Wrightsville Beach, NC April Inshore Fishing Report/Forecast

April 8th, 2013 by Gillwetter Press | Comments Off

April is here; finally some warmer weather, better fishing and the list of fish species starts to really grow the month of April!  Now I’ll tell you that there is some very good day’s weather wise in April around Wrightsville Beach, but the wind can really blow sometimes during April.  With this said you need to pick your days of fishing and be ready to move your days around sometimes.  Fishing during April can be very good around Wrightsville Beach; here are some of the species I target during April.

I know I talk about the Redfish (Red Drum) a lot, but hey they are one of my favorites to catch!  In April we are going to see the Redfish really start to move around and one thing I’ve found is if there moving around they are looking for food.  If they are looking for food then they are probably going to bite your hook!  There is not a lot of bait around Wrightsville in April so I rely on artificial baits to catch spring Reds.  You can not go wrong with Berkley Gulp 3” Shrimp in colors molting, new penny/chart tail, sugar spice glow and pearl.  Rigging these Gulp baits on light jig heads (1/8oz & 1/4oz) in colors reds and gray should get the Reds to bite for you!  Look for the Reds on the edges of oyster rocks, mash grass edge lines and creek mouths.  Darker bottoms that warm up faster will hold more Redfish during April.

I love saltwater fishing but, I like any kind of fish pulling on my line salt or fresh and this time of year you can catch some really nice fresh water fish.  I have run a few fresh water trips in the last few weeks with some pretty good success; we even got a few very nice bass on a fly rod early last week that went just over six pounds.  Fishing local lakes, ponds and the Northeast Cape Fear River has been producing good catches of large-mouth bass.  The best baits lately have been Berkley Powerbait 5” Sinkworms in colors green pumpkin/watermelon, black with red flake and watermelon.  I’m rigging these worms Texas and wacky style on 4/0 wide gap worm hooks.  When we are casting the fly rod we are using; six to eight weight rods with floating line and eight to twelve pound tippets.

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 or a PENN Battle 1000 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.

Another fish that really starts to show around the inlets of Southeast North Carolina is the good’ole Bluefish.  The good news of this is you can catch some choppers (big blues) this time of year.  In mid April to mid May I look for chopper blues around the inlets and just off the beach.  These blues will hit Berkley Gulp 7” jerkshad in colors pearl and pearl/chart pepper; hard baits like Sebile’s Koolie Minnow ML and spoons like Sebile’s Ondu spoon  will also get these choppers to bite.  Don’t forget the steal leaders for these fish or they will get a free lure form you every time!  Try light single strand wire in sizes #2, #3 or #4 will keep your lures on the end of your line and not in a bluefish’s pocket!  You can also use live baits like shad, pinfish or menhaden in King mackerel rigs to catch these bigger blues.

There is one fish that a lot of anglers over look in April and that is the Black Drum.  What I love about these fish is you can catch them in good numbers this time of year and there pretty darn good to eat!  On top of all that they are also easy to catch; all you need is a little fresh as you can get shrimp.  Use a light two hook bottom rig with number two or number three size eagle claw bait holder hooks.  Fish around docks, oyster rocks and inlets for these Black Drum; you might even get a Redfish mixed in as well!  Sometimes I
catch two Black Drum at the same time on the same rig; that’s what I call good fishing!

Towards mid April the Bonita should show up just offshore of Wrightsville.  Trolling Clark spoons and small deep driver lures can be the key to success some days for the Bonita.  When using the Clark spoons, I would recommend the pink flash spoon in sizes #00, #0 and #1; the pink flash series has really helped me put more fish in the boat.  A bird rig on top with a Clark spoon about five to six feet behind it or Blue water Candy Spanish daisy chain (blue, silver, pink) have worked very well for me on top too.  Look for birds working or marking bait on you fish finder is the way to find the feeding fish.  When the fish are not on top, I’ve caught some nice Blues and a few Bonita by casting a spoon out and letting it sink down before reeling is in.  I’ve found that some times these fish are deeper and you can get them by getting down to deeper water.

Tackle run down: PENN Battle Spinning reels 3000& 4000 sizes.  Rods: PENN Legion 6’6” & 7’ medium and med/heavy action.  Line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound.

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!

Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Tackle Elite Staff
Ranger Boats Pro Staff

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Pick your days and you’ll catch fish-Report

January 11th, 2011 by Capt. Jot Owens | Comments Off

Folks this winter will not give up with out a fight, right when it looks like its going to get warmer; we get snow and nasty cold weather!  So what are we going to do if we live to fish; of course GO Fishing on the ‘right’ days!  With this winter being cold and last winter not any better, I’ve found you can catch fish but you just have got to go on the right days.  So you ask what are the right days?  Warmer, sunnier and lighter wind days are your best shot to catch fish this time of year.  Any thing that will give you an advantage when it’s cold out side, here are a few winter fish that can get you through the cold winter of fishing.

If you like to chase Red’s the Redfishing in the winter can be some of the best of the year for catching numbers of fish; the deal breaker for this fishery is you have got to good weather, clam seas and bright sunny skies. I use Berkley Gulp Ripple Mullet in colors Pearl/chart tail, New Penny and Rootbeer gold/chart tail; also the Berkley Gulp 5” and 6” Jerkshad work well too, when looking for surf Red schools.  Work these baits slowly in front of the Redfish schools not right through the school, all this will do is spook the Reds and will make it very hard to catch them.  Don’t count out a Reds inshore this time of year, look for Reds on dark color (black, brown) mud flats.  The Reds love to get on these flats to warm up a bit when it gets cold.

Cape Fear River Striped Bass are not the easiest winter fish to catch but they will bite right through the winter, the colder it gets the harder they are to catch.  Taking your time and fishing hard you can catch Cape Fear River Striped Bass.  Here is a few ways to put a CFR Striper on your line.  Try Berkley Gulp and Powerbait Jerkshad in 5’ size; in pearl & new penny colors.  Work these baits slowly and always rig them weed-less; there are many hangs in the Cape Fear River.  Look for Stripers on drop-offs, dock pilings and reed-grass lines.

Fishing gear I use:

Gear used: Redfish and Striped Bass: reels Penn Conquer 2000 and Battle 2000 & 3000 spinning reels. *New Rod Line I’m using: Fenwick HMG GS 70M-MF for Redfish and Striped Bass.  Line: Spiderwire Ultracast ten and fifth teen pound.  Fluorocarbon leader material, Stren Tinted Fluorocarbon in tints Gunsmoke for clearer waters and Tannic for river or stained waters in thirty pound for Redfish and Striped Bass.

In other fishing news; it’s boat show and fishing seminar/school season.  Here are some of the shows I plan to speck at or appear at.

It was good to see everyone at the NC Bass and Saltwater Boat Show and Expo this last weekend.  This was a great Expo and there were a lot of people there this year.  Those of you how came to one of my seminars, thanks for dropping in and if you have any follow up questions about any thing I spoke about; feel free to e-mail the question at captainjot@yahoo.com

January 18, 2011 – Bass Pro Shop in Charlotte, NC I will have a seminar at 7:30pm on Tuesday night; I’ll be speaking on Speckled trout, Redfish and Cape Fear River Striped Bass.  If you live in the Charlotte area come on by that night.

January 29th 2011 – Saltwater Sportsman National Seminar Series. BRUNSWICK COMMUNITY COLLEGE-Odell Williamson Auditorium.  www.nationalseminarseries.com   I’ll be there with Penn Fishing tackle showing all the new Rods and Reels from Penn.

February 4th, 5th and 6th, 2011 – Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show – Raleigh, NC. www.raleighconvention.com/boatshow/ This is a great show with lots of the “top of the line” boats form around the world.  I’ll be there with other Ranger Pro’s to show you all the great benefits to the Ranger Saltwater line of boats.

February 12th Fisherman’s Post 6th Annual Saltwater Fishing school. www.fishermanspost.com/fishing-school  I look forward to this school, I’ve wanted to participate in this school in the past but my winter schedule did not allow me to.  I’ve herd many good things about this school in the past. There will be more than twelve local captains at this year school to help you learn all there is to know about any kind of local saltwater fishing.

February 19th, 2010-Cape Fear Christian Sportsman Fish Fest. www.capefearsportsmen.org/fishfest  This is a great free event!  I’ll be speaking on two topics this year; Cape Fear River Striped Bass fishing and my very popular MirrOlures with success seminar. 

Thanks for reading, hope to see you at a boat show or fishing seminar this winter; please come by and say hello.

Captain Jot Owens

Ranger Boats Pro Staff

Penn Reels Elite Staff



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