty water in the backs of the creeks.
Nearshore bottom fishing has been productive when dropping mullet just off the structures.
Spanish mackerel fishing is good when the weather allows, and tarpon are showing up in better numbers.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that nearshore fishing has been great, with plenty of spanish still biting along the beach and both king mackerel and mahi chewing in a wide range of areas (between 5-29 miles).
Offshore fishing is producing good numbers of billfish, along with some scattered mahi.
On the bottom, gags, reds, and scamps are biting the most consistently, while good numbers of pinkies, grunts, and beeliners are coming in as well. Some really nice black sea bass are also coming over the rail.
Donny, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports that some spanish mackerel and flounder have been caught, as well as a few kings (with one of them weighing in at 29 lbs).