Fish Post

Wrightsville Beach – Aug 30, 2018

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Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that inshore waters haven’t cleared up completely, but fishing is slowly getting back to normal, especially with more keeper flounder showing up every day.

Red drum fishing has stayed consistent, with schools of slot-sized fish swimming on the flats behind the islands and bigger fish lurking in the inlets and out in the ocean. Topwaters, gold spoons, soft plastics, and live bait have all been getting bites.

Topwaters and suspended baits (like the Rapala X-Raps) have been landing speckled trout, especially early in the morning and late in the day.

Black drum, sheepshead, and more reds can be found around ICW docks and bridges, where any type of crab, sand fleas, or shrimp are all good bait choices.

Surf fishing has been hit or miss, with a few sea mullet, pompano, croaker, and black drum coming in here and there. Shrimp, cut mullet, salted clam, and Fishbites are all good options for bottom fishing, and casting jigs may pick up a bluefish or spanish mackerel. Fishing at night has produced a lot of sharks and rays, as well as the occasional redfish.

Flounder fishing has been great at the nearshore wrecks, with good numbers and sizes being reported. Schools of big reds and gray trout have been moving through the same areas. Carolina-rigging a live mullet or pogie should draw strikes, and Gulp-tipped bucktails still can’t be beat.

Spanish fishing has started to improve again, with some big fish in the mix. Clarkspoons behind planers, Deep Divers, and Spanish Daisies will all work, but live pogies and finger mullet are great for catching the biggest spanish when fished with light wire and treble hooks.

A handful of cobia have been caught recently around bait balls and at the ARs (a few tarpon have been around as well). Cut or live bait gets the nod here, but bucktails and larger swimbaits will work as well.

King mackerel fishing has been strong at the wrecks and ledges from the beach out to 25+ miles, where scattered mahi and sails are also being found. Blue Water Candy Wedgies with dead cigar minnows, squid, or small ballyhoo have all been getting bites, and Deep Divers and Drone spoons are worth putting in the spread, too.

Gags can be found on the ledges in the 15+ mile range, along with sea bass, porgies, and grunts. It can also be productive to put out a cigar minnow or whole squid on a light line for mahi and kings while bottom fishing. Scamps, red grouper, beeliners, and a few triggerfish have been biting in the 30+ mile range.

Gulf Stream fishing has been slow for the most part, but there have been a few reports of blackfin tuna, with some fish going over 20 lbs. Blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish are still a possibility. Trolling ballyhoo rigged naked or skirted with Ilander Trackers, Sea Witches, or JR Ilanders is the best tactic.

Michael Phillips pulled this mahi cow over the rails while trolling naked ballyhoo 23 miles offshore of Wilmington.

Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that red drum have been plentiful. Throwbacks and lower-slot fish are being found around ICW docks and mainland creeks, while the bigger fish are hanging along flats and creek mouths on the ocean side of the ICW. Skitterwalks and gold spoons have been the most productive on the flats.

Flounder fishing has been good as well, with fish up to 5 lbs. coming from Banks Channel and Masonboro Inlet. Carolina-rigged mullet and menhaden get the nod for the flatfish.

Speckled trout action is heating up in the early morning and late in the day, and it will only get better as the weather cools. Super Spook Jrs and Yo-Zuri shrimp have been getting the most attention from the specks.

Sheepshead are plentiful around area bridges, and they still haven’t learned their lesson about fiddler crabs.

Surf anglers are finding flounder, blues, and spanish along the south end of WB. Big sea mullet are being caught with bloodworms and sand fleas in the deeper stretches on the beachfront, while redfish are hitting mullet.

Over-slot reds and flounder are coming in from the jetties and nearshore reefs, as are some citation spanish, which are also biting along the beach on higher tides.

Kings are coming from 7-10 miles out, but the best action has been in the 15-20 mile range, and a few dolphin and sailfish are biting skirted ballyhoo around 30 miles.

Gags are holding in depths of 90’, with cigar minnows and pinfish serving as the best bait.

Anglers in the Stream are reporting an improved wahoo bite on Ilander/ballyhoo combos around the Same Ole. Blackfins and sails are biting as well.


Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that red drum are being found all over the Wrightsville Beach backwaters, but the biggest ones can be found swimming in the area inlets. Live mullet are drawing the most strikes.

If you can get out on the water early on a clear day, you’ll be able to take advantage of a great topwater bite for speckled trout.

Flounder fishing has been productive inshore, especially around structure. There are plenty of flatties off the beaches, too.

The biggest change in the last few weeks has been that spanish mackerel are now biting right off the beach on area tidelines. Clarkspoons are all you need.

Tim Safley with a spanish mackerel that he hooked on the troll using a Yo-Zuri Deep Diver. He was fishing just off of Wrightsville Beach.

Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that the redfish bite has been good inside on low water. Numerous schools of big menhaden are moving through the backwaters, which will bring in the cobia and over-slot reds soon.

Shark fishing has been epic, so now is the time to get your fix. Hammerheads, nurse sharks, Atlantic sharpnose, and more have all been biting nearshore.

On the reefs, nice reds can be found in moving water, and big sheepshead are hanging in the deeper water next to structure.


Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that the best bite has been on the nearshore bottom, where gags, grunts, and sea bass are being caught in the 85-100’ range. Squid and cigar minnows have been the top baits to use for all the bottom dwellers.

Trolling with live menhaden in the same area should find a king or two.


Donny, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports that anglers have seen catches of red drum, black drum, flounder, spanish, and kings (most around 20+ lbs.).