Sarah Gagliardo

Topsail – November 17, 2016

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Austin, of East Coast Sports, reports that sea mullet are biting well in the Topsail Island surf. The fish are hitting on fresh cut shrimp and shrimp-flavored Fishbites. The action has been throughout the day and improving after sunset. Anglers are also connecting with black drum and a few spots in the same areas.

Red drum are being found along the beaches in good numbers. The fish are taking cut bait on fish finder rigs. On calmer days, the fish can be spotted and casted to with gold Kastmaster spoons and Gulp jerkshads on 3/8 oz. jigheads.

Flounder are being caught on live mud minnows pinned to Carolina rigs, as well as Gulp soft plastics. Surf casters are connecting with decent numbers of speckled trout. MirrOlures are the preferred bait, along with soft plastics on jigheads. The trout bite has been better during early morning hours and at night.

Anglers fishing near the dredge dock have been catching trout, red drum, black drum, and a few flounder.

The trout fishing continues to be red hot in the Topsail Sound. Good numbers of fish are being found around the inlets in the larger creeks. Shorelines that have deeper water and good tidal flow have been the best. MirrOlures, Rapala X-Raps, and Z-Man and Gulp soft plastics are all working well.

Red drum are being found throughout the marsh. The average sized fish has been at or below the keeper 18” mark. Scented soft plastics and live mud minnows are working best. As the water continues to cool, don’t overlook dead sticking fresh cut shrimp on a jighead or Carolina rig.

Flounder and black drum are being reported around docks and bridges.

King mackerel fishing has been very productive in the 10-15 mile range. Dead bait rigs by Blue Water Candy, Yo-Zuri plugs, and Drone spoons behind planers are how most of the bites are happening.

Bottom fishing in the same range has given up good numbers of black sea bass, grunts, porgies, and gag grouper. Frozen minnows, squid, and metal jigs are how most of the fish are being caught, and live pinfish on oversized Carolina rigs are a great way to catch gag grouper.

Garrison Lore, Keith, T.J. Conroy, and D.J. Lambert with four kings landed while king fishing on Surf City Pier. All four fish hit within a minute of each other. Weight left to right: 41 lbs., 25 lbs., 25 lbs., and 19 lbs.

Garrison Lore, Keith, T.J. Conroy, and D.J. Lambert with four kings landed while king fishing on Surf City Pier. All four fish hit within a minute of each other. Weight left to right: 41 lbs., 25 lbs., 25 lbs., and 19 lbs.

Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that the king mackerel bite has been excellent. A good mix of “schoolies,” “teenagers,” and a few fish in the 20 lb. range are being found. The fish have mostly been in 60+’ of water. Dead cigar minnows on Blue Water Candy rigs are getting the best results.

Bottom fishing is very good 15-20 miles offshore. Gag grouper, black sea bass, and snapper are accounting for most of the action.

False albacore have been near the beach lately. The fish have been just behind the shore break out to 40’ of water. Small jigs and flies are working well on these fish.

Carter Evanko (age 9), of Wilmington, with his first king mackerel. The fish fell for a cigar minnow while fishing off Topsail Island.

Carter Evanko (age 9), of Wilmington, with his first king mackerel. The fish fell for a cigar minnow while fishing off Topsail Island.

Robin, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that big spots have been biting well over this past weekend. The fish are coming throughout the day, but the bite has been better at night. Real bloodworms and bloodworm-flavored Fishbites are working best.

Sea mullet and black drum are also being caught in good numbers. These fish are taking more of an interest in fresh cut shrimp. The occasional red drum is also being caught on the same offerings.

A few bull red drum are being caught on cut bait off the end of the pier. Six citation-sized fish were caught this past Friday.

Tonya Jones, of Wilmington, with a speckled trout caught on Gulp shrimp in Topsail area waters.

Tonya Jones, of Wilmington, with a speckled trout caught on Gulp shrimp in Topsail area waters.

Vinita, of Surf City Pier, reports that spots, sea mullet, and black drum are providing great action. The fishing for all three has been better at night and during the early mornings. Fresh shrimp is working best for the mullet and black drum, with bloodworms getting bites from the spots.

A few large red drum have been caught over the past week. Speckled trout fishing has been sporadic, but there are a few fish being caught.

 

Frank, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that sea mullet are making a strong showing along the pier. Fresh shrimp and Fishbites in sand flea and shrimp flavor are getting the mullet to bite. Spots and black drum are being caught on shrimp and bloodworms.

There has been a scattered gray trout bite, along with a few speckled trout.