Wrightsville Beach Fishing Report/Forecast
Capt. Jot Owens
August 14, 2013
Wrightsville Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Folks here is this months fishing report and forecast. I'm a little late on getting this one out, so this one is for late August and early September. The rain will just not stop this summer, I hope with the approach of fall the fronts will push the rain by a little faster than lately! The fishing has still been pretty good most days even with all the rain we've had. Here are a few of the fish I like to target late August and early September.
Red Drum fishing has been 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 three to six inches long. I rig these live baits on carolina rigs with a 2/0 to 6/0 circle hooks. Remember when using circle hooks, let the fish hook its self; 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.
Early mornings and late afternoons has produced some nice Redfish on top-water lures and rattling corks for me. The best luck I've had has been with MirrOlure's Top-dog Jr and Top pup top-water lures. Another good one I'm having luck with on very calm days (slick waters) Sebile's Ghost walker top-water lure. When I'm using live bait in shallow water a Salt Water Assassin Kwik Cork has been working very well too, with a small live mullet or menhaden under it.
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 and I've had a few nice Black drum lately while Sheephead fishing!
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 (clearer waters). 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 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. I rig these jigs on forty pound Berkley Pro Spec clear fluorocarbon leader.
The flounder fishing this season and last has been some of the best I've ever seen around these waters, it did start later this year! 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"!
Tarpon fishing this season has been so/so, with a few fish being hooked and caught off some of the local piers and just off the beach in boats. I jumped off a nice one just off Masonboro inlet two weeks ago. 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.
Fishing Gear I use:
Reels: Redfish, Flounder and Spanish casting: PENN Battle and Conflict spinning in sizes 2000, 2500 & 3000 sizes. Tarpon & bigger Reds reels: Penn Battle 6000 & 7000, Penn Fathom 25N and Torque 12, 15 & 25N Tarpon) 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: 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. Berkley Pro Spec 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. www.facebook.com/" target="_blank">https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487
Thanks for reading these reports, if you have any questions or comments just let me know. Good fishing to you and stay cool & dry out there!
Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Tackle Elite Staff
Ranger Boats Pro Staff
Redfish, Tarpon, Flounder, Sheephead
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