Wrightsville Beach – August 1, 2019
Matt, of Tex Tackle, reports that fishing inshore has included some good variety lately, with red and black drum, flounder, speckled trout, and sheepshead all being reported. Look for docks where there is deeper water nearby and a good amount of current. Reds, trout, and flounder can also be found in the marsh near the inlets and behind the islands. You can’t go wrong with live mullet, but Gulp and Z-Man soft plastics have also been producing a good number of fish.
The reds and trout have been hitting topwater plugs, too, especially in low light conditions. For topwaters, a Rapala Skitter Walk or Skitter V is hard to beat.
The sheepshead and black drum are mostly being caught on fiddler crabs, sand fleas, and shrimp.
There have been mixed reports coming in from the surf in the past few weeks, with red and black drum, whiting, pompano, and flounder all being common occurrences.
The spanish mackerel fishing has been hit or miss at the nearshore wrecks and ledges, with a few good days and some larger fish mixed in. Most boats are catching fish with Yo-Zuri deep divers and Clarkspoons behind planers. The size 00 Clarkspoon in the pink flash color has been a good one lately. The fish have also been hitting casting jigs, when you can find spanish feeding on the surface.
The nearshore bottom fishing has been great. Good numbers of big flounder, keeper gray trout, and mixed sizes of red drum have been biting at the ARs and ledges nearshore. You can’t go wrong with a bucktail tipped with a Gulp or with a live mullet or menhaden.
There are still some cobia making their way through the area, as well as a few tarpon running along the beach. Most of these two species are going to be near the inlets, around live bottom, and at the artificial reefs off the beach.
There’s been some decent fishing for mahi in the 15-40 mile range, including some 20+ lb. fish. Look for the clear/blue water and flying fish around any ledges or other structure. Trolling with ballyhoo or squid has been the most common strategy. If you opt for lures, the Trident Lure Micros, Blue Water Candy Mahi Madness, and Monkalurs have all been working.
King mackerel are being caught in good numbers at structure and ledges throughout the area, but the best fishing has been further offshore on most days. Live bait, ballyhoo, cigar minnows, Drone spoons, and bigger Clarkspoons will all produce fish.
The gag grouper bite has been strong starting in about 80’, along with beeliners, pinkies, and grunts. The reds and scamps can be found further offshore, along with good numbers of triggerfish, and throw out a light-line while you’re bottom fishing for a shot at mahi and kings.
Gulf Stream trolling has been heavily dependent on finding temperature breaks and weed lines. If you can find them, there’s been some big blackfin, mahi, sailfish, and wahoo in the area. There’s also been a handful of blue marlin caught over the last few weeks, especially in 600’ or deeper.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that redfish are continuing to bite well in the area. A few speckled trout have been caught, too, with Skitter Walks and Excalibur Spooks providing most of the action.
Ladyfish can be found busting on schools of mullet in the ICW.
Flounder have moved toward the inlets, where they are happy to bite from there out to the nearshore wrecks.
Spanish mackerel are feeding up and down the beach.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that drum and flounder are biting hard in the inlet mouths, as well as at docks and oyster beds. Carolina-rigged live bait will produce the most bites. Finger mullet is the best live bait option, with shrimp as the second best choice.
Nearshore bottom fishing has been productive when dropping mullet down just off of the structures. Large flounder have been the most consistent bite at the nearshore reefs.
Spanish mackerel fishing is good when the weather allows, and tarpon are showing up in better numbers.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that nearshore fishing has been great, with plenty of spanish still biting along the beach. In addition, both king mackerel and mahi are chewing in a wide range of areas (between 5-29 miles).
Offshore fishing is producing good numbers of billfish, along with some scattered mahi.
On the bottom, gags, reds, and scamps are chewing the most consistently, while good numbers of pinkies, grunts, and beeliners are coming in as well. Some really nice black sea bass are also in the mix.
Gabe, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports that trout, flounder, spanish mackerel, pompano, whiting, and croaker are all coming in over the rails.
There have been a few decent kings and tarpon caught, too.