Captain Arlen's Fishing Reports & Blog

Fishing Reports


September 2011 Report

Thursday, September 29, 2011

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The fall has certainly begun to get Wrightsville Beach fishing back into full swing!  The recent cool in the area’s waters has brought many schools of false albacore into the area’s beaches, and although they aren’t Sea Monsters, they will test all of your ability on light tackle.  Many are being encountered to the North of the area, with casting jigs being the best choice.  Be sure to downsize your lures, as they have been feeding on bait the size of a toothpick.  The gulftream action has been great, and when the weather allows, we have been catching good numbers of wahoo in mixed sizes, from 20-60 lbs.  While mostly small, there have been a few dolphin mixed in with the wahoo.  Trolled ballyhoo behind Blue Water Candy seawitches and JAGs have accounted for the majority of the catch.  Lately the wahoo bite has been early in the morning, and when it slows, we fish our way home on the bottom, catching a mixed bag of grouper, tilefish and sea bass.  There have been an astonishing amount of large, ginormous, jumbo black sea bass (you get the idea) on the offshore ledges, much more than I have ever seen.  At some spots that have huge populations of triggerfish, it is a struggle to catch them due to the biomass of black sea bass…..... 

August 2011 Report

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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This August has provided the best season on my two favorite fisheries - Nearshore flounder and grouper fishing!  There have been numerous spanish mackerel - of the large variety - feeding actively on surface bait early in the morning.  We have been catching them casting Sea Striker Jigfish on spinning tackle early in the morning.  When the sun comes up, it’s time to go flounder fishing.  The nearshore flounder action has been on fire as of late, primarily on bucktails tipped with berkley gulp shrimp.  Live mullet works fine, but it also catches the undersized fish, which are even more plentiful than the bigger ones.  While the topwater spanish mackerel action dies down, we are still catching plenty of them while flounder fishing on live bait.  We even had a 100+ lb. tarpon give us a try last week.  I think my junior angler (and myself) were happy for it to just put on a show, and not get hooked on a flounder rod while we were on anchor…. 

July 2011 Report

Sunday, July 31, 2011

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While last month proved to be quite frustrating, this July has been full of great fishing!  While the king mackerel never showed and the dolphin did not stay inshore the way we would like them to, the bottom fishing has been great.  Limits of grouper, triggerfish, snapper and black sea bass have been fairly frequent this month as the grouper are becoming more and more active.  Ledges inshore of 90 foot are providing most of the gag grouper, while the 40+ mile range has been quite productive for both scamp and red groupers.  While we cannot keep them, the American red snapper are everywhere, and I have seen the most I ever have off the Wrightsville Beach coast.  The spanish mackerel action continues to be consistent, however in the recent heat, the bite has been early and late.  Flounder fishing on the nearshore structures is getting better and better, with half day catches for the Wrightsville Beach Charter Fishing boats beginning to approach limits.  I am happy to relay a much better fishing report this month, and here’s to hoping the trend continues!

Capt. Arlen

June 2011 Report

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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Thus far, it has been a very humbling charter season; words that are tough to write amongst my historically-favorite month of fishing.  Perhaps the rest of the Wrightsville Beach Charter Fishing fleet might have something different to tell you, but between the rough seas and lack of bait near the coast, it has been very difficult to recreate the super-memorable trips of years past.  Regardless of the tough conditions, we’ve still been catching fish off of Wrightsville Beach.  There are a few king mackerel around, mainly nearshore, responding primarily to live menhaden.  The spanish mackerel are everywhere, and although mostly moderate sized, are responding to Blue Water Candy spanish daisys trolled fast along the surface.  The bottom fishing has been good, with large gag groupers making up the most of the catch inshore of 100 feet, and the red grouper comprising the rest of it beyond 40 miles.  The gaffer dolphin fishing has been incredible as of recent, but unfortunately due to the weather, I have not been able to give it a go myself.  This has been a very unpredictable June!  Even when the weather is marginal and the mackerel and dolphin won’t cooperate, we have found plentiful amount of large amberjacks and cobia around the structures 10 miles offshore.  Live bait proves to be the best and surest bet, however many fish are being taken on bucktails and topwater poppers…...... 

May 2011 report

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

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As summer approaches and the water temperatures are rising, fishing has continued to improve here at Wrightsville Beach, NC.  Along the beaches, spanish mackerel are plentiful, and are eager to take trolled clarkspoons and Blue Water Candy Spanish Daisys.  Flounder have also begun to show up at nearshore reefs and structures, with bucktails tipped with Gulp shrimp the primary lure of choice.  In addition, king mackerel have begun to show up on your nearshore and offshore structures.  They are a welcomed arrival, and the bait of choice is a live menhaden on a traditional king mackerel rig adorned with Blue Water Candy featherweight skirts.  Try a double-pogie rig in the propwash - just make sure you’re looking at it when they they start to out-swim the boat….  The best of the nearshore bite has been to the south off of Yaupon Beach, but we are catching a few fish here off of the Wrightsville Beach seabuoy.  When fishing near the Cape Fear River, select a brighter-colored skirt, such as a chartreuse or pink to make your baits stand out in the dingy water.  May also welcomes the opening of grouper fishing, which has been productive despite the post-spawn pattern in full effect.  Fish are tight to their cover, so be sure to take special precision when anchoring this time of year.  Red grouper fishing is still better the farther offshore you go, and there are plenty of triggerfish to go along with them.  When the weather allows, gulfstream anglers are catching numerous gaffer dolphin, some as large as 50 lbs.  Trolled ballyhoo are the most consistent producer. 

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