Wrightsville Beach – October 11, 2018
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that inshore water quality has bounced back quickly after Florence. Some of the best fishing has been around the inlets and surf, but more consistent fishing is once again coming from the creeks.
Speckled trout are starting to pick up, with the best bite being found in the morning. Topwaters, MirrOlures, and soft plastics on light jig heads are all good choices for bait, and expect the bite to improve as the water continues to cool.
There has been a great red drum bite at the jetty, with fish ranging from 20-50”. Carolina-rigged live mullet have been the best option.
Surf fishing has produced red and black drum, flounder, sea mullet, and bluefish. Fresh shrimp and mullet, salted clams, and Fishbites have all been good choices for bottom fishing, but Gulps on jig heads have been better for the flounder and reds. Anglers fishing at night with large cut baits are going to find sharks and rays, but they’ll also have a chance at a big redfish or two.
Spanish and false albacore have been biting within a few miles of the beach. It’s a good time of year to look for birds and sight cast, or you can troll Clarkspoons behind planers. The occasional cobia and tarpon are still showing up, and flounder fishing has been great on the nearshore wrecks and ledges.
Offshore, the wahoo bite is firing up. Trolling skirted ballyhoo with wire rigs is the most common way of putting fish in the boat, and you should be fishing at least one with a planer or trolling weight. High-speed trolling lures are a good tactic when moving between spots.
Good numbers of blackfins have been coming in as well, though most of them have been small. Expect fishing for both species to only improve over the course of the month.
Bottom fishing and jigging is still good for grouper, amberjack, snapper, and triggerfish.
Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that despite water conditions, inshore fishing has been good throughout the area. Red drum have been biting in the sound behind Masonboro and Lee’s Island, where topwaters and soft plastic shrimp fished on the falling tide has produced the best results. Fly anglers are reporting good catches on the very high tides, predominately with shrimp and crab imitations.
Trout fishing has started to take off, with good catches coming from Figure Eight and Rich’s Inlet. Yo-Zuri shrimp and 3DS Minnows have been the most productive, but Trout Tricks and other soft plastics are working as well.
Flounder fishing has been best around the backside of the inlets, with live baits on the rising tide producing fish up to 4 lbs.
The spanish action has been hit or miss in the dirty water, but red drum have been making a strong showing for surf anglers and along the end of the Masonboro jetties (with some fish up to 45”+). A few larger (30 lb. range) kings have been found patrolling the beach, where live bluefish have been a great bait.
The kings have been more sparse offshore, though some larger spanish have been swimming in the 10 mile areas.
Bottom anglers are finding big triggers and beeliners in the 120-130’ range. Squid and cut bait on smaller hooks will produce both.
Gulf stream fishing has been great one day and slow the next, with wahoo and blackfin making up the majority of the catch. Trolling skirted ballyhoo from the Nipple and north has produced wahoo, and the tuna are coming from the Same Ole and Steeples on cedar plugs and Sea Vixen lures. Several sailfish have been seen in these areas as well.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that speckled trout have been biting well in the wake of Florence. They seem to be taking an interest in Blue Water Candy, Fathom, and Z-man soft plastics, but topwater fishing in the early morning can’t be beat, especially when using the X-Caliber Spook and Rapala Skitterwalk. Suspended twitch baits from MirrOlure, Rapala, and Yo-Zuri are also getting big bites.
Red drum can be found all throughout the area, and they’re coming in a variety of shapes and sizes. The inlets and creeks/bays behind Masonboro have been holding the best fish, where live and cut baits are the ticket.
Lots of flounder have been taking an interest in soft plastics and mullet.
Casting jigs and traditional spoon/planer setups are pulling in false albacore right off the beaches.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that to avoid the backwaters over the past few weeks due to the run-off pollution after the hurricane, the target instead has primarily been the area inlets, which have been producing red drum, black drum, spanish, false albacore, and flounder.
The big reds are hitting live mullet and cut bluefish along the jetties, while the black drum will fall for crabs in the same area.
The spanish and false albacore are patrolling the tide lines, and the flounder have been caught while drifting the mouths of the inlets with Carolina-rigged live mullet.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that nearshore fishing off the southern beaches has been alive with spanish mackerel, false albacore, and king mackerel.
Offshore, the water is still a little hot. Fishing is still hit or miss, with a mix of wahoo, blackfins, and sailfish. Those catches should improve as the water temperature gets below eighty.
Due to the effects of the storm, bottom fishing trips have been limited.
Donny, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports that while fishing has been a little on the slower side, the catch has been quite varied. A few blues and spanish have come in, as well as a few kings. Several flounder have been pulled from the bottom, pompano have been biting here and there, and one barracuda was hooked. Shrimp has been the overall best bait.