Flounder, Reds, Tarpon, Mackerel are whats biting; Wrightsville!
Capt. Jot Owens
August 1, 2012
Wrightsville Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Folks here is this months fishing report and forecast. Fishing this season so far has been very good most days and I am really enjoying the somewhat cooler weather we have had a few days. The rain is a welcome site too, the inshore waters are starting to get to warm and the rain will help cool things down a bit.
The flounder fishing this season and last has been some of the best I've ever seen around these waters. There has been a good number of keepers, little ones and some very nice fish over five pounds caught just about everywhere this year. The bait I've had the best luck with this season has been Berkley Gulp Jerkshad: especially for the bigger flounder. I'm rigging five and six inch Jerkshad in colors pearl white, new penny and chart-pepper neon on 1/4oz, 3/8oz and 1/2oz dark colored jig heads (red, gray, brown etc). I prefer forty pound Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader material in clear or tannic tint for stained waters. I fish for the flounder around inlets, creeks, docks and near shore reefs. Remember when it comes to flounder fishing; "you can work the lure to fast, you can never work it to slow"!
Red Drum fishing is very good this season and I'm seeing lots of over slot Redfish this year. I'm catching Reds mostly two different ways; live bait and artificial baits. When I'm fishing live baits I prefer mullets and menhaden in sizes four to seven inches long. I rig these live baits on carolina rigs with a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hooks. Remember when using circle hooks, let the fish hook itself; don't jerk the rod, just come tight with the line. If you do this you'll never miss a Red and the fish will be hooked in the corner of the mouth for easy release. The artificial baits that are working for me are Berkley Gulp's three and four inch shrimp rigged on red or gray jig heads. I'm casting these shrimp around docks, grass lines and oyster rocks.
Another tip I can give you that I have seen lately while fishing for Reds, especially bigger Reds is anglers using to light of tackle and wearing out fish by fighting them to long and killing over slot fish. Try to use heavy enough tackle to get the Red in good time; this will greatly improve the likeliness of the Red surviving after the fight. When the water temps are hot like they are now, its very easy to over fight and kill a bigger Redfish. Also keep your eyes peeled for tagged Redfish; I have tagged a lot of over slot Reds this year.
The Sheephead fishing is still going very good and should be good until late October. Rigging is easy for Sheephead; I use a short carolina rig with forty pound mono or fluorocarbon leader about eight to ten inches long. The hook is a number one or 1/0 live bait nose hook; small, sharp and strong, very important for Sheephead! Look for Sheephead around pilings, bulkheads and large oyster rocks that stay covered up by water most of the tide. For bait, I catch fiddler crabs on mud banks on the ICW. Sheephead fishing takes patients and time to catch them but it's worth the time because Sheephead are good to eat!
The Spanish Mackerel are biting most days, but the best bite has been earlier in the morning when the sun is lower in the sky; also the fish have been a little deeper in thirty to fifty feet of water for the last few weeks. When you mark big balls of bait with your fish finder this is usually where you'll find the most Spanish biting. Clark-spoons in sizes 00 and 0 are doing the trick in colors silver, gold and pink flash behind number one planners. The Spanish hitting on top are hitting Blue Water Candy's Spanish Daisy chains in colors pink, blue and silver; the great thing about this rig is you can pull it off lighter tackle outfits.
Another new lure that is working well for the Spanish when I'm casting to them is the River2Sea Sea Rock lure, these little casting jigs are just the right weight and size to get those fast moving Spanish to bite! All the colors that the Sea Rock comes in seem to work and I prefer the two smallest sizes of Sea Rock in the number seven and four-teen. All so the hook that comes on these lures is great, finally a good hook on a lure right out of the package!
Tarpon fishing this season has been hot, with lots of fish being hooked and caught off many of the local piers and just off the beach in boats. Tarpon fishing is not easy; it takes patients and time, but the payoff can be very rewarding! I fish for Tarpon on the bottom or free lining, using live and fresh dead baits like; spots, bluefish and menhaden. I'm rigging these baits on fish finder rigs, with three to five feet of 80 to 100 pound mono leaders. Circle hooks are the best bet for good hook ups and landings for Tarpon in hook sizes 7/0 to 10/0 depending what hook series/maker you like. I have also had a fair share of Tarpon on my kite rig with live baits like mullets, bluefish and menhaden. Hey give the Silver King a try sometime; you never know the fish god might hook you up with a Tarpon!
Fishing Gear I use:
Reels: Redfish, Flounder and Spanish casting: Penn Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes. Tarpon & bigger Reds reels: Penn Battle 6000 & 7000, Penn Fathom 25N and Torque 12 & 15 conventional reels. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast braid in 8, 10 and 15 pound. Tarpon Line: 30 or 40 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: Penn Legion spinning 6'6" to 7'6" Med/light to Med /hvy. Tarpon/bigger Reds Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series or Penn Bluewater Carnage jigging series in 50-100 class spinning and casting. Leader material: Tarpon; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred pound. Stren Fluorocarbon leader material in Tannic and Gunsmoke tints; tannic for river and stained waters, gunsmoke for clear water applications.
*Are you on Facebook? Check out my page Capt. Jot Owens/Jot It Down Fishing Charters LLC for lots of good info on local fishing, fishing tips, detailed live reports, photos and tackle giveaways; yes free stuff! Just Fan (like) the page on I'll have monthly random drawings and fishing trivia questions to win free tackle. There is a link to my Facebook page on my website.
Thanks for reading these reports, if you have any questions or comments just let me know. Good fishing to you and stay cool out there!
Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Tackle Elite Staff
Ranger Boats Pro Staff
Flounder, Redfish, Mackerel, Tarpon
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