Matt, of Tex’s Tackle, reports that fishing for red drum has been good around the marshes, ICW docks, and out to the Masonboro jetties. In the marsh, topwater plugs and gold spoons are the go-to lures, as they mimic schooled bait. Around the deeper docks and jetties, Carolina-rigged cut and live baits work best.
At nights, look for speckled trout, ladyfish, and bluefish to be feeding around ICW docks and bridge lights.
Anglers fishing the bridges with live crabs and sand fleas are catching some good-sized sheepshead and black drum.
Flounder fishing has been great throughout the area.
Surf anglers are reporting good fishing with a variety of sea mullet, pompano, red drum, spanish mackerel, and flounder being caught.
Nearshore spanish mackerel fishing is going steady, with fish being caught off trolled plugs, spoons, and casting jigs when finding surface-feeding fish.
Kings, a few cobia, and tarpon are also mixed in along the beaches. Slow-trolling and drifting live baits has been best for these nearshore fish.
Offshore, a few nice-sized mahi are pushed in the 25-40 mile range, with some scattered, smaller fish as close as 12 miles. Blue Water Candy Mahi Madness, C&H Rattle Jets, and Sea Vixen Flying Fish have been great options to try outside the standard skirted ballyhoo.
Bottom fishing in the 110’+ range has seen a mix of gags, scamps, and snapper.
Fishing the Gulf Stream has seen breezing schools of yellowfin tuna, blackfin, wahoo, and mahi.
Big marlin are also being raised regularly by boats fishing deep.
Blair, of Intracoastal Angler, reports that inshore anglers are catching plenty of red drum and flounder with live bait.
Black drum and sheepshead are being caught around the area’s bridges and docks, with First Flight Jigs really helping hook-up ratios.
Nearshore anglers are reporting spanish mackerel holding their typical summer pattern in depths out to 40’. Pulling Clarksoons behind smaller #1 and #00 planers is a great method for bites.
Kings are a bit scattered, with fish from the beaches out to the break hitting a mix of live and dead bait rigs.
Bottom fishing deeper structure and ledges is producing large black sea bass, gag grouper, and grunts.
Out at the break, anglers are reporting mahi, kings, sailfish, blackfin tuna, and a few wahoo. Ballyhoo is always the best bait option, rigged on Ilanders, Blue Water Candy skirts, and Big Nic Mac-A-Hoos.
Jamie, of Seagate Charters, reports that red drum fishing has been great in the Wrightsville area. The fish are feeding best on falling tides and hitting Carolina-rigged cut and live baits. For anglers preferring to fish artificial lures, spinnerbaits and Rapala topwater plugs are getting the fish stirred up.
Speckled trout are staged up in deeper inshore holes. They’re hitting topwater plugs early in the morning, as well as Rapala and Yo-Zuri suspending lures.
Flounder have been very active around inshore creeks out to the nearshore artificial reefs. Sea Striker bucktails rigged with Z-Man soft plastics are the perfect lure to entice either area’s fish to strike.
Off the beach, spanish mackerel fishing has slowed down with the recent heat wave, though even a slight water temperature change over the next couple weeks should pick the action right back up.
Luke, of Coastline Charters, reports that the redfish bite has been strong around Wrightsville Beach. Anglers are having success with topwater plugs early and late in the day. These are great baits for helping to locate the smaller groups of fish. Other artificial baits, such as Z-Man soft plastics on Blue Water Candy jig heads, are producing strikes in these same areas. Once nearing mid-day (or on a slow bite), switching to Carolina-rigged live baits will entice action.
The inshore sheepshead bite remains strong around the area’s bridges and docks.
Nearshore anglers have been catching good numbers of spanish mackerel from the beaches out a few miles. Trolling Clarkspoons is a go-to method for targeting the fish pushed lower in the water column underneath the bait. If spotting the fish feeding on the surface, casting jigs and spoons into the action will get a strike.
Flounder fishing has been on fire throughout the area. A lack of pressure has these fish very active at both nearshore wrecks and inshore deep holes and grass banks. The nearshore fish are best targeted around the ARs and live bottoms with bucktails and bottom-rigged live baits. Inshore, the fish are also responding well to live baits and Z-Man soft plastics on lighter jig heads.
Rick, of Living Waters Guide Service, reports that bottom fishing has been great for anglers targeting ledges and live bottoms in the 120-400’ depth range. A mixed bag of grouper, silky snapper, beeliners, pinkies, and hogfish are all feeding on cut bait offerings.
King mackerel and large spanish mackerel fishing has been great from the beach out to 60’. Slow-trolling live bait around structured areas has been producing most of the action.
Patrick, of Johnnie Mercers Pier, reports that anglers targeting spanish mackerel and bluefish are having the most success in the early morning hours and late afternoons.
Bottom fishing with shrimp and Fishbites is producing good-sized sea mullet.
Anglers fishing live baits off the pier are seeing a decent bite on king mackerel.
A good number of barracuda have been hanging around the pier, and they’re hitting live baits.
Tarpon are being reported from anglers at the pier’s end, though getting a bite hasn’t been consistent.