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


  2. SHALLOTTE LEDGE
    3/20/2011 12:48:09 AM - 33.8755 -78.2255


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


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


  5. 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


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


  7. 10 Mile Rock
    3/20/2011 12:34:42 AM - King Mackerel on the troll. Black Seabass on bottom. Also so Gag Groupers.


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


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


  10. AR-376
    5/21/2011 12:05:33 AM - AR-376



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Wilmington Fishing Prediction

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. Atlantic Menhaden

  2. Atlantic Menhaden

    There is a 12.75% catch rate for Atlantic Menhaden, based on 5892 Atlantic Menhaden counted.


  3. Black Sea Bass

  4. Black Sea Bass

    There is a 12.21% catch rate for Black Sea Bass, based on 5645 Black Sea Bass counted.


  5. Atlantic Croaker

  6. Atlantic Croaker

    There is a 11.55% catch rate for Atlantic Croaker, based on 5338 Atlantic Croaker counted.


  7. Pollock

  8. Pollock

    There is a 10.65% catch rate for Pollock, based on 4923 Pollock counted.


  9. Spanish Mackerel

  10. Spanish Mackerel

    There is a 8.28% catch rate for Spanish Mackerel, based on 3829 Spanish Mackerel counted.


  11. Pinfish

  12. Pinfish

    There is a 7.76% catch rate for Pinfish, based on 3586 Pinfish counted.


  13. White Grunt

  14. White Grunt

    There is a 4.73% catch rate for White Grunt, based on 2186 White Grunt counted.


  15. Bluefish

  16. Bluefish

    There is a 3.81% catch rate for Bluefish, based on 1760 Bluefish counted.


  17. Flounder

  18. Flounder

    There is a 3.57% catch rate for Flounder, based on 1649 Flounder counted.


  19. Whiting

  20. Whiting

    There is a 2.48% catch rate for Whiting, based on 1147 Whiting counted.


Recommedations above based on 91 species of fish and 46219 fish counted for May around Wilmington.

To date, there are 131 species of fish and a total of 337887 fish counted for Wilmington and within a 30 mile (48 km) radius.

*** PLEASE NOTE ***
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 1939..

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

Latest Wilmington Fishing Reports

  • 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


  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast-February 2022
    2/1/2022 9:20:58 AM - February in Southeast NC can be one of the tougher months to get out and fish the weather windows are much smaller and the temp can be downright cold some days. And yes it’s


  • PENN Slammer IV and Slammer IV DX Spinning Reel series Overview/Review
    1/11/2022 8:24:02 AM -   The PENN Slammer III was a great success for PENN Fishing tackle; a strong sealed and dependable saltwater spinning reel. So how do you make the Slammer series better? PENN


  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast-January 2022
    1/3/2022 9:03:11 AM - 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 2021
    11/29/2021 10:43:14 AM - Where has this year gone??? December really; Christmas just around the corner! But hey there is still good fishing to do around Southeast NC! So far this fall the temps have


  • Drum Fishing NC
    11/5/2021 10:51:57 AM - The Tar Heel State is famous for its trophy-sized red drum that weighs in excess of 40 pounds traditionally caught in the surf and sound between Oregon Inlet and Cape Lookout


  • Wrightsville Beach NC Fishing Forecast-October 2021
    10/7/2021 9:28:55 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


  • Inshore Fishing Safety
    10/7/2021 6:21:03 AM -   Inshore Fishing Safety should be a concern for all fishermen on my inshore charters it is a top priority. Boarding making sure your vessel is cleated off to the floating do


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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Download Wilmington Fishing Spots

Latest Fishing Spots

Spottail Pinfish

Pinfish

Pinfish

Pigfish

Pigfish

Pigfish

Inshore Lizardfish

Inshore Lizardfish

Inshore Lizardfish

Largescale Lizardfish

View more Wilmington Fishing Spots

Buoy Conditions

Station 41037 - Wrightsville Beach Offshore, NC (ILM3)
May 20, 2022 2:08 am EDT
Location: 33.988N 77.362W
Wind Direction: SSW (210°)
Wind Speed: 11.7 knots
Wind Gust: 19.4 knots
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.88 in (1012.0 mb)
Air Temperature: 74.5°F (23.6°C)
Water Temperature: 72.7°F (22.6°C)


Current Moon Phase

Waning Gibbous Moon

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