Topsail August 22, 2013
Doug, of East Coast Sports, reports that anglers are still catching big numbers of spanish mackerel off Topsail with plenty of bluefish mixed in. Pier anglers are hooking both while working Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs, and boaters are getting in on the action while trolling Clarkspoons and other small, flashy lures within a few miles of the beachfront.
A few king mackerel have been feeding in the same range, but the king bite’s been better at spots 12-18 miles out lately. The larger mackerel will fall for live baits like menhaden or dead cigar minnows slow-trolled around bottom structure or surface and mid-water bait concentrations.
Bottom fishermen are still connecting with decent numbers of grouper, black sea bass, and more while dropping baits to structure in the 10-20 mile range. Live, dead, and cut baits are all effective.
Not many boats have made the run to the Gulf Stream recently, but there’s still a decent wahoo and dolphin bite waiting when anglers can make the run. Ballyhoo paired with skirted trolling lures are the way to go for both fish.
Inshore, the flounder bite has been strong in the inlets, the marshes, and around inshore structure like docks. Anglers are also connecting with some flatfish in the surf. Live baits (like mud minnows and finger mullet) and Gulp baits are fooling the flounder.
The red drum bite is also going strong all over the inshore waters, from the inlets and surf zone to the creeks and marshes off the ICW and New River. The reds will fall for all the same baits as the flatfish, and anglers may also be able to tempt them to bite topwater plugs. Cut baits are also effective on the reds in the surf.
Sheepshead are feeding around the bridges, docks, and other structure inshore, where they’ll pounce on fiddler crabs or sand fleas dangled tight to the pilings.
Allen, of Breadman Ventures, reports that anglers are still catching plenty of red drum in the marshes and bays off the New River and ICW. Big numbers continue to fall for topwater plugs, and anglers are also hooking up on suspending hard baits, soft plastics, and gold spoons.
Some speckled trout are feeding alongside the reds and taking an interest in the same lures.
Richard, of Seaview Pier, reports that anglers working diamond jigs and Gotcha plugs from the pier are connecting with bluefish and some scattered spanish mackerel.
Bottom fishermen are connecting with a mixed-bag including spot, sea mullet, black drum, puppy drum, and more. Shrimp, sand fleas, and bloodworms are all producing results with the bottom feeders.
Bob, of Surf City Pier, reports that some spanish mackerel and bluefish are biting casting lures like Gotcha plugs that anglers are working from the pier.
Anglers are hooking some healthy flounder (to 22”) on small live baits fished under the pier.
Some spot and bluefish have been biting bottom rigs baited with shrimp and bloodworms at night.
John, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that there’s been a solid red drum bite from the pier around sunset lately. Most of the reds are falling for cut mullet, but shrimp and live baits have been producing as well.
Some flounder and speckled trout are taking an interest in live shrimp and finger mullet fished under the pier.
Bottom fishermen are hooking spot and sea mullet on shrimp and bloodworms.
Some black drum and sheepshead are falling for live sand fleas and sea urchins fished tight to the pilings.
Plug casters are hooking a few bluefish and some spanish mackerel in the morning and evening hours.