August 2016-Fishing Forecast/Report
Capt. Jot Owens
July 28, 2016
Wrightsville Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
August fishing around Wrightsville Beach can be pretty good, but with hot temps and little rain "most years" you need to change up things just a little to get more bites. Going earlier in the morning or later in the day will make a difference, cloudy days or even those light rain days can be the key to more bites! Remember fish get lethargic from hot water temps just as much as cold water temps.
Flounder are a great hot weather fish because it really does not seem to matter how hot it gets they still bite! Live bait can be a good choice for catching higher numbers of Flounder, but if you want to catch bigger Flounder try artificial bait. Mud minnows, small menhaden and small finger mullet will be the best live baits for Flounder in August. Rigging the live bait on carolina rigs with Eagle Claw L42 #1 or 1/0 hooks is a good choice of rigs for Flounder. If you prefer to use artificial baits; scented and none scented grubs as well as spinner baits will do the job. Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five and six inch and colors of new penny, pearl white and chart pepper neon are all my "go to" flounder lures. Also try Berkley's Havoc Grass Pig lure in colors, chartreuse, pearl white silver and swamp gas. I rig these lures on jig heads in 1/4oz, 3/8oz, 1/2oz and 3/4oz (ocean) weights in colors red, gray or white.
Look for the bigger flounder around deeper water docks with good current, bait fish and lots of structure inshore. The inlets, offshore reef and ledges are all good places to find hot weather flounder. What do all these places have in common; deeper water (may be close to shallow water), current and structure……….Hint………
One fish that is always on my hot weather list is the Sheephead. The Sheephead is a good challenge to catch and they fight hard, but they are also good to eat! Another great thing about Sheephead fishing when it's hot outside is that you can hide under a bridge out of the sun to catch them. Just think; fishing somewhere out of the sun and you're catching great eating fish! All you need is some fiddler crabs or sand fleas for bait. A medium/heavy action spinning or casting rod with Spiderwire twenty or thirty pound braid for line will help you bring in that big Sheephead in. Tie on a short carolina rig with forty or fifty pound fluorocarbon leader and a small live bait J hook (sharp/strong)! Drop that fiddler crab down beside a piling on the carolina rig and when you feel that little bump; set the hook and hold on! PS: they are great eating in the two to six pound range!
North Carolina is not really known for Tarpon fishing but we do see a few pushing just off Masonboro inlet and the lower Cape Fear River form time to time. If you want a good challenge, give Carolina Tarpon fishing a try this August. The best times are very early morning or late afternoon and in to the night. I fish for Tarpon on the bottom or free lining, using live and fresh dead baits like; spots, mullet and menhaden. I rig these baits on fish finder rigs, with three to five feet of 80 to 100 pound fluorocarbon leaders. Circle hooks are the best bet for good hook ups and landings for Tarpon in hook sizes 7/0 to 9/0 depending what hook series you like. I prefer TroKar TK3 or TK5 9/0 circle hooks, super sharp and super strong! It not easy to catch a NC Tarpon, but I promise if you do or even just jump one off its still really cool to see!
I also enjoy shark fishing later in the summer (late July to early September). Sharks on light tackle are always a good pull and boy the kids love to catch'em! I drift live and fresh dead bluefish, Spanish mackerel, mullet or menhaden in thirty to forty five feet of water offshore. I rig these baits with a 7/0 to 9/0 TroKar circle hook (barb pushed down for easy release) with one foot of ninety pound wire and six to eight feet of eighty pound mono leader. You can free line the bait and /or put a small egg sinker on to keep the bait close to the bottom. You'll know when you get a bite! Most sharks are in the ten to one hundred pound range, with a few bigger ones mixed in!
Last but certainly not lest is Bull Redfish (big Red Drum). The Bull Reds will start showing up in good numbers around inlets and hard/live bottoms just off the beach to about ten miles out in early August. Live or fresh dead bait is the key to catching these brutes. Most fish will be twenty-eight to over forty inches in length, very fun to catch size! It's not hard to rig for the Bull reds; short carolina rigs with a 7/0 to 10/0 TroKar circle hook will do the trick. Remember if your catching larger Drum, please use heavier tackle; these Drum will work so hard when the water is hot and it is easy to kill them using to light of tackle (fighting them to long).
Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Fishing Tackle Elite Staff
Flounder, Tarpon, Redfish, Sheephead
More Fishing Reports: