Wrightsville Beach – April 25, 2019
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that while there haven’t been many big blues yet, plenty of 1-4 lb. fish have been biting around the inlets and ICW.
Redfish have continued to bite over the last few weeks. The big early-spring schools should be breaking up now and spreading out into the marsh, where you can catch them on Z-Man and Gulp soft plastics, in addition to topwaters or gold spoons.
Speckled trout fishing has been productive, with MirrOlures and soft plastics rigged with light weights and light fluorocarbon leaders attracting lots of attention.
Inshore anglers have been finding decent early season flounder fishing, and both sheepshead and black drum have been consistently biting as well.
Surf anglers are catching bluefish, Virginia mullet, puffers, croaker, black drum, and small flounder. The bite should continue to improve all around, with speckled trout and red drum entering the mix soon. A big piece of cut bait fished on the bottom will increase chances of finding a big bluefish or shark.
Schools of false albacore and Atlantic bonito have made their way to the inshore wrecks, with the early morning hours proving to be the best time to fish. Clarkspoons on planers, Yo-Zuri Deep Divers, and casting jigs have all been catching fish. Plenty of bluefish and a few spanish have been mixed in as well.
Black sea bass have been the primary target when it comes to nearshore bottom fishing, but there is also a chance of finding a flounder or gray trout. Squid on a bottom rig fished over any hard structure or ledge should bring all three species up from the bottom.
Kings are being caught out near the Frying Pan Tower and WR-4 on Drone spoons, strip bait rigs, and dead cigar minnows. A few big fish have been caught, but most of the kings are smaller. Troll over ledges and structure or stay around any bait balls you find to increase your chances of a hookup.
Big blackfin tuna have been showing up in the Gulf Stream, along with a handful of yellowfins. Small ballyhoo rigged on fluorocarbon, as well as Green Machines and Cedar Plugs, will fool both types of tuna.
Wahoo fishing has started to taper off, but mahi are replacing them, especially around weed lines.
Bottom fishing near the break has produced triggerfish, beeliners, grunts, and a variety of snapper.
Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that speckled trout are biting throughout the area, with the best fish coming in on Super Spook Jrs. and Chasebait Flick Prawns. Deeper marsh banks and cuts in the creeks are holding the best trout, with the falling tide providing the most action.
Red drum can be found on the flats, with Vudu shrimp and Skitterwalks getting the most attention. Red and black drum can also be caught along the deeper waterway docks, mainly on mud minnows and shrimp.
Flounder fishing is steadily improving, with more keepers reported every day. Oyster rocks and creek mouths close to the inlets have produced the best flounder, mainly on live bait.
A few sheepshead are being reported from the jetty and area bridges.
Surf anglers have reported mixed catches of sea mullet and bluefish. Trolling along the beach has produced a few spanish mackerel and plenty of bluefish.
Off the beach, bonito fishing has really picked up, both for anglers trolling Clarkspoons and Yo-Zuri Deep Divers. Casting Epoxy jigs and Spanish Candies has also been effective.
Larger spanish mackerel are being reported by anglers willing to make the run to High Rock.
King mackerel fishing has been good in the 18-25 mile range, with several fish coming in from the waters around the Schoolhouse. Trolling white Drone spoons and cigar minnows will produce fish.
Plenty of keeper black sea bass and larger grunts are coming from ledges in the same area, both on cut baits and jigs.
Mixed catches of blackfin tuna, wahoo, and gaffer dolphin have been coming from around the Same Ole on small lures and trolled ballyhoo, and a few billfish have also been encountered in the same areas. Bigger blackfin tuna are being found around the Steeples, both on topwater poppers and trolling lures. A handful of yellowfin tuna have come from the Devil’s Hole and north.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that spring speckled trout fishing has been solid over the past few weeks. Lots of small fish are coming in, but some bigger specks are mixed in and taking an interest in DOA, Z-Man, and Blue Water Candy soft plastics, as well as topwater baits from Excalibur and Rapala.
Red and black drum have been readily chewing in the creeks and around ICW docks and oyster rocks.
Off the beach, water temperatures are in the low 60s, and the first Atlantic bonito and spanish mackerel of the year have arrived. Bluefish are making a strong showing as well, with some big fish in the mix.
Flounder are in the 10 mile range and moving this way.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that inside waters are showing signs of life, with small schools of menhaden and tiny mullet starting to appear.
With the recent heavy rains, the blitz of Atlantic bonito has slowed down, but plenty of small bluefish and gray trout are readily available nearshore.
Nearshore black sea bass fishing has been great, with 100 fish days being easy to come by. Only a few of those fish have ben keepers, though.
The king mackerel bite has been further off the beach than normal for this time of year, with most of them being caught in the 23-30 mile range.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that nearshore waters are alive with bluefish, bonito, and the first spanish of the year. Expect nearshore flounder fishing to pick up soon.
Offshore, water temperatures are getting warmer. Tuna, wahoo, and sailfish have all been consistently biting, and mahi are starting to show up more as grass moves in and creates floating structure. The tuna are hitting both poppers and jigs, with the latter working for amberjacks as well.
Bottom fishing has been excellent for triggerfish, beeliners, pinkies, and grunts.
Johnny, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports that bluefish, a few dogfish, and a lot of Virginia mullet are biting in the waters around the pier.