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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-293(2)
    5/25/2022 12:40:19 PM - LEDGE-293(2)

    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

View more Wilmington Fishing Spots

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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. Black Sea Bass

  2. Black Sea Bass

    There is a 20.47% catch rate for Black Sea Bass, based on 639 Black Sea Bass counted.

    Wilmington Black Sea Bass Counts Chart


  3. Atlantic Menhaden

  4. Atlantic Menhaden

    There is a 15.51% catch rate for Atlantic Menhaden, based on 484 Atlantic Menhaden counted.

    Wilmington Atlantic Menhaden Counts Chart


  5. Red Drum

  6. Red Drum

    There is a 14.1% catch rate for Red Drum, based on 440 Red Drum counted.

    Wilmington Red Drum Counts Chart


  7. Striped Bass

  8. Striped Bass

    There is a 12.69% catch rate for Striped Bass, based on 396 Striped Bass counted.

    Wilmington Striped Bass Counts Chart


  9. Atlantic Croaker

  10. Atlantic Croaker

    There is a 7.75% catch rate for Atlantic Croaker, based on 242 Atlantic Croaker counted.

    Wilmington Atlantic Croaker Counts Chart


  11. Spotted Seatrout

  12. Spotted Seatrout

    There is a 5.61% catch rate for Spotted Seatrout, based on 175 Spotted Seatrout counted.

    Wilmington Spotted Seatrout Counts Chart


  13. American Shad

  14. American Shad

    There is a 4.49% catch rate for American Shad, based on 140 American Shad counted.

    Wilmington American Shad Counts Chart


  15. Whiting

  16. Whiting

    There is a 2.95% catch rate for Whiting, based on 92 Whiting counted.

    Wilmington Whiting Counts Chart


  17. Striped Mullet

  18. Striped Mullet

    There is a 2.31% catch rate for Striped Mullet, based on 72 Striped Mullet counted.

    Wilmington Striped Mullet Counts Chart


  19. Flounder

  20. Flounder

    There is a 1.51% catch rate for Flounder, based on 47 Flounder counted.

    Wilmington Flounder Counts Chart


Recommendations above based on 57 species of fish and 3121 fish counted for February around Wilmington.

To date, there are 164 species of fish and a total of 463576 fish counted for Wilmington and within a 30 mile (48 km) radius since 7/12/1915 (108 years).

Last Update: 2/1/2023 1:06:23 AM

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

  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast-January 2023
    12/28/2022 12:05:34 PM - January is the kind of month that I watch the weather forecast very closely. Weather changes much quicker during the winter around our area and can be a big influence on the

  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast-December 2022
    12/1/2022 9:41:34 AM - Where did November Go?!?! December really; Christmas is just around the corner! But hey there is still good fishing to do around Southeast NC! So far this fall the temps have

  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast-November 2022
    11/4/2022 9:00:34 AM - So far a pretty mild Fall a few cooler days but overall mild. We really need some cool air to get the fall fishing really going. Especially the local Speckled trout bite I ha

  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast-October 2022
    9/30/2022 11:19:52 AM - October is the month when ‘Fall’ fishing really gets in full swing around Southeast North Carolina! So many great fishing opportunities during October; Big Redfish Gator Spec

  • PENN Authority Spinning Reels series overview
    8/30/2022 9:35:46 AM -   The New PENN Authority Spinning Reel series is the new PENN standard. Focusing on best-in-class smoothness and sealing these reels will have a size and gear ration for ever

  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast & Info-August 2022
    8/1/2022 12:01:49 PM - August fishing in southeast NC can be pretty good but a few things to keep in mind. Most August’s we have to watch the water temps they can get pretty high during August. Als

  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast & Info-June 2022
    6/3/2022 8:37:27 AM - June one of the better fishing months in Southeast NC; lighter winds (hopefully) warm days and so many different kinds of fish to target. Precipitation anybody’s guess some J

  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast-May 2022
    5/4/2022 10:35:39 AM -   Southeast NC in May when fishing really gets cranked up! Many different species of fish start to show and it’s when I feel like summer fishing is really getting started. Sp

  • Wilmington NC Fishing Charters
    5/3/2022 6:54:56 PM - Fishing in Wilmington NC give you many options of fisheries to choose from: Wilmington NC Fishing Charters Our charter boat fishing in Wilmington is one of our best year arou

  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast-April 2022
    4/1/2022 8:55:47 AM -   North Carolina springs can be anything but predictable sometimes that is about the same for spring fishing around these parts as well.  So far we’ve had a pretty good winte

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

View Full Fishing Map

Download Wilmington Fishing Spots

Latest Fishing Spots

Graysby 16276

Coney Grouper 15811

Gag Grouper 14722

Gag Grouper 14718

Gag Grouper 14707

Gag Grouper 14702

Gag Grouper 14679

Gag Grouper 14670

Gag Grouper 14668

Gag Grouper 14666

View more Wilmington Fishing Spots

Bouy Conditions

Station 41037 - Wrightsville Beach Offshore, NC (ILM3)
February 2, 2023 11:08 am EST
Location: 33.988N 77.362W
Wind Direction: NNE (30°)
Wind Speed: 15.6 knots
Wind Gust: 21.4 knots
Atmospheric Pressure: 30.17 in (1021.8 mb)
Air Temperature: 49.1°F (9.5°C)
Dew Point: 48.9°F (9.4°C)
Water Temperature: 63.9°F (17.7°C)

Current Moon Phase

Waxing Gibbous Moon

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