Fish Post

Topsail – August 03, 2017

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Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that inshore the red drum topwater bite has been good around shallow flats and grass lines. These reds will also strike soft plastics, such as the Bass Assassin in electric chicken. Speckled trout have been mixed in with the reds.

Flounder fishing has been steady, with flatfish being landed on finger mullet and mud minnows on a Carolina rig, as well as on soft plastics.

Good numbers of black drum have been caught around structure (such as bridges and docks) when fishing with shrimp and other crustaceans on bottom rigs and Carolina rigs.

At night, ladyfish can be caught by casting lures near lit docks and around the drawbridge.

Nearshore, spanish mackerel have been falling for #00 Clarkspoons trolled in 28-30’ of water behind #1 and #2 planers. Silver Clarkspoons are the best choice for a sunny day, and gold is the best choice for a cloudy day.

King mackerel fishing has been really good in the 10-15 mile range, with many kings being caught around Christmas Rock. Big Nic Mac-a-Hoos and Blue Water Candy Wedgie trolling rigs have been putting the most fish in the boat. Out further in the 25 mile range, these same rigs have been producing mixed sizes of mahi.

Offshore, numbers of triggerfish have been caught using drop rigs tipped with cut bait or squid. Live bait and cigar minnows have been producing gag grouper in 70-100’ of water. Out further, red and scamp grouper can be caught with these same baits.

In the Gulf Stream, trolling skirted ballyhoo is producing some wahoo and sailfish, with small pockets of blackfin tuna.

Clayton Baker, of Hampstead, NC, with a king mackerel that struck a skirted ballyhoo 15 miles out of Topsail Inlet.

Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that nearshore trolling with #1 and #2 planers paired with gold Clarkspoons has been productive for spanish and schoolie king mackerel. Trolling Blue Water Candy Spanish Daisies has been producing strikes from both spanish and bluefish.

Inshore, fishing for red drum and flounder has been good. The best way to land redfish is fishing live and cut bait around docks. Casting topwater plugs at dawn and on cloudy days has also been working for the reds, as well as speckled trout.

Flounder have been caught while drift fishing deeper channels and casting Fathom Inshore jigs to docks. The inshore water temperatures are warm, so the best flounder action will start to take place just off the beach in cooler water.

Bottom fishing has been productive in the 8-16 mile range for an assortment of bottom species (including grouper). Squid, cigar minnows, and metal jigs are all landing fish. Z-Man plastics and live menhaden have been productive on amberjacks around the same bottom structure.


Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that flounder fishing inshore is good during the higher stages of the tide around docks and next to grass. Concentrations of bait mean fish should be nearby. Red drum are also being found in these areas.

Nearshore flounder fishing is improving, with bucktails and mullet producing the most fish.

Spanish mackerel are still off the beach in 25-40’ of water, with kings and albacore mixed in. Trolling a #00 Clarkspoon behind a planer is the best way to target these species.

Nearshore flounder fishing is improving, and bucktails and mullet are producing the most fish.

Larger king mackerel are being landed in 65-70’ of water trolling Drone spoons and cigar minnows.

Bottom fishing offshore has been producing black sea bass, grunts, and some grouper.

Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that the spanish bite is hot. The fish have been in 30-45’ of water and are hitting #00 Clarkspoons and smaller-sized Drone spoons.

King mackerel fishing has been good from 7-15 miles off the beach. The best way to catch these fish is trolling dead cigar minnows and 3.5” Drone spoons on #3 up to #8 planers. False albacore and mahi have been mixed in with the mackerel.

Bottom fishing is consistent in the 15-40 mile range. Black sea bass, grunts, and grouper are falling for cigar minnows and squid on bottom drop rigs.

Barry Turano, Larry Rowland, and John Hobson with a trio of citation red grouper that bit spanish sardines in 105′ out of New Topsail Inlet. They were fishing aboard Shenanigans with Captain Todd Skeen.

Robbie, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that anglers bottom fishing are landing 2-5 lb. black drum near the surf, as well as other bottom species (such as croakers and sea mullet).

Those fishing for flounder are pulling in some keepers using live finger mullet and mud minnows.

Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs are connecting with good numbers of spanish mackerel early in the morning, and then sporadically throughout the rest of the day.

A tarpon was landed fishing live bait on a king rig.


Ed, of Surf City Pier, reports that flounder fishing has been good, with many keepers and one flounder weighing 4 lbs. The bait of choice is live mud minnows.

Bottom fishing has been producing many black drum (in the 3-4 lb. range) and croakers. Both are steadily taking cut shrimp.

Some spot runs have been reported.

Both spanish mackerel and bluefish are being brought in by those casting Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs.

A 62 lb. tarpon was landed on a king mackerel setup (stinger rig and live bait).


Daniel, of Seaview Pier, reports that a few flounder and red drum have been caught by those fishing live mullet and mud minnows and cut bait in the surf.

Black drum action has been steady using a double-drop rig tipped with shrimp. This rig also provides the chance to connect with sea mullet.

Gotcha plugs have been producing spanish, with bluefish mixed in, throughout the day.

A few tarpon have been caught by anglers fishing live bait on king mackerel rigs off the end.