Fish Post

Wrightsville Beach – July 5, 2018

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Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that flounder fishing is starting to heat up inshore and more speckled trout are biting as well. Look for the specks in deeper, fast-moving water during the day.

Decent numbers of reds are swimming around creeks and flats in the marsh. Topwater lures have been working well, especially early and late in the day. Both cut and live bait are also good options, and scented soft plastics will get the job done as well.

Black drum and sheepshead have been hanging around docks and bridges in the waterway, where fiddler crabs, sand fleas, and shrimp will all entice bites.

Surf fishing in the area has been better at the north and south ends, where sea mullet, a few pompano, croaker, flounder, and puppy drum are all biting. Shrimp, cut mullet, salt clams, and Fishbites are all drawing strikes, and casting jigs may get a nibble from a bluefish or spanish mackerel.

Off the beach, spanish fishing remains strong. A few citation-sized fish have been caught, mixed in with some decent kings. The standard spread of Clarkspoons, Deep Divers, and Spanish Daisies have still been catching fish. When targeting the bigger spanish, drifting or slow trolling with live pogies and finger mullet has been doing the trick.

Only a handful of cobia have been seen or caught recently, but your best chance of finding them is to look around bait balls and at nearshore ARs. Also, there have been some big reds and tarpon in the ocean that are being caught on cut or live bait around the inlets and ARs.

For nearshore flounder, live mullet and Gulp-tipped bucktails have been producing, and look for gray trout to start mixing in off the nearshore wrecks.

The 7-20 mile range has been giving anglers good catches of kings, especially around wrecks and ledges. Quite a few mahi have been caught in that range as well, with the most consistent action between 20-30 miles. Anglers have been trolling dead cigar minnows, small ballyhoo, Deep Divers, and Drone spoons, but live bluefish and menhaden can catch bigger fish. Put at least one line down on a planer or downrigger to increase chances of getting a bite.

Gag grouper fishing has been great in the 15+ mile range, and some sea bass, porgies, and grunts have been mixed in as well. Scamps, red grouper, beeliners, and triggers have been biting in the 30+ mile range.

Gulf Stream fishing has been hit or miss, with most of the action being inshore of the break. Blue and white marlin, sailfish, smaller blackfin, mahi, and the occasional wahoo are all possibilities. Troll small ballyhoo skirted with Ilanders, Ilander Trackers, and Sea Witches. Trident lures, cedar plugs, and Green Machine/bird combos are worth putting in the spread as well.


Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that drum fishing has remained hot. The flats behind Masonboro have had a lot of success on the falling tide, where Skitterwalks and 6” Gulp jerk shads have been getting bites. The inlet has been productive as well, especially with cut bait fished on the tips of the jetties at the start of the rising tide.

Flounder fishing has picked up in the past few weeks, where mullet on a light Carolina rig has worked really well in Howe and Hewletts creeks. The flatfish have also been biting in the river south of Snows Cut, where Z-Man PaddlerZ and Gulps have been working well.

Sheepshead have been biting fiddler crabs.

Spanish fishing has been good right off the beach. Trolling 00 Clarkspoons has been the ticket, which has fooled a few snake kings as well.

Flounder fishing on the nearshore ARs has been hot, with plenty of fish biting 2 oz. bucktails paired with Gulp trailers. The occasional over-slot drum has been biting on the wrecks as well.

From 15-20 miles, kings in the 15-20 lb. range have been chewing on slow-trolled cigar minnows hooked to Blue Water Candy dead bait rigs and wedgies. Yo-Zuri Deep Divers are a good alternative if you can’t get your hands on any cigar minnows.

Trolling small ballyhoo with blue and white Sea Witches in the 20-30 mile area will boat some nice kings, and it also gives the chance to hook the mahi or even sailfish that have been in the area. Look for pretty blue water, temp breaks, and weed lines before putting out your spread.

Gulf Stream fishing has been picking back up. The dolphin bite has been strong for some anglers, with double digit days not out of the realm of possibility. Look for weed lines, no matter the depth, to find the best mahi fishing. There have also been a few blue and white marlin in the mix, as well as some sailfish.

Talley Thompson, of Wilmington, with a 52 lb. wahoo caught on a blue and white Jr Ilander trolled 45 miles off Wrightsville Beach. She was fishing with Capt. Jesse Gawlik of Ocean Stinger Charters.

Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that the creeks near area inlets are still holding plenty of red drum. Both live and cut menhaden have been producing bites, but Fathom inshore plastics and Skitterwalks are also doing well.

Flounder action has remained strong both inshore and nearshore. Live baits are working for the flatfish in the creeks, while jerk shad rigs and bucktails are pulling in the fish off the beach.

Spanish fishing remains productive all along the beach. While you can never go wrong with a spoon and planer setup, using a Blue Water Candy casting jig can put fish in the boat as well.

Kings are still in the 3-5 mile range, as are a handful of cobia. Look around bait balls and fish live menhaden or dead cigar minnows.


Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that flounder fishing is on fire right now, with finger mullet producing the most bites. Most of the fish have been hanging around inlet mouths and estuary docks.

Red drum fishing has slowed in the backwaters due to recent rain, and most of the fish can now be found near inlet mouths.

Nearshore fishing has improved, with king mackerel holding right off the beach. Ballyhoo on Hank Brown rigs have been getting lots of bites. Tarpon have shown up around the river and inlets, where they can be caught on live crabs.


Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that small kings are just about everywhere nearshore, and spanish are holding in 30’ of water.

Offshore fishing has remained fantastic over the last few weeks for mahi, sailfish, and marlin. The Steeples and the areas past the Same Ole have been holding a lot of fish. Trolling has been the most productive, but tuna have also been taking jigs.

Bottom fishing has been good, and the deeper you go, the more species you’ll find. Depths of 100’ or more have been producing scamps, reds, gags, grunts, pinkies, beeliners, and triggers.


Skyler, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports that there have been a lot of red drum in the morning and black drum at night, with plenty of sharks chasing both. Good numbers of flounder are coming in, but only about 10% of them have been keepers.

A 15 lb. king came in off the end of the pier.