Fall won't arrive for a couple more days, but fall fishing is approaching wide open in the waters around Wrightsville Beach. There are excellent opportunities whether your preference is for fishing in the backwaters or the ocean.

Capt. Allen Cain of Sightfish NC said the water has been dirty because of all the runoff from recent rains, but that hasn't slowed the fishing. He said there are lots of redfish and they are responding to just about every method of fishing.

"The redfish are feeding hard," Cain said. "Just about every one we catch is fat from being stuffed with mullets. We're catching lots of fish in the 13- to 17-inch range, and they are anywhere you would expect to catch a redfish. This is great news for next year. We're also catching a lot of reds from about 23 inches to beyond the slot."


Cain (336-613-2975) said reds are hitting mullets and shrimp fished on light jigheads and Carolina rigs, and they were hitting D.O.A. paddletails and 3-inch Gulp! shrimp fished on light jigheads so they'll easily move with the current. He said the wind has been creating problems for fly casters, but when it's calm enough to cast, the drum are hitting shrimp, mullet and baitfish patterns.


"In this dirty water, I often begin the day throwing MirrOlure Top Dog Juniors and Rapala Skitterwalks to locate the reds," Cain said. "We have been pleasantly surprised for a while with some trout also hitting these topwaters early in the day. As the water continues to cool, that should get even better. The MirrOlure 808 color with the orange belly seems to work best, but we have caught both on a variety of colors.


"The summer has been great for flounder, and that continues to be excellent," Cain said. "Flounder will hit live mullet, but we catch more using soft plastics on light jigheads. We can cover more bottom fishing along with the plastics, and we put the bait in front of more flounder. Most have been roughly 2-pounders, but they have been willing biters. The flounder seem to like white 3-inch Gulp! shrimp just like the reds, so it is often mixed-bag fishing."


Cain said a big surprise was schools of false albacore that showed up in the ocean off Masonboro Inlet last week. Birds were helping locate the albacore, which were mixed with schools of Spanish mackerel. Cain said the albacore average around four pounds, and many of the Spanish are running 18 to 20 inches.


"We were able to catch mixed Spanish and Alberts several days last week on fly," Cain said. "They like Clousers in the 4 to 6 size and 1- to 2-inch epoxy minnows.  We could catch the Spanish using 25-pound Hard Mason leaders, but the Alberts were a little more leader shy, and we had to drop back to 15-pound fluorocarbon before they would bite well. It was excellent fishing, and I expect it to get better."