Wilmington Fishing

Wilmington Fishing

Wilmington, North Carolina, is an idyllic city on the Atlantic coast. As the British settled in North America, Wilmington became an attractive port city, and it was a crucial supply point during the Revolutionary War thanks to the deep Atlantic waters and easy access to the Cape Fear River. Today, the old-world charm and quaint coastline make Wilmington popular for film and television production. It is also a popular destination for fishing.

Wilmington fishing is really something special. From Wilmington, it is easy to take a boat out to the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream runs up and down along the coastline, and it is a popular migratory path for many Atlantic fish. This warm water stream attracts big-name fish like mahi-mahi and wahoo. You may even get lucky and catch blue marlin or blackfin tuna. Better still, many of these fish are present all season long. This means if you are looking to score a big catch, Wilmington fishing can be just what you need.

The nearshore fishing is just as appealing. The shallower waters by the shore are flush with shipwrecks and artificial reefs. This has allowed the local fish populations to stay vibrant over the years. In these Wilmington fishing areas, you might expect to snag albacore tuna and king mackerel nearly all year long. On bottom you might catch big grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, and grunt. Other common saltwater fish caught in the inshore waters of Wilmington can include the distinctive flounder, red drum (redfish), speckled trout and black drum are popular catches.

The Cape Fear River is an important fixture in the area, and it is also good for fishing. Largemouth bass are especially prominent in these inland waters and nearby freshwater lakes. There have been documented reports of bass up to 8 pounds. Other popular fish in these waters include striped bass and catfish.

Top Wilmington Fishing Spots

  1. AR 425 - YAUPON REEF
    3/20/2011 12:48:43 AM - Black Seabass and many varieties of Sharks can be found on the reef all year round. There are nice Cobia and Gray Trout in the Spring on the reef.  From Spring through

    3/20/2011 12:48:09 AM - 33.8755 -78.2255

  3. AR-372
    5/21/2011 12:05:33 AM - AR-372

  4. LEDGE-292
    5/25/2022 12:40:19 PM -

    3/20/2011 12:48:31 AM - Weldon Hall wreck is located in approximately 78' of water.

  6. Fanny and Jenny Wreck
    6/13/2013 11:55:54 AM - She was built in Blackwall Yard, London by Money and Wigrams in 1847 for the Chester & Holyhead Railway Company for a passenger service between Holyhead and Kingstown (Dun

  7. AR 355 - NEW RIVER REEF
    3/20/2011 12:48:21 AM - 34.352 -77.334

  8. 10 Mile Rock
    3/20/2011 12:34:42 AM - King Mackerel on the troll. Black Seabass on bottom. Also so Gag Groupers.

  9. AR 425 - YAUPON REEF
    3/20/2011 12:48:43 AM - 33.8841666666667 -78.1058333333333

  10. AR-362
    5/21/2011 12:05:32 AM - AR-362

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Wilmington Fishing Forecast

Target Species of Fish

Based on historical data for fishing Wilmington, you should target one of the following species for this time of year:
  1. Pinfish

  2. Pinfish

    There is a 18.41% catch rate for Pinfish, based on 7024 Pinfish counted.

  3. Atlantic Croaker

  4. Atlantic Croaker

    There is a 10.89% catch rate for Atlantic Croaker, based on 4155 Atlantic Croaker counted.

  5. Spanish Mackerel

  6. Spanish Mackerel

    There is a 7.32% catch rate for Spanish Mackerel, based on 2792 Spanish Mackerel counted.

  7. Striped Mullet

  8. Striped Mullet

    There is a 6.56% catch rate for Striped Mullet, based on 2503 Striped Mullet counted.

  9. Atlantic Menhaden

  10. Atlantic Menhaden

    There is a 6.27% catch rate for Atlantic Menhaden, based on 2393 Atlantic Menhaden counted.

  11. Pollock

  12. Pollock

    There is a 6.21% catch rate for Pollock, based on 2371 Pollock counted.

  13. Flounder

  14. Flounder

    There is a 5.39% catch rate for Flounder, based on 2057 Flounder counted.

  15. Black Sea Bass

  16. Black Sea Bass

    There is a 4.74% catch rate for Black Sea Bass, based on 1808 Black Sea Bass counted.

  17. White Grunt

  18. White Grunt

    There is a 3.81% catch rate for White Grunt, based on 1454 White Grunt counted.

  19. Florida Pompano

  20. Florida Pompano

    There is a 3.24% catch rate for Florida Pompano, based on 1235 Florida Pompano counted.

Recommedations above based on 111 species of fish and 38160 fish counted for September around Wilmington.

To date, there are 159 species of fish and a total of 362928 fish counted for Wilmington and within a 30 mile (48 km) radius since 7/12/1915 (107 years).

