Spring is in the Air and the fishing is more like Summer!

2012-03-26 12:25:18
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina - Saltwater Fishing Report
Wrightsville Sound, Masonboro inlet, Cape Fear River

I just can't say it enough; this has been some great Southeast North Carolina weather this year and it has really helped the fishing department too! I'm catching fish now that I usually don't see until late April or May! I hope this means a very good fishing season; hey it's already been a pretty good one! Here is the local area inshore waters report:

The Redfish and Black drum bite in the ICW and creeks just off the ICW has been good. I'm starting to see a few smaller Reds 14" to 21" in some of the creeks on warmer days; a few over slot fish mixed in as well. Most of the reds and black drum are hitting mud minnows and "fresh as you can get shrimp". I use two hook bottom rigs with 2, 1 & 1/0 bait holder hooks, with the fresh shrimp, when fishing for the black drum and reds. If you would like to go the artificial root, I would recommend using scented grubs. The best bait I've had luck with has been Berkley Gulp shrimp in colors pearl, natural, sugar spice glow and New Penny. Jigs heads for the grubs in 1/8oz to 3/8 oz, colors red and black seem to be the trick. Work'em slow around docks and drop-offs on grass lines and oyster rocks. The best tides have been falling or raising but fishing closer to the lower parts of the tides in the deeper areas and higher tides on the flats.

I've a good hand full of keeper Flounder inshore for the last two weeks; always a good thing to see this early in the season! Most of the keepers have been sixteen to nineteen inches long. The best bait I've had luck with lately has been Berkley Gulp three inch shrimp in colors; new penny, sugar spice glow and rootbeer gold/chart tail and five inch Jerkshad in pearl color. I'm rigging these Gulps on ╝ and 3/8 ounce jig heads in colors red, brown (new penny) and gray with thirty or forty pound fluorocarbon leader. I'm working drop-offs in channels, docks and deeper oyster rock edges for the Flounders.

Something that I love to do this time of year (late March to early June) is go up to lock & dam #1 and fish for Shad. These fish are so much fun to catch; they run, jump and run some more. Light tackle and fly fishing is the name of the game here! I see so many people fishing for shad use to heavy of tackle. Lighter tackle equals more bites and more fun! All you need is a light rod and reel; I use a Pflueger Echelon combo loaded with six pound Berkley Nanofil line. A two shad dart rig with Fifth teen or twenty pound mono or fluorocarbon leader; darts in colors pink and green; also some days Berkley Powerbait two inch grubs work great too. If you have not ever tried it; you need too! Also while your shad fishing you can put out a catfish line and sometimes catch a very nice Blue catfish using cut shad for bait.

False Albacore fishing has been good the days I can get out for them. I'm finding the Albacore from five to twenty miles offshore. There has been a few Bonita mixed in with them form time to time as well. It should not be long before we are catching good numbers of Bonita around the area waters. The #0 and #1 pink flash, silver and gold Clark spoon has caught most of our fish lately. Trolling these spoons on #1 or #2 planner; with thirty to forty feet of forty pound Berkley big game mono as leader on the planners is the way to go. On the bird rig for the surface fishing; I rig it with five to six feet of leader to the spoon. Don't forget to put a ball bearing swivel on the bird and planner; this will keep tangles from happing (well most of the time!)

When the Bonita and Albacore are on top feeding; cast Sea Rock and Sea striker jig-spoons. The colors that seem to work the best are pink/purple, white, green and blue. I use a forty pound Fluorocarbon leader; about fifth teen to twenty inches long. I really like Stren's tinted (gunsmoke) fluorocarbon leader material for clear water conditions. A good light seven foot rod is very important for casting to these fish: the reason for this is the further you can cast equals more chance's you will hook up. When there are a lot of boats chasing the Bonita, they get wearer of boats. If you can cast farther; you will catch more of these fish!

Fishing Gear we use:

Reels Penn Fierce and Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes; Abu Revo Inshore and Revo Winch low-profile bait casters. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast and Berkley Nanofil in 8, 10 and 12 pound. Rods: Fenwick HMG and Penn Legions. Leader material: Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon. Stren Fluorocarbon leader material in Tannic and Gunsmoke tints; tannic for river and stained waters, gunsmoke for clear water applications.

If you would like to get real time and on the water reports check out my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487

Thanks for reading this report, if you have any questions just let me know! If you would like to go fishing drop me a line; I'm booking now for this coming summer fishing season and don't forget to take a kid fishing!

Good Luck,

Captain Jot Owens

Ranger Boats Pro Staff

PENN Tackle Elite Staff




Fish Species: Redfish, Flounder, Bonita, Black Drum
Bait Used: Berkley Gulp
Tackle Used: Penn Battle Spinning reels, Legion Rods, Spiderwire
Method Used:
Water Depth:
Water Temperature: 67` to 70`
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
Nice Shallow water Redfish
Nice Shallow water Redfish

CFR Shad!
CFR Shad!

Jot Owens

About The Author: Captain Jot Owens

Company: Jot It Down Fishing Charters LLC

Area Reporting: Southeast NC Wrightsville Beach/Wilmington

Bio: Captain Jot Owens, IV, born and raised in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, has been fishing the waters of the Cape Fear, Masonboro Sound and the North Atlantic Ocean for thirteen years. He began his career at the age of 15 commercial fishing for Grouper and King Mackerel. After the experience in commercial fishing, he began working as a Mate on a charter boat that specialized in offshore fishing for King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, tuna, Wahoo and billfish. During this time he made offshore rigs and prepared baits for the charters. In 2000, Jot began work as a Mate on The Fortune Hunter. During the six years Jot worked as a Mate, he was working towards his Captain´┐Żs license. In February 2002, he achieved his goal of obtaining his Captain´┐Żs license. Since this time, Jot has been the Master and Captain of the Fortune Hunter Too, fishing for trout, Red Drum, Flounder, Cobia, Tarpon and many other species. Today Captain Jot runs his own boat; the (Jot It down). Captain Jot enjoys everyday he is on the water and brings his passion for fishing to his customers by teaching new techniques and providing knowledge about the many different species of fish found on the East Coast. He looks forward to sharing with you the many fishing techniques that he is so passionate about.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Jot Owens