Fish Post

Topsail March 28, 2013

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David Johnson, of Jacksonville, NC, with a gator speckled trout that bit a Billy Bay Halo Shad while he was fishing the New River with Capt. Ricky Kellum of Speckled Specialist Charters.

Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that anglers are starting to see some signs of spring both inshore and in the ocean around Topsail.

In the sound, some healthy (8-10 lbs.) black drum have been feeding around channels, docks, and other structure. Anglers are connecting with the drum on fresh shrimp.

The speckled trout bite remains solid in the New River, where anglers are tempting the fish to bite MR17 MirrOlures and soft plastic baits. The creeks have been producing more action than the main river itself.

Anglers are starting to hook some red drum around the shoals of Topsail Inlet, and surf casters are connecting with them while tossing Gulp baits into the breakers.

Pufferfish and a few sea mullet have also shown up along Topsail’s beachfront, and anglers can expect the action for both to get even better over the coming weeks as the surf temperatures climb a few degrees (and some big sea mullet start to show up). Fishing shrimp on bottom rigs in the surf and from the island’s piers are the best ways to connect with the tasty panfish.

As spring takes hold and things warm up, some bluefish should begin showing up along the beachfront as well.

When the water reaches around 60 degrees, anglers can expect the much-anticipated arrival of Atlantic bonito to nearshore structure like Diver’s Rock. Searching for feeding birds and fish in the early morning hours and casting diamond jigs to the bonito makes for some exciting angling, and boats can also hook up with the speedy little tunas while trolling Yo-Zuri Deep Divers or flashy spoons.

Anglers have already caught a few flounder inshore, and the flatfish should become more numerous and active as April wears on.

Sheepshead will also be showing up soon, and they will take an interest in fiddler crabs fished tight to hard structure like bridges, docks, and rocks.

Marilyn Chapman, of Fayetteville, NC, with a speckled trout that fell for an MR17 MirrOlure near Sneads Ferry while she was fishing with Capt. Allen Jernigan of Breadman Ventures.

Not many boats have been offshore lately due to the weather, but wahoo and blackfin tuna are still feeding on the break. Skirted ballyhoo and artificial trolling lures will both tempt bites from the tuna and wahoo.

Allen, of Breadman Ventures, reports that red drum are schooled up tightly in the bays, creeks, and marshes off the New River and ICW. They’ve been presenting exciting sight-casting opportunities when the water’s not too choppy or dirty to spy the fish. Soft plastics like the TTF Hackberry Hustler have been tempting the reds to bite, and adding some Pro-Cure Super Gel for scent is a good idea. Gold spoons have also been effective on the reds lately and can be cast a bit further.

Speckled trout are also on the feed in the creeks and backwaters, though they’ve been biting better some days than others. Shallow mud flats have been producing the best fishing, and both MirrOlure MR17’s and soft plastic baits are tempting the trout to bite.

A few flounder are also falling for plastics that anglers are casting for reds and trout, and giggers are picking up some healthy flatfish. The flounder should only get larger and more numerous as March turns to April.

Greg, of Seaview Pier, reports that anglers are catching big numbers of pufferfish from the planks. Sea mullet are also coming over the rails, particularly at night. Interestingly, the mullet have either been very small or very large, with few in the middle. Shrimp on two-hook bottom rigs are producing the majority of the action with the puffers and mullet.

Some bluefish should be the next arrivals, and they’re likely to appear within the next two weeks.

Vinita, of Surf City Pier, reports that the first few sea mullet of the season have been landed from the pier, and decent numbers of pufferfish are mixed in. Both will fall for shrimp on bottom rigs.

Some bluefish should be showing up next, and anglers can tempt them to bite baited bottom rigs or lures like Gotcha plugs.

Robbie, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that anglers have been catching a few sea mullet and solid numbers of pufferfish over the past few weeks. Some skates and sharks are mixed in, and all are falling for shrimp on bottom rigs.

The bite should improve as the water temperature climbs over the next few weeks.