As usual, we started our Gulfstream Fishing Trip the night before on the Dock and Wrightsville Beach prepping our Ballyhoo for Trolling for Tuna and Wahoo, sharpened hooks, set the GPS coordinates for the latest Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Satellite Images for the best water temperature for finding the fish off of Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Topsail Island. We left the dock at Wrightsville Beach around 5:30am via Masonboro Inlet.
After a very chilly 2 hour 58 mile ride offshore (with sea spray icing the deck) we arrived at the and “the Steeples”. The Steeples are an underwater mountain range where the water depth varies from 130 feet to 800 feet. The warm waters of the Gulfstream flow directly over the Steeples creating a convergence of pelagic fish!
The inshore fishing waters of Wrightsville Beach, Topsail Island and Carolina Beach were 56 degrees and 1 – 2 feet; however, the offshore fishing waters of Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Topsail Island increased to 4-6 feet as we passed over the 20 mile ledge. We found the water temperature breaks as indicated on the SST varying from 72 – 76 degrees and decided to put out the “high speed spread” for Wahoo Fishing. After about 30 minutes of high speed and no takers on the Wahoo spread, we put out the Tuna Spread. This included Ballyhoo and cedar plugs. Almost immediately we had the cedar plug long line scream and put a nice Skipjack Tuna in the boat.
When you are offshore fishing and find the Tuna the best rule of thumb is to stop and try to catch the tuna on the Jigging Rods… so we did and it paid off! We found the tuna marks on the fish-finder and dropped down Williamson Benthos Jigs and Shamino Butterfly jigs. We immediately had action… First fish (or lost fish) was a HUGE Wahoo that hit a Shimano Butterfly Jig; however, we were using fluorocarbon for tuna and not metal for Wahoo… The Wahoo bit through the Fluorocarbon and was off…
For the remaining 4 hours we filled the cooler with Blackfin Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, Albacore and Jacks! After our fill of Tuna, we decided to break out the bottom fishing gear and added lots of Reef Complex fish species to the box (Porgies, Grunts, Triggerfish ect…)! We ended the day with 20+ tuna lots of bottom fish and a lot of Fish Cleaning! Offshore Fishing Wrightsville Beach (link to Wrightsville page); Offshore Fishing Carolina Beach (link to Carolina Beach page) and Offshore Fishing Topsail Island (link to Topsail Island page) is by far some of the BEST FISHING that the East Coast has to offer!
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