The past week has not been all that great for the majority of outdoor related activities, but especially fishing, as far as weather goes. Several days of rain last week brought over two inches of precipitation to the area, then followed by cold temperatures and now lots of winds, it doesn’t help the cause for those who want to venture out and wet a line. In addition to the weather having an impact on the water activities, over the weekend, a broken sewer line next to the Wrightsville Beach boat ramp, spilled 75,000 gallons of raw sewage into the waterway. This will no doubt have some sort of impact on the local areas fishing and more, and not just near and around the boat ramp, but probably towards the inlets to our south and north as well. What impact it has on the areas shellfish harvest we’ll have to wait and see and obviously you’ll want to stay out of the water until conditions permit.
As far as the fishing goes, the speckled trout fishing has been hit or miss, with anglers that are able to find the larger fish having good limits in a short amount of time while others who manage to find the smaller spikes are having a difficult time culling through to find some keepers. Soft baits such as Gulp and DOAs are working well as are Mirrolures in varying colors. As the waters continue to cool, which are now reading in the upper fifties, some of the larger trout will be found around the inlets and especially the Masonboro Inlet Jetties. Anglers have also reported catching some decent sized fish from the surf areas of Topsail and Surf City. Some red drum are still being found around the docks and in the creeks and can be fooled on both soft artificial baits and fresh cut bait soaked on the bottom. Anglers fishing these areas are also finding a few decent sized black drum.
Surf anglers fishing for Virginia mullet are having good success on fresh shrimp fished in the sloughs and deeper holes during the times of the falling tide. Those anglers lucky enough to find sand fleas are having the better luck with the larger fish, with some reports of fish up to two pounds being caught. A few black drum are also being reported coming from the mullet fishermen.
Offshore has almost been nonexistent the past week due to the weather. Wahoo and blackfin tuna should be waiting in the blue water once anglers can get back out to them. King mackerel were being found in the fifteen mile range but have likely moved out a few more miles or more since the last front came through. Bottom fishing around twenty miles was good for black bass and grunts, with snapper and grouper being reported in the thirty miles range.
Those anglers targeting bluefin tuna have had some early luck close to the beaches but the fishing has also been impacted by the seas. Once conditions allow, expect to see lots of reports of tuna being caught from close to the hill and inlets as more anglers attempt to wrestle one of these fish.