Wrightsville September 2016-Report/Forecast
Capt. Jot Owens
August 31, 2016
Wrightsville Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
September is the start to Fall; one of the best times of the year to go fishing around Wrightsville Beach. When cold fronts start to make their way across Southeast North Carolina, fishing really picks up. Most of the fish we catch around Wrightsville in the summer are still biting during September but they are biting better. Nice cool temps and light morning breezes; make for some great fishing weather. Another great thing about September is much less boat traffic!
When the water starts to cool down the Redfishing will heat up. Look for the Reds to be in the creeks, along the ICW docks and oyster rocks. Carolina rigs with live bait or fresh cut bait is a good bet to catch a Redfish. If you want to go the artificial root, try Berkley Gulp three inch in color sugar spice glow or molting rigged on a 1/8oz or 1/4oz jig head should get'em to bite. Early mornings or late afternoons the top water bite should be good; cast MirrOlure Top Dog Jr's and Top Pup's for the best bite. Look for the top-water reds to be along marsh grass lines and shallow oyster rocks. You can also use rattling or popping corks in the same areas you use top-water plugs, just rig them with eight to fourteen inches of forty pound fluorocarbon, 1/0 hook L42 Eagle Claw and a live figure mullet.
The bigger Reds are starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets. 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 larger carolina rigs with TroKar 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.
The Flounder fishing has been good this season so far, with this said it looks like September should be a great mouth for Flounder too. We look for Flounder in the fall around the inlets, in the creeks; up and down the ICW. We also will find some very nice Flounder just offshore of Wrightsville/Topsail on live/hard bottom as well artificial reefs. Mud minnows and small finger mullet will be the best live baits for Flounder in September. Rigging the live bait on carolina rigs with EC 042 1/0 hooks is a good choice of rigs for Flounder. If you prefer to use artificial baits; scented and none scented grubs will do the job. Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in six inch with colors chart pepper neon and pearl white seem to work the best for me. Rig these on jig heads with longer hook shanks with will help with a better hookup ratio.
Spanish mackerel fishing can be great during September. The Spanish run the biggest all year during the fall. You can cast or troll for them and the fly fishing can be great as well. The Spanish will be around the inlets and near shore artificial reefs. Look for jumping Spanish and diving birds; that is where you will find the Spanish mackerel. Casting small spoons or jigs on light spinning tackle will put some Spanish in the boat for you. If you would rather troll, give a Blue Water Candy Daisy Chain a try on top and a #1 planner down deep with a Clark spoon. If you would like to give fly fishing a try, use a five to eight weight set up with floating line with a small minnow pattern fly or epoxy minnow pattern; my favorite!
Shark fishing will be good until late September. We see lots of different kinds of Sharks in September; Black tip, black nose, Sandbar, Hammerhead and Tiger. Best baits for the near shore sharks are fresh/live Bluefish, Mullet and Menhaden. We use spinning reels for Shark fishing with 300+ yards of thirty and fifty pound Spider wire Ultra-cast braid. Rigging the baits; eight feet of 80 pound mono leader; some will wind on to the reel. Connected to the 80 pound mono is a fifty pound swivel, then Two to three foot of #9 SS wire and an TroKar 8/0 or 9/0 circle hook. (I push down the barb for easy release) If you prefer Fly fishing, I like Striped bass flies in Menhaden patterns with 4/0 and 5/0 hook sizes. We use ten to twelve weight set ups; have lots of extra flies with you!
Good September fishing to you, don't forget to take a kid fishing and thanks for reading!
Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Tackle Elite Staff
Redfish, Flounder, Sharks, Mackerel
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