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Old 11-23-2017, 07:25 AM   #1
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Default Finding Red Drum in Wrightsville/Carolina Beach area

Hey guys and girls! My in-laws bought a beach place in Carolina Beach this past summer so my wife and I bought a boat (Tidewater 1910, needed to have room for plenty of guests and doggos). I grew up in Western NC and my dad and I would go fishing in our Ranger bass boat almost every weekend. Getting a boat has been on top of my list for years now. A buddy got me hooked on saltwater fishing for Drum, Trout and Flounder a few years ago and now that I have a place to go and a boat to go on I just need to find the fish.

I've been able to figure out patterns for trout and flounder in the area. I can go up snows cut and down the river to Southport or make a quicker run north towards Wrightsville area fishing the creeks and inlets from the intercoastal behind Masonboro. My issue is I can't seem to find the Drum, I caught one puppy drum earlier this summer but that's been it. I've only recently figured out how to get back into the flats behind Masonboro without running into the 1000000000 sand bars in the area. Should I be focusing on the flats or make my way in up into Wrightsville proper fishing some docks, bridges, and the river that dumps into the intercoastal right there?

I would just go down to Southport more often where I'm sure I would just come across fish in the creeks behind Baldhead but that's a 14 mile drive way way and the river can get really choppy with even just a light wind.

What does everyone think?
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:51 AM   #2
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Put it down at buzzards bay and learn that area. Tons of drum in there and a 10 minute car ride to get there from cb
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:52 AM   #3
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No one is going to give away specific spots but there are plenty of places you can try. Easiest way is live bait fishing docks and the jetties around Wrightsville. Carolina Beach produces plenty of drum as well. Down south around Southport there is some good fishing on the rock wall at ft Fisher. Live bait is key. Learning buzzards bay is a better option for artificials imo
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:24 AM   #4
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No one is going to give away specific spots but there are plenty of places you can try. Easiest way is live bait fishing docks and the jetties around Wrightsville. Carolina Beach produces plenty of drum as well. Down south around Southport there is some good fishing on the rock wall at ft Fisher. Live bait is key. Learning buzzards bay is a better option for artificials imo
I'm not asking for specific spots. I'm trying to learn the fish movement patterns and figure out what to look for. For bass during this time of year I would go deep and slow, Saltwater I have no idea what to look for other than the usual points with current coming over it. I have certain holes I know holds Flounder but I'm not going to post the marker number here for everyone to see. Saltwater fishing is vastly different than the freshwater fishing I'm used to.

Sounds like I def should explore Buzzards Bay. The issue is I put the boat in the water and dock it at the house in Carolina Beach. I don't mind making the trek down to Southport but I can't make that trip every single day of a weekend it just too far and I burn too much fuel. Might have to go for a long weekend this spring/summer and put the boat in at Buzzard Bay the first day and bring it back to the house that evening.
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:51 AM   #5
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We are in a winter pattern, fish slow, fish docks, fish Gulps.
Call me if you find fish ........

Think your running by fish to find fish.
Bald Head in your boat may not be a good thing.
The Cape Fear river should never be underestimated.
Stay local for Trout, ( wink, wink ) ....... ICM
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:05 AM   #6
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I've been able to find some trout fishing oyster covered points around grass, they're always fun to catch. You're the second person to tell me about fishing docks. Think I will give that a try today and/or tomorrow.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:23 AM   #7
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Put it down at buzzards bay and learn that area. Tons of drum in there and a 10 minute car ride to get there from cb
This. Take white gulp on three quarters / quarter ounce painted or unpainted heads and cast anywhere. May even coat with ‘inshore’ flavored Pro-Cure if slow. Will see them schooling any day now. Best of luck and stay safe in these cooler autumn water and air temps.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:27 AM   #8
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This. Take white gulp on quarter ounce heads and cast anywhere. Will see them schooling any day now. Best of luck and stay safe in these cooler autumn temps.

White gulp Jerk Shad and curly tail swimming minnows are my go to for flounder. The trout have been killing swim baits, doing a run the pause retrieve like I do with rattle traps for bass has been the key.

