Forecast for May/June Wrightsville area Waters
Capt. Jot Owens
April 14, 2015
Wrightsville Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
May around Wrightsville Beach is when most of our summer species really start to bite well and by June the fishing is in full swing! I love May and June because there are so many different fish to target, if ones not biting that day you can easily go target a different species. Here are some of my "goto" Wrightsville May & June fish.
As the weather stabilizes and the temps go up in May we see a lot more days where we can get out in the ocean and look for those high speed, and good eating Bonita in earlier May and Spanish mackerel all May & June long. These fish are a lot of fun to see busting the surface of the water and even more fun to see on the end of your line! Casting small spoons or using fly gear in weights six to eight can make for a great challenge on this light tackle. Look for these fish to be hanging around near shore artificial reefs, ledges and inlets. Trolling Clark spoons and small deep driver lures can be the key to success some days for the Bonita and Spanish mackerel. When using the Clark spoons, I would recommend the pink flash spoon in sizes #00, #0 and #1; the pink flash series has really helped me put more fish in the boat. You might come over a few False Albacore and Bluefish mixed in with the Bonita and Spanish from time to time.
Redfish; May & June go hand and hand, these months are some of my favorite for casting artificial lures to them. Reds really start to settle down in their summer spots by mid May. Casting Berkley Gulp Shrimp in three inch size on light jig heads is one of my go to baits for early summer Redfish. My go to colors are sugar spice glow, new penny, Rootbeer gold/chart tail and natural. Another fun way to catch Redfish is casting top-water plugs like MirrOlure's Top pup and Sebile's slim Stick; cast these plugs along mash grass lines and oyster flats. You can also cast popping or rattling corks in these shallow areas with a Berkley Gulp three inch and catch the Redfish too. If you would rather go the bait route; try some fresh cut Mullet or Menhaden on a light Carolina rig. Try fishing fresh cut bait around docks in the ICW or along creek mouths when the tide is moving this should work for most of the summer.
The bigger Reds are starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets by late May. You never know when you might hook one of these hard fighting fish. When I fish for bigger Reds, I use fresh cut or live menhaden and mullet. I use fish finder rigs with 7/0 or 8/0 circle hooks and eighty pound Berkley Big game mono leaders. Don't forget to keep your drag tight when using circle hook so they will do their job. One tip I can give you when fishing for Bull Reds, is don't use to light of tackle for these bigger Reds. If you fight them to long, there is a chance you can tire them out to much and kill them. Try a med/heavy rod and a reel with at least thirty pound mono or braid, this will help you get the fish in quicker; with a better chance of a good release. Check to see if the Red has a yellow tag in its back; there are a fair amount of tagged Big Reds out there.
May & early June is a great time for gator (bigger) Speckled trout; some of my personal largest Specks have come in May to mid June. Most of the bigger trout I see in this month's come off top-water plugs. My favorite is the MirrOlure Top dog, She dog and Sebile's slim stick; these noisy baits really make the trout come right out of the water after them! Another great bait for bigger trout is the Berkley Gulp five or six inch Jerkshad in colors pearl white and new penny; rigging on light swim-bait hooks. Live Shrimp, small Mullets and Menhaden on float rigs or very light Carolina rigs will also catch those gators!
By mid to late May the Cobia start to show up around Wrightsville; one of my favorites and will run good until early July most years. I look for Cobia around inlets, shoals and bait schools; near shore/offshore reefs and ledges are also a good place to look too. With the water being so clear it has been easier to see those brown logs in the water. We are throwing big jigs, swim baits and live bait to the Cobia. Color really does not seem to matter; but "go bright"! When I'm not sight casting for them, we are fishing around inlets, shoals and near shore artificial reefs. I float fish, bottom fish and kite fish in these areas with live menhaden, blues and mullet as bait. Sometimes a great bonus fish when fishing for Cobia is a nice bull Redfish. You can chum if you like, but the sharks and Rays will come and they will come in numbers!
With the warmer weather the Flounder will finally start showing up in better numbers, there are still a lot of smaller ones inshore, but the bigger ones will really start showing up in May! Most of the Flounder fishing I'm doing is just off the beach and around the inlets. I've caught Flounder on both live and artificial baits in May, what I have seen is more numbers on live bait, but more keepers on artificial baits. Mud minnows on light Carolina rigs with #one L42 Eagle Claw hooks will catch the numbers of Flounder. Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five & six inch sizes will get the most keeper Flounder. I rig these Jerkshad on 1/4oz, 3/8oz and 1/2oz jig heads with longer hook shanks in red or gray color.
Tackle run down: PENN Battle II & Conflict Spinning reels 2000, 2500, 3000 and 4000 sizes. Rods: PENN Battalion 6'6" and 7' Med-light and Medium rods. Line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound. Cobia/Bull Reds Reels PENN Fathom 20LW or 25LW with a PENN Rampage Jigging rod 50 to 100 pound class.
Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Tackle Elite Staff
Ranger Boats Pro Staff
Redfish, Flounder, Speckled trout, Mackerel, Cobia
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