Inshore: Fishing inshore has still been steadily improving. All the recent rain slowed things down for a few days, but the fish are still biting. There have been a lot more flounder working their way towards the inlets and into the waterway recently. Berkley Gulp and Z-Man jerkshads are consistent producers on the flounder. Live mud minnows and pogies will produce bites as well. There are red and black drum hanging around the docks and oyster bars, as well as decent numbers of sheepshead. Live mud minnows and cut shrimp have been the most productive baits for the drum, and fiddler crabs for the sheepshead. Slot and over-slot redfish have moved onto the flats in the marsh. They will hit topwater lures, weedless rigged soft plastics, and spoons. Cut mullet or live-bait will usually get bites from the more heavily pressured drum.
The surf fishing around Wrightsville has been hit or miss. Shrimp, cut mullet, and fishbites are all good options. Sea mullet, pompano, croaker, flounder, black drum, puppy drum and bluefish are all on the list of possibilities.
Offshore: The Spanish mackerel fishing has been good. The bite has been best a few miles off the beach, but there are still fish around the inlets as well. There have been a few citation-sized Spanish caught and a few kings over 20lbs near the beach. Clarkspoons and #1 or #2 planers have been consistently producing fish. Yo-Zuri deep divers, Bluewater Candy Spanish Daisy’s, and Mackerel tree rigs are all good options for trolling. A handful of Cobia have been seen and caught at Wrightsville Beach this week. Look for them swimming around bait balls, rays, sea turtles, and buoys. If you can see the fish, cast a bucktail, large swimbait, or live bait out in front of the fish. You can also anchor up and fish with bait around the inlets and artificial reefs.
The best of the king mackerel fishing has been at the wrecks and ledges 10-15 miles off the beach, although there have been a few caught closer to the beach. Anglers have been catching plenty of fish while trolling dead cigar minnows, deep divers, and drone spoons. You’ll want at least one line down on a planer or downrigger. Live bluefish and menhaden will typically produce bigger fish. Gag grouper can be found on bottom structure in the 15+ mile range, along with sea bass, porgies, grunts. It’s worth putting out a cigar minnow or whole squid on a light line for mahi and king mackerel while you’re bottom fishing. Scamps and Red grouper have been chewing in the 30+ mile range, along with beeliners and triggerfish. There’s been some gaffer Mahi caught in the 15-30 mile range, trolling ballyhoo and smaller trolling plugs is the common way to target the mahi .
Gulfstream: Gulfstream fishing is still good. Some big Blue Marlin have been around in decent numbers, as well as a few white marlin. They are more common for the boats pulling dredges and fishing in 600ft+, but they can also show up in shallower. The Mahi fishing has been great. The tuna and wahoo fishing tends to slow down some this time of year, but don’t completely count them out. More billfish and mahi should continue to show up this month. Trolling ballyhoo skirted with JR Ilanders, Ilanders, and Blue Water Candy Seawitches has been the most common tactic. Trident Lures, Cedar plugs, and Green Machines accounted for a share of fish as well. Pulling spreader bars, dredges, and daisy chains is a good way to raise more fish.
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