Iíll try to get some friends together in the next couple of weeks for some Buzzard Bay fishing.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:30 AM   #9
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Welcome to CB. I started fishing down there 3 years ago. Finally starting to get consistent. Gulps seem to be the most productive for me. I am in Carolina Sands neighborhood. How about you?
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:07 AM   #10
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Welcome to CB. I started fishing down there 3 years ago. Finally starting to get consistent. Gulps seem to be the most productive for me. I am in Carolina Sands neighborhood. How about you?
Gulps definitely seem to be what they want here. Iím in forest by the sea right in the middle of the canal.
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:00 AM   #11
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Ninjia my family has a place at FBS. And there are plenty of drum in your back yard. Just keep working different baits and tides. You will get on them. Look for the bigger drum around the inlet.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:58 AM   #12
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Ninjia my family has a place at FBS. And there are plenty of drum in your back yard. Just keep working different baits and tides. You will get on them. Look for the bigger drum around the inlet.
I havenít found a single drum here. The only thing Iíve caught in this whole canal is trout and those come off the grassy island across from the house. I might try to catch some bait and go fish the inlet some tomorrow. I would like to catch one on my lighter tackle using artificials sometime though.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:32 PM   #13
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I havenít found a single drum here. The only thing Iíve caught in this whole canal is trout and those come off the grassy island across from the house. I might try to catch some bait and go fish the inlet some tomorrow. I would like to catch one on my lighter tackle using artificials sometime though.
Iíve caught plenty of drum in your backyard around those docks, year round. Also mixed in with 5 - 6lb trout on live shrimp under a cork this time of year. They are there.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:31 PM   #14
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Iíve caught plenty of drum in your backyard around those docks, year round. Also mixed in with 5 - 6lb trout on live shrimp under a cork this time of year. They are there.
Iíll give it a shot then.
back at it likes this.
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:20 PM   #15
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Update...

Fished for about 4 hours this past Saturday (11/25) and only caught two flounder using white gulp! jerk shad. I drove up to some really deep creeks I know south of Wrightsville. I was using live shrimp on popping corks, swim baits, and jerk shad and didn't get a single strike. About 5 boats pulled in behind me while I was 3/4 of the way through my drift (I have a Minn Kota iPilot trolling motor and set it to auto pilot) and I decided I would watch them out of the corner of my eye to see if I could learn anything. We all pulled a massive goose egg out of the creek. I don't know if the weird warm day was throwing the fish off or not.

I made the 15 min drive back to Carolina Beach and decided I would flip some docks with a Jerk Shad and my two remaining live shrimp. After fishing with the shrimp under a cork for a while around some docks and loaded oyster points I hadn't had a single nibble. The wife texted me and said that she and in-laws wanted to go for little cruise in the boat and they were finishing up lunch, I pulled up the trolling motor and made my way slowly down towards the dock (no wake zone). About halfway there I saw some good looking docks and decided to flip some more with a jerk shad while I waited for the text to say they were ready. First cast I let the gulp fall to the bottom and felt a solid thump, took a deep breathe and let it out to give what I knew was a flounder enough time to chow down and gave it a good bass style hook set. I pulled in a 16" flounder but threw it back (I didn't feel like filleting any fish that day). The same situation happened again a few minutes later.

What am I missing? Do I need to look for deeper water? Faster current? No current? I've only been fishing Saltwater seriously for 8 months now and have yet to catch a slot sized drum on the new boat. I'm not asking for spots, I don't want you to give up that kind of information and I don't want it to be that easy. I want to learn and find the spots on my own.

I won't be back down to the beach until at least February. My goal is to read up this winter and drop some knowledge on these fish in the early Spring.
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Old 11-27-2017, 04:39 PM   #16
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Anchor up at the end of the jetty. Use a carolina rig with with finger mullet or mullet chunk.
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Old 11-27-2017, 04:51 PM   #17
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Anchor up at the end of the jetty. Use a carolina rig with with finger mullet or mullet chunk.
On the surf side or sound side? I've done just that on the sound side and pulled several flounder and a puppy drum.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:25 PM   #18
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On the surf side or sound side? I've done just that on the sound side and pulled several flounder and a puppy drum.
Either one, but I like the inside best. Get some snagproof sinkers and throw into the rocks then reel just to the edge of them.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:55 AM   #19
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Winter fishing will only get better.
When the water clears up & becomes gin clear it will be easier to find them.
Standing on a cooler up front will help enormously.
That's how we found a school of Black Drum on Sat.
Think we caught 10, before moving on ....... ICM
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:58 AM   #20
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Winter fishing will only get better.
When the water clears up & becomes gin clear it will be easier to find them.
Standing on a cooler up front will help enormously.
That's how we found a school of Black Drum on Sat.
Think we caught 10, before moving on ....... ICM
Very nice catches!
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