Wrightsville Beach – October 24, 2019
Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that the speckled trout fishing has been great around the inlets and deeper grass banks in the marshes. Topwater fishing has been producing trout (and redfish) at first light and on the overcast days. During other conditions, the trout have been hitting a variety of soft plastics and suspending hard baits, like X-Raps and MirrOlures.
Drum fishing has been good around waterway docks and back in the creeks around oyster bars. Sheepshead and black drum are being caught on fiddler crabs, sand fleas, and shrimp around the docks and bridges.
From the surf, pompano and whiting are the most consistent action, along with some decent numbers of red drum, speckled trout, spot, bluefish, and black drum. Anglers fishing with large cut bait (especially at night) have been catching sharks and rays, and there should still be some opportunities to catch the big red drum in the surf.
False albacore continue to be right off the beach, whenever the weather allows for fishing. When you find the albies chasing bait on the surface, you can catch them sight-casting with small jigs, or you can always troll Yo-Zuri Deep Divers and Clarkspoons with planers.
There have been some citation-sized spanish caught recently. Usually, the spanish will stick around until the water temperature dips into the mid-60’s.
King mackerel fishing in the 2-10 mile range has been really good. There are also some kings to be caught at the offshore wrecks and ledges beyond the 10 mile range.
The nearshore bottom is holding some big red drum, cobia, gray trout, and flounder.
The latest catches of good-sized mahi were from about 40 miles out.
The bottom fishing has also been good out in 40 mile range, where gag grouper, scamps, and the other usual bottomfish have been cooperating.
Gulf Stream trolling has been hit or miss. Boats have been finding some good wahoo fishing at times, and anglers are starting to see a few of the really big fish mixed in. There has been a handful of bigger blackfins, quite a few sailfish, and an abundance of smaller mahi.
Bottom fishing and jigging in the deeper water has been producing amberjack, grouper, beeliners, and triggerfish.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that speckled trout fishing has continued to improve over the last few weeks. Anglers getting on the water in the early morning can find a great topwater bite, with X-Caliber Spooks and Rapala Skitterwalks both getting plenty of attention. Later in the day, switching it up to soft plastics from Blue Water Candy, Fathom, and Z-Man will prove effective, and suspended twitch baits from MirrOlure, Rapala, and Yo-Zuri should work as well.
Both the inlets and the waters behind Masonboro Island have been producing red drum, though sizes have still been inconsistent. Using either live or cut bait will generate the drum, and live bait will also work for flounder (as will soft plastics).
False albacore are still thick off the beach, where Clarkspoons and planers are getting a lot of attention.
Trevor, of ProFishNC Charters, reports that inshore flounder action is on fire, with most of the flatties biting live mullet on the outgoing tide. Red drum are also feeding really well, especially when fishing live bait on structure.
Bluefish are expected to be swarming the area in the next week or so, as they move from the Pamlico area, and some big trout are already here. Pink Z-Man and Blue Water Candy soft plastics have been working the best.
A few cobia have been showing up lately, and kings are scattered. The biggest and most kings have been caught between the beach and 14 miles out.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that nearshore anglers have seen some of the best king fishing of the year. Most of the action has been from just off the beach to 10 miles out. False albacore and spanish have been everywhere as well.
Offshore, wahoo and sailfish are biting like crazy, while mahi and blackfins have been scattered.
Bottom fishing has been slowing down (mostly due to the swell), but there has been a decent scamp, pinky, beeliner, and triggerfish bite.
Donny, of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, reports that quite a few kings were caught early last week. Most were in the 10-15 lb. range, though a few of the bigger fish went nearly 30 lbs.
A handful of 3-4 lb. false albacore and some big blues have been caught on Gotcha plugs, and small spanish have been mixed in as well.