If youíve wet a line or have been keeping up with whatís been going on fishing-wise in our area, you know the fishing had been bad, very bad, starting around June. The month of July saw some much-needed improvement with both the fishing and water conditions finally recuperating. The start of August showed real signs of some great fishing on the horizon as everything appeared to be getting back to normal, and that in itself is the problem. The fishing has gotten back into its old summertime pattern, basically known as the summer doldrums.
While the fishing has slowed for the past week, I expect this to be short lived, as a cold front arrives and makes our daytime high temperatures seem like springtime. The only bad part of this entire scenario is the chance of rain increases for the next several days and beyond, and we certainly donít need any more of that for the time being. Water temperatures are reading in the upper 70s. Something will be sure to fluctuate in the coming days.
Inshore, the flounder fishing has still been somewhat consistent, with plenty of keeper fish being caught, however, some smaller fish have invaded area waters lately. Artificial baits such as Gulp are working for those throwing around the docks and creek edges but a Carolina rigged finger mullet is hard to beat. The inlets are producing some nice sized fish as well, with a few citation fish recently being landed from Masonboro Inlet.
Red drum fishing has remained about the same the past few weeks with normal locations, such as docks, oyster beds and creek mouths all producing fish. Some larger over slot fish have been landed and released around the Masonboro Inlet Jetties.
One fish of interest thatís shown up the past couple of weeks has been the speckled trout, with some of the fish weighing close to 3 pounds. While the Wrightsville Beach area is not normally known as a summertime fishery for speckled trout, like waters to our north and south, this summer has so far proved otherwise. Now this is not scientific fact, but Iím thinking that maybe the lack of boaters on the water due to our areaís weather for the past couple of months may have made these shy fish show themselves. But of course I am probably wrong, because I have not yet been able to land one this summer. Naturally, daybreak seems to be when the best fishing is seen.
Off the beach, the fishing has really been hit or miss. Some Spanish mackerel and bluefish have been caught around the inlets and off Masonboro Island, but itís been taking a lot of work to get a good mess for dinner. On a positive note, several anglers have been lucky with some decent sized cobia in the 30-40 pound range that theyíve managed to catch while sight casting.