Wrightsville Beach – October 10, 2019
Matt, of Tex Tackle, reports that fishing inshore has been decent, but it should really start to improve with the arrival of fall-like temperatures. The speckled trout fishing has been good around the inlets and in the creeks, with the best times being early and late in the day. Topwater fishing has been producing redfish and trout at first light. The trout will also hit soft plastics and suspending hard baits. Drum fishing has been good around waterway docks and back in the creeks. There’s plenty of finger mullet and some shrimp around right now, and either one is a good go-to bait.
Sheepshead and black drum are being caught on fiddler crabs, sand fleas, and shrimp.
Strong numbers of under-slot to over-slot redfish are being caught in the surf, along with the first few spot, croaker, whiting, pompano, and flounder. Anglers can also throw casting jigs for the blues and spanish, especially early and late in the day. Those fishing with large cut bait, especially at night, have been catching sharks and rays, and there should be opportunities to catch the big red drum in the surf as well.
Some big schools of false albacore have arrived just off the beach. When they are chasing bait on the surface, they can be caught sight casting with small jigs, or you can always troll Yo-Zuri Deep Divers or Clarkspoons behind planers. There have been some citation-sized spanish caught over the last few weeks as well. Light-lining with live mullet is a good way to catch the bigger spanish.
The nearshore bottom is holding some big red drum, cobia, gray trout, and flounder, and there has been some decent nearshore king mackerel fishing starting to fire off for boats pulling live baits. The bite has been better on the other side of the shoals (near Southport). There are also some kings to be caught at the offshore wrecks and ledges. The latest reports of good-sized mahi were from about 40 miles out.
The bottom fishing has also been good out in these areas, where gag grouper, scamps, and the other usual bottomfish have been cooperating.
Gulf Stream trolling has been a little bit tougher lately. Boats have been reporting some decent wahoo fishing, but not the double digit days that they were seeing. There has been a handful of nice blackfins mixed in, quite a few sailfish, and an abundance of smaller mahi.
Bottom fishing and jigging has been producing amberjack, grouper, beeliners, and triggerfish.
Arlen, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that fall inshore fishing has begun to shape up with the cooler weather. Speckled trout fishing has been very good in the Cape Fear River from the Dredge Hole to Southport. Fish up to 6 lbs. have been coming on topwater lures, such as Super Spook Jrs as well as 17MR MirrOlures. Red drum have been mixed in in the same areas.
Trout fishing has been strong behind Masonboro Island and Figure 8, with Z-Man soft plastics and Vudu shrimp producing the most bites.
Larger drum (up to 50″) are still coming from the ends of the jetties, mainly on cut mullet fished on the bottom.
Surf anglers are reporting catches of sea mullet and a few spot, with the best action coming from shrimp and bloodworms.
Along the beachfront out to 2 miles, anglers are reporting good catches of spanish mackerel and false albacore. Both species are coming on casting jigs, and fly anglers are having success throwing gummy minnows.
King mackerel fishing has improved and should only get better with the cooler temperatures. Trolling Deep Divers and dead bait rigs with sardines and squid has produced fish from Dallas Rocks and other spots in the 10-15 mile range, with a few larger fish coming off of live bait along the beachfront.
Gag grouper fishing has been strong in the 20 mile range, mainly on dead sardines and live pinfish.
Gulfstream fishing has been heating up, with wahoo fishing being great one day and decent the next. Most fish have been coming on Ilander and Jag ballyhoo combos from the Nipple and Swansboro Hole, and this action should only improve as water temperatures decline. Several sailfish and blackfin tuna are coming from the same areas, with a few nice catches of gaffer dolphin coming from debris left over from the storm.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that a strong wind has been pushing in a lot of bait (including flying fish right along the beach), making big fish easy to find. The king mackerel bite has been good in the 7-10 mile range, while grouper are hitting hard between 10-14 miles.
Plenty of 5 lb. class speckled trout are being found in strong current areas throughout local marshes. They’re falling for Z-Man soft plastics.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that nearshore fishing has been successful thanks to scattered spanish, false albacore, and kings.
Outside, there are blackfins, wahoo, and sailfish biting well.
Bottom fishing in the 100-140’ range has produced a number of gags and scamps, in addition to various other bottomfish.
Donny, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports that while the bite has been great, it’s also been quite varied. False albacore, bluefish, spanish, and flounder have all been pulled in over the past few weeks. Anglers have been seeing the most success using cut bait.
Spots have been on fire, and a few reds have been pulled over the rails as well.
Lots of king mackerel have been landed: one almost 25 lbs., and a few others lost.