The Cape Fear area has a rich commercial and charter fishing history. So I have wanted to write an entry about the Charter business in our area for some time. After seeing some of the pictures that Capt. Mike Hoffman posted to his twitter account, @coronadaze, I decided to reach out to him for some information on his business and the charter business as a whole.
Today I had the chance to have a conversation with Capt. Hoffman. He has wanted to be a Charter Captain since childhood and he has been living that dream for the last 18 years. It’s well known that our area has a rich commercial and charter fishing history so Commercial and Charter fishing is a natural progression in some families in the area. Even though he grew up working on his Uncle B.C.’s Shrimp boat “Nite Train”, Captain Hoffman, whose father was a United States Marine, said his love of fishing came from his Grandfather who taught him how to fish.
Capt. Hoffman has 3 different boats he uses for his charter business. For Blue water and Gulf Stream fishing he uses his 29-foot Contender aptly named “Corona Knights”. For inshore fishing he uses a 22-foot Jones Brothers skiff that is set up for fishing in shallow waters. He offers Freshwater Charters as well, for that he uses a 19 foot Procraft for any freshwater excursions you might want to take.
Capt. Hoffman said his Charter business is pretty much year round. In the Spring and Fall the inshore fishing is excellent in the Cape Fear area. With one of the best Red Drum fisheries in the country, the inshore fishing here is some of the best you will every experience.
Early Summer through about October provides some of the best Offshore fishing around. The numerous Artificial reefs and natural bottom structures make our area one of the most sought after offshore fishing spots on the East Coast. From Mahi Mahi, King Mackerel and Cobia to Tarpon, Sailfish and Marlin, the Cape Fear Coast is home to them all. Capt. Hoffman stated that he avoids the really congested fishing spots and prefers to take his charters to areas that provide a much better experience for his customers. Instead of taking his charters to an area with 200 fish and 50 boats, he would rather take you to a spot where it’s just one boat and 50 fish. This makes perfect sense to me.
From October through January or March, Capt. Hoffman likes to go for Stripers in the Cape Fear River. Thanks to conservation efforts in the late 80’s The Striped Bass population has rebounded and The Cape Fear has one of the largest Striped fisheries on the East Coast. If Fresh water fishing is more your thing, it’s not lost on Capt. Hoffman. He fished the Pro Bass Tour for 11 years and is extremely willing to use his expertise to put his customers on some big Large Mouth Bass.
Corona Knights charters offer more than just fishing. He also enjoys hosting guided tours of our area waterways, marshes and Inlets. He also has hosted scouting trips for local businesses, most notable is the local movie industry. He is also used by various agencies for environmental purposes such as checking water quality in local bodies of water such as Sutton Lake.
When I asked him if the Charter businesses have a responsibility for conservation? He says absolutely. The first thing that comes to mind is over fishing and the use of nets in inshore and near shore areas which cause damage to habitat that our fisheries depend on. Because Wrightsville Beach area is a small area with a lot of fish there are popular spots that might have 200 fish and 50 or more boats and the area is fished out. He is also a proponent of catch and release with the exception of eating what you catch.
Our area is a great place to fish and there are many charters to choose from. Capt. Hoffman’s advice to anyone that is looking a good charter experience is to choose a Captain that is from the area. The more experience your guide has fishing in the area will make a huge difference in the experience you will have on your Fishing Trip.
After our conversation I don’t believe you could find a more qualified Captain and Guide. So, if you’re in the area and want a fishing trip you will remember. Give Capt. Hoffman at Wilmington.Fish Fishing Charters at 910.619.8509 or visit his website at https://wilmington.fish/