Wrightsville Beach – June 21, 2018
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that inshore fishing has been good for flounder and red drum. The flounder bite has picked up nicely around the inlets and ICW docks, where Gulp and Z-Man jerk shads, as well as live mud minnows, pogies, and finger mullet, are all getting bites. The reds can be found around oyster bars, where early morning topwater fishing has been getting bites. Soft plastics, live minnows, and cut shrimp will connect with the reds all throughout the day.
Black drum and sheepshead can be found around area docks. Cut shrimp will work for the drum, while the sheepshead prefer fiddler crabs.
Surf fishing has been hit or miss, but there are plenty of possibilities. Shrimp, cut mullet, or Fishbites should find a sea mullet, pompano, spot, croaker, flounder, black drum, or puppy drum. Casting jigs work well for blues and spanish.
Off the beach, spanish fishing has been hot. Citation fish are coming in, along with some 20+ lb. kings, mostly on Clarkspoons with #1 or #2 planers. Deep Divers, Spanish Daisies, and mackerel tree rigs are all good options as well.
Some cobia have been landed, mostly caught around bait balls and ARs. Bucktails, large swimbaits, and live bait will all grab this fish’s attention.
King fishing in the 10-15 mile range has been hit or miss, but the kings are definitely out there (along with a few mahi). Some gaffers and even a big wahoo were caught between 15-30 miles. Dead cigar minnows, Deep Divers, and Drone spoons are all good choices for king baits, but nothing beats a live bluefish or menhaden when it comes to enticing the bigger fish.
The 15+ mile range has been productive for bottom fishing, with gag grouper, sea bass, porgies, and grunts all filling coolers. Scamps, red grouper, beeliners, and triggers are all in deeper water at the 30+ mile range.
Gulf Stream fishing is still decent. Some blue marlin and a few white marlin are around, and mahi fishing is consistent. A handful of wahoos and blackfins have come in as well. Expect the mahi and billfish bite to continue gaining strength. Trolling ballyhoo skirted with Ilanders and Sea Witches has been the best tactic.
Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that red drum fishing has been red hot. On higher tides, reds can be found on the flats behind Masonboro and Lee islands, mainly on topwater lures and gold spoons. Scented soft plastics and live baits fished around docks and deeper oyster bars will produce during lower tides.
A good number of sheepshead have been caught from ICW docks by anglers using live fiddler crabs.
Flounder fishing is improving by the day, with a good number of fish showing up in the creeks. Gulps on jig heads and live minnows are producing fish up to 5 lbs.
Surf anglers are getting good catches of red drum on cut mullet, and spanish and blues have been biting casting jigs along the south end of the beach.
As conditions have improved, so has spanish fishing off the beach. Clarkspoons (size 00) and Spanish Daisies have been effective on the troll, while Epoxy jigs and Gotcha plugs are good for casting anglers.
A few bigger drum and the occasional cobia are coming from the end of the jetties. Flounder are starting to stack up on the nearshore wrecks, with bucktails and scented soft bait combos working well.
Kings are biting in the 5-10 mile range, mainly on trolled cigar minnows and Yo-Zuri Deep Divers.
Nearshore dolphin action is picking up, particularly around 23 Mile Rock. Trolling small ballyhoo and small Sea Vixens have been productive, and a few early sailfish have been caught by anglers targeting the mahi.
Bottom fishing has offered the best grouper bite in 100-130’ of water, including some reds and scamps up to 20 lbs. Some nice-sized beeliners and triggers have been coming from the same range on cut squid, with the best action coming offshore of WR2.
While Gulf Stream fishing has slowed, a few nice reports of gaffer dolphin and blackfin tuna have come from inshore of the Same Ole in 140’ of water. Fishing grass edges (no matter how far inshore or what depth) has been the key. A few white and blue marlin have been caught from about 150 fathoms.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that redfish are biting well in area creeks near inlets. Live and cut menhaden have produced the most bites, though Fathom inshore plastics and Skitterwalks have been working as well.
Flounder action is also hot in the creeks, where live bait has proved effective, though some bites have come on plastic. The flatties have been biting in the ocean as well. Jerk shad on 3/4 oz. jig heads and plastics or live bait-tipped bucktails will work for the offshore flounder.
Spanish fishing has been good all up and down the beach. Traditional spoon and planer setups, as well as Blue Water Candy casting jigs, have been catching plenty of fish.
Kings are in the 3-5 mile range, where cigar minnows or live menhaden will do the trick. Keep a lookout for cobia as well, as the fish can be seen cruising around bait balls on the surface near ARs, inlets, and buoys.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that there are catchable numbers of menhaden and finger mullet in the backwaters.
Good numbers of flounder and red drum are being caught on the usual baits when live bait drifting the inlet mouths for flounder and fishing the deeper water docks for drum. In shallow water, artificial baits are doing better. Blue Water Candy pink jig heads with white Z-Man plastics are an effective combo, especially when tipped with a Pro-Cure inshore scent. Casting on the outside of oyster rocks and bumping the bait along the bottom is the way to go.
Nearshore, mahi are within the 10 mile range, kings are in the 3 mile range, and spanish are just about everywhere. Just recently they were even being caught in the breakers.
Cobia fishing has been hot. Chumming on live bottom areas and then sight casting to the fish when they come up to the boat is the easiest way to get a bite. The cobia can also be found around bait balls, under buoys, and near sea turtles. Soaking bait at the jetty will also produce bites, but it’s not the most effective way to get good numbers of fish.
Nearshore flounder fishing has been productive, with triggers and lots of white grunts coming in as well.
Donny, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports good catches of spanish mackerel in the morning on plugs.