Coming into the holiday months here in Wrightsville beach it's simply one of my favorite times for offshore fishing. The gulfstream becomes more condensed, drawing all the bait that stays inshore in the warmer months to the offshore gulfstream spots in the winter.
This can provide for world class wahoo, tuna, and sailfish action. The live bottom areas running anywhere from 150-220 feet is usually your best opportunity to capitalize on this great fishing. For the wahoos we recommend trolling about 7 knots using ballyhoo with a variety of different sea witches or islanders in front of them.
The wahoos tend to like a darker color pattern so anything black and purple, blue and black, or a combination or those is a sure bet! This time of year with as good as the wahoo fishing is we're almost strictly fishing wire rigs with either a 8/0 or 9/0 hook.
These wire leaders prevent the sharp teeth of the wahoo from cutting you off. Come by the shop anytime and we'll show you exactly how to rig your ballyhoo and pick out some of our favorite islanders for wahoo from our extensive offshore section.
All the guys at the shop are well versed on what works best for these toothy critters and we'll give you the best opportunity to get a bite! The same general areas are holding the sailfish and tunas as well, although traditionally we would fish fluorocarbon leaders for the sails and tuna, the wahoos are so prevalent we tend to keep fishing wire rigs.
You won't catch quite as many sailfish or tunas, but don't let anybody tell you that one of them won't eat a wahoo rig! At the shop we stay fully stocked on all things offshore, so next time you see that pretty weather window, don't let the chill in the air scare you away! If the trolling bite doesn't seem to be going your way that day, don't chalk the day up as a loss.
Bottom fishing on the surrounding areas that you're wahoo fishing can be really productive. Grouper and African Pompano stage on these ledges this time of year and can make for a great fight and even better eating! In addition to that, b-liners or Vermillion Snappers are still around as well as one of my favorites to eat, the Triggerfish. Your bottom critters can be caught on squid or cigar minnows, send a squid down there and you're going to get a bite pretty quickly!
As far as the rig for catching bottomfish on the break we tend to beef everything up a little bit, Blue Water Candy makes some heavy duty bottom rigs which do great for those angry offshore groupers. Intracoastal Angler is a one stop shop for all of these items, bottom fishing or trolling we can get you dialed in.
With all of these things happening offshore don't let this time of year pass you by, it's simply one of my favorite times of year to go and can be some of the very best as well! Last but not least, you've got to stay warm out there on those chilly mornings in the fall and winter, come by and get geared up with some Intracoastal Angler apparel to stay warm.
We're fully stocked with new IA hoodies and flannel shirts to keep the chill off and look good while doing it! We also have a massive selection of Grundens foul weather gear and XtraTuf boots. Stay tuned for more reports as we move into the winter time fishery here in Wrightsville Beach, we'll see you on the water!