Last Update: 9/22/2022 10:23:18 PM

Please check local, state/province, and federal laws before fishing for any species found on this site. All data is based on historical data found for this area, and in some cases as far back as the year 1600.

View full Wilmington Fishing Forecast to see all species and best lures and colors to use.

Latest Wilmington Fishing Reports

View Wilmington Fishing Reports

Top Wilmington Bait & Tackle Stores

  1. Fathom Offshore
    We manufacture the finest saltwater tackle in Wilmington NC.

  2. Tex's Tackle and Bait
    Based in Southeastern North Carolina, we are one of the largest independently owned and operated tackle shops around. From the marsh to the gulfstream, we have a full line of the best tackle to make your next fishing adventure successful as well as

  3. Intracoastal Angler
    A full service saltwater fishing outfitter located in Wilmington , NC at Wrightsville Beach. Our mission is to provide the finest products for the most competitive price for your fishing pursuits. We believe our customers deserve the top shelf servic

  4. Rod Man Charters
    Custom Fishing Rods and Guide Service by Rod-Man

  5. Lee's Tackle
    Welcome to Lee’s Tackle, a Fourth-Generation Family Owned Business, and The World’s Oldest Manufacturer of Precision Sportsfishing Equipment. Located in Wilmington, North Carolina.

View more Wilmington Bait & Tackle Stores

Top Wilmington Fishing Charters & Guides

  1. ProFishNC Charters
    Whether you are a Pro going after that Citation Fish or your taking your Family for a Family Fun Fishing Trip, Capt. Trevor’s expertise, excitement and unique ability to find you Fish will make this Adventure one you will always remember! After all,

  2. Carolina Explorer Fishing Charters
    Inshore and Coastal light tackle fishing charters in Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, and Southport. On our trips you can catch flounder, red drum, trout, sharks, spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, tarpon, croaker, whiting, sports

  3. Jot It Down Fishing Charters
    Captain Jot Owens is a native of Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington, NC. He has been fishing the waters of this area his entire life. Capt. Jot loves nothing more than to see a kid catching their first fish or pro's catching their 1000th fish. The

  4. Charlies Fishing Charters
    Learn to fish with live bait & artificial bait, great for beginners or experienced anglers. Learn to throw cast nets and catch bait or just go fishing.

  5. Cape Fear Guide
    Capt.Mike offer light tackle spin fishing for red drum, flounder, speckle trout in the Cape Fear Region of North Carolina,fishing out of Carolina Beach, NC

  6. Sightfish NC
    Sightfish NC is a fly and light tackle guide service specializing in shallow water fishing the Cape Fear Coast of North Carolina. From the clear water flats of Topsail Island and Wrightsville Beach, to the stained nutrient rich waters of Southport t

  7. Lucky 13 Sportfishing
    If you’re looking for a great day of fishing and fun, hop aboard Lucky 13 with Captain Mark Cogdell. Lucky 13 Sportfishing delivers you to some of the best offshore and nearshore fishing in Southeastern North Carolina. Whether you’re fishing for Mack

  8. 96 Charter Company
    My name is Capt. Danny Wrenn. I love chasing a variety of fish along Wrightsville Beach and the great Cape Fear River. Whether its Atlantic Bonito on the Fly, King Mackerel on live bait, Flounder in the sound or offshore wrecks, or Striped Bass in th

  9. Fishin' Days Sportfishing
    Wrightsville Beach Fishing Charters would like to invite you to join Capt. Tim Day serving Wrightsville Beach, Topsail, Carolina Beach, or Wilmington for a NC fishing charter experience of a lifetime aboard the awesome 53' custom sport fishing ya

  10. Hieronymus Fishing Charters
    Come enjoy charter fishing at its finest. Fish the backbays, inlets and Atlantic Ocean in the Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Topsail Island areas with Capt. Cord Hieronymus, one of the areas few second generation captains.

View more Wilmington Charters & Guides

Top Wilmington Marinas

  1. Masonboro Boat Yard and Marina
    Slip owners enjoy Yacht Club privileges and the new facility including: * Bath house * Laundromat * Club room

  2. Bennett Brothers Yachts
    Bennett Brothers Yachts specializes in fine yacht repair, service, and brokerage. Dedicated craftsmen in all departments; continual operation since 1986.

  3. Bald Head Island Marina

View more Wilmington Marinas

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Latest Fishing Spots





Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna



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Bouy Conditions

Station 41037 - Wrightsville Beach Offshore, NC (ILM3)
September 25, 2022 10:08 pm EDT
Location: 33.988N 77.362W
Wind Direction: SSW (210°)
Wind Speed: 21.4 knots
Wind Gust: 27.2 knots
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.86 in (1011.2 mb)
Air Temperature: 79.9°F (26.6°C)
Dew Point: 68.7°F (20.4°C)
Water Temperature: 80.8°F (27.1°C)

Current Moon Phase

New Moon

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