Getting Hooked In Wilmington – It’s Spring Fishing Time

By Captain Quentin Jones

In Wilmington, we have an amazing year-round fishery. It’s honestly the reason I moved here after high school, and to go to college, of course. I am obsessed with fishing and the science behind it. What makes fish bite? Where do they go? Why are some so much harder to catch than others? The challenge of fishing is always changing with different conditions, and that’s what keeps me hooked.

Spring Fishing
When the water temperature heats up, so does the fishing. The Spanish mackerel, blues, and false albacore (or albies), will show up in large numbers, right off the beach. Anyone with a small boat can have a fun day on the water, trolling around in about 35 feet of water up to two-to-three miles off the beach. All you need is two trolling rods, #1 planner’s, 20 feet of mono leader, and a silver Clark Spoon. This is perfect adventure for the entire family—it’s fun, easy, and you’ll catch loads of fish for dinner.

Another great bonus is seeing the birds diving and fish “blitzing” or breaking the surface while chasing bait. One mistake that you want to be cautious not to make is driving, or trolling, the boat right through the middle of the school. You might see a few extra birds, but will disrupt the other fisherman. Instead, work the outside of the school, as going through the middle will spook the fish, causing them to retreat. Then, no one ends up catching fish! You can cast into the school from a decent distance away, creating a fun challenge for yourself. Have a light tackle spinning rod on standby with a small gotcha plug, or sting silver tied on. Be ready to tie a new lure on because these fish do have sharp teeth and will cut you line.

Spring Fishing
Always check the weather and sea forecast before going out, especially in a small boat. No need to risk it if it’s rough, there are plenty of inland places to pursue other species like flounder and redfish.

Learning to fish certain areas based on the tide is one key for success. Docks, creeks/creek mouths, drop-offs, and any other structure that seems to have bait holding close to it are good places to start. Depending on the tide, you want to anchor or position yourself above the place you want to fish. This way you can drift, cast, or float your bait with the tide to the desired dock or creek mouth. I always like there to be moving water. I know if the water is moving, then the food is moving with it. Like a buffet line…and predatory fish like flounder and redfish will ambush and pick off bait moving with the tide.

Spring Fishing
My “go-to” rig is called a Carolina rig or fish-finder rig. From your main line, you slide on a 1/2 oz to 1 oz egg sinker depending on depth and current. I always go with as light as I can get away with. With the egg sinker free sliding on your main line, I will usually put a small bead on next, then tie it to a swivel. The bead keeps the weight from sliding over your knot and swivel. From the swivel I tie 14”-18’’ of leader (fluorocarbon) to a small to medium off-set circle hook. This allows the weight to sit on the bottom, and the bait or minnow to move around without the weight directly attached and look as natural as possible. I hope these tips or insight help you catch a few more fish or make useful to try a new hobby!

There is always something new to learn everyday you spend on the water. If you really want to learn quick or don’t know where to begin, go out a few times with a guide or friends who may have more experience under their belt.

Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach have so much to offer with fishing and marine life and our beaches. It really is a paradise to me and I want to share it with the people who find it as interesting as I do. If you want to learn more about our fishery or the area I am always happy to help. It is one of the many benefits of living at the coast. Live where you love is our motto at Nest Realty, and is something I truly believe in. For more info call or email me anytime. See you on the water.
– Captain Quentin Jones

Watch the Quentin’s Albie Back adventures:


Quentin Jones is a Broker who takes a great deal of pride in sharing his love for the Wilmington coast and the community with his clients. When making any real estate decisions, Quentin wants his clients to feel comfortable, confident, and educated…not pressured. Down to earth and easy going, he wants his clients to view him as a friend who just so happens to sell real estate.

Written by
Posted in Wilmington
Tags: ,
1 Comment

One Response to “Getting Hooked In Wilmington – It’s Spring Fishing Time”

  • Cheryl Ray

    Written on

    Great information on fishing and wonderful pictures and video. Makes me want to be in Wilmington and on a boat fishing.

Comments are closed.



Join our Newsletter