The month of August is known for some of the worst weather our area experiences in terms of heat and humidity, which normally has an impact on both the fish and anglers alike. So far however, the second week of August has been fairly pleasurable as far as the temperatures go, but the typical summertime scattered to numerous thunderstorms have been more frequent than normal and this week is no exception. Water temperatures remain in the mid to lower eighties, which normally creates a little bit of a slow down as far as catching, but so far anglers are having some very good success with putting some fish in the cooler or just playing catch and release.
Inshore fishing has been producing very good, with a variety of species being caught depending on what species anglers are targeting. Red drum are being caught around the docks in the channels and along the waterway as well as creek mouths and around oyster beds. Both natural baits, such as live finger mullet and cut bait are producing good results as are the scented artificial baits. Most of the fish being caught in these locations are in the slot limit but if you want something a tad larger, try soaking some cut bait near the inlets. Over slot reds have been giving anglers some catch and release action for the past few weeks.
Sheepshead fishing has been on fire for those who have the patience and know how to fool these elusive bait stealers. Fishing around the pilings of bridges and docks with small but stout hooks rigged on short Carolina Rigs tipped with one arm bandits or barnacles will normally draw some interest. Tackle should also consist of fairly stout rods and reels filled with braid to help pull the fish from the pilings and help alleviate the abrasiveness of the barnacles should the fish wrap you up.
Flounder fishing has also been producing well around the docks and deeper creeks with live minnows fished on Carolina Rigs being hard to beat but the larger soft artificial baits have also been pretty good for some anglers. While there are some keeper fish being found around the Wrightsville Beach waters, the larger fish are coming from the Cape Fear River where anglers are also fishing some decent speckled trout fishing.
Along the surf, anglers fishing with cut shrimp are catching the typical summertime variety of virginia mullet, black drum and croakers. Those fishing with sand fleas are finding some larger virginia mullet in the sloughs and deeper holes. Cut bait and minnows are tricking a few red drum and flounder.
Spanish mackerel fishing continues to be fairly strong for those trolling Clark Spoons just off the beach. Early mornings are producing best in water depths starting around 25 feet with the fish moving to deeper water by mid-morning. Anglers using small planers are finding some fish in 40 to 50 feet depths as the sun gets up and the heat of the day increases.
King mackerel still haven’t made a showing along the beach despite the abundance of baitfish being around. Most action from kings has been coming from areas starting around five to eight miles, with a lot of smaller fish still being reported. Larger fish are coming from areas beyond ten miles out to around twenty. Both live and dead baits being slow trolled have been working with structure and pods of baitfish being needed in order to hold fish in the area. Some inshore dolphin have also been reported as close as eight miles out.