Tex Grissom at Tex’s Tackle and Bait in Wilmington said fishing for speckled trout has really been good around Wrightsville Beach and might even be getting a little better, with fishermen catching a lot of specks pushing 5 pounds or better.  

“There are a lot of nice fish around right now,” said Grissom (910-791-1763), who said fishing has been good around inlets, in the Cape Fear River and in the surf. He weighed in four citation fish for a pair of surf fishermen earlier in the week, including one that weighed more than 7 pounds.

According to Grissom, trout haven’t been picky at all, hitting live bait, cut shrimp, crankbaits and soft-plastic baits, especially Vudu and Live Target shrimp. Some fishermen are reporting that trout are still active enough to hit topwaters.

“Red drum are biting really well, too,” Grissom said. “Our red drum action is really good, and I believe it might be as good as I have seen it in a while. Red drum are really widespread right now. They are everywhere there are specks, plus, they are also in the shallows well back in the creeks off the Intracoastal Waterway and the Cape Fear River. They have been jumping on any of the baits trout are eating, plus spinnerbaits, grubs with paddletails or curyltails and chunks of cut bait.”

Grissom said there were already some stripers being caught and released in the rivers around Wilmington, not a lot, but good for the level of cooling the water has undergone. Grissom said downtown Wilmington has been the center of the striper action, but they are being caught down the Cape Fear River towards Snows Cut, up the Cape Fear to the Railroad Trestle, up the Northeast Cape Fear to around the I-140/US 17 By-Pass and in the Brunswick River. He said the striper activity should pick up as the water temps continue to drop.

“There have been some nice flounder caught during the past several weeks, but the water is cooling fast and the flounder bite is slowing dramatically,” he said.