Of the great fishing destinations along the North Carolina coast, Wrightsville Beach — at the end of I-40 and US 74 — is probably the easiest to get to and has the most different targets waiting for anglers: rock jetties, marshes, bays and plenty of protected area behind the barrier islands.

“It’s a sight-fishing angler’s dream because the water is some of the cleanest you’ll find along the North Carolina coast,” said guide Allen Cain. “It is between the Cape Fear River drainage to the south and the New River to the north. “

The inlets around Wrightsville Beach are not part of any river system, and though they feed and drain the coastal estuaries, they don’t become murky like bigger drainages. This makes the estuaries prime locations to sight-fish for reds.

Sight-fishing is a combination of seeing fish in the water and seeing fish moving, and many of the backwater areas around Wrightsville Beach provide both opportunities.

“Anglers who enjoy fishing for bedding largemouth bass in the spring will love this type of fishing,” Cain said. “You have to get a feel for which way the redfish are heading. Sometimes there will be small groups of them right together. It’s great for fly-casting or light tackle.”

Howe Creek, Pages Creek, Futch Creek and Middle Sound are north of Wrightsville Beach and provide they numerous opportunities. Bradley Creek, Shinn Creek, Hewletts Creek, Whiskey Creek and Masonboro Sound lie to the south and also provide numerous opportunities.