Topsail – August 17, 2017
Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that red drum are biting well around oyster beds and grass lines. Gold spoons are producing good numbers of fish, but the hungry reds are also readily striking soft plastics from Saltwater Assassin.
The flounder bite has been strong closer to the inlet, as the fish have moved to deeper and cleaner water. The flounder are falling for both live bait and artificials.
Ladyfish can be caught at night by those casting lures near lit docks.
Nearshore in 20-30’ of water, spanish have been falling for gold #00 Clarkspoons trolled behind #1 and #2 planers. The bite has been better in the early mornings.
King mackerel have been attacking Big Nic Mack-a-Hoos, as well as cigar minnows, in the 12+ mile range.
Offshore, 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, and 40+ miles out, red and scamp grouper can be caught.
In the Gulf Stream, the wahoo are now arriving in better numbers in our waters. Trolling skirted ballyhoo will catch both wahoo and sailfish, as well as blackfin tuna, and the blackfins are getting larger as we move out of summer.
Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that red drum fishing remains good throughout the area. Dock fishing with live and cut baits has accounted for the bulk of the catch. However, the cooler weather recently has increased the amount of time the fish are spending on the flats and patrolling shorelines. MirrOlure Poppa Mullets and Rapala Skitterwalks are working well early and late in the day.
There has been an uptick in the amount of bluefish activity recently. The lure of choice are plugs, both suspending and topwater baits. The blues have been on the larger side, with some 6+ lb. fish being caught.
There are also a few ladyfish that have been interested during the day.
Flounder activity has improved, with a good mix of keepers. Drifting channels towards the inlet and casting to docks has produced most of the action. Fathom Inshore jigs with Z-Man plastics, as well as live menhaden on Carolina rigs, are accounting for most of the bites.
Spanish fishing has been up and down over the past week. There have been lots of smaller fish showing up, along with large numbers of under-sized king mackerel. Trolling with the traditional planer and spoon setups are getting the bites.
Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that the spanish bite is still there, but the fish seem to have gotten smaller over the past couple of weeks. There are some under-sized kings mixed in, too. Moving to deeper water (in the 40-45’ range) will help in finding larger-sized spanish.
The flounder fishing off the beach continues to improve. Using 2 oz. bucktails or live finger mullet will produce fish. On some days one of these baits will work better than the other, so try both. If fishing lighter baits, be prepared to feed small black sea bass, as well as other non-target species.
Inshore, there are good numbers of flounder. Deep holes on the lower tides and then docks on the higher tides are both producing fish. Lots of short fish are mixed in, but some keeper fish are being landed. Soft plastics like the Z-Man MinnowZ are great for casting and holding up against the onslaught of pinfish and lizard fish.
Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that spanish have been the go to fish lately, with fish being caught from behind the breakers out to 45′ of water. There have been a few days you could cast small jigs to them, but #00 and #0 Clarkspoons with #1 planers have been landing the majority of the fish.
Some king mackerel are in the 7-15 mile range, but most of these have been smaller fish.
The flounder bite has been picking up on the nearshore reefs. Bucktails paired with Gulp shrimp or live mullet on Carolina rigs are both great choices to target the nearshore flatfish.
Ed, of Surf City Pier, reports that black drum fishing has been very good, with anglers catching slot-sized fish using bottom rigs tipped with shrimp and sand fleas. At night some red drum have been landed on these same baits. The better action for the reds, though, has been coming from mud minnows, finger mullet, and cut bait.
Some keeper flounder are being caught, but the majority of the fish have been short. Mud minnows and finger mullet on Carolina rigs have been catching most of the flatfish.
Spadefish and pompano have been biting shrimp fished on double drop rigs.
Spanish and bluefish have been caught off the end of the pier when using Gotcha plugs.
No kings have been landed, but some tarpon in the 50-70 lb. range have been hooked.
Tyler, of Seaview Pier, reports that black drum are being caught when bottom fishing with shrimp and sand fleas.
Some red drum are being landed on cut spot and live finger mullet.
Flounder fishing has produced mostly under-sized fish, but some keepers have been caught when fishing with mud minnows and finger mullet on Carolina rigs.
Robbie, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that anglers tossing plugs are connecting with both bluefish and spanish off the end of the pier.
Most of the flounder have been short, but some keepers are biting when using mud minnow and finger mullet.
Bottom fishing for black drum has been very productive, with anglers landing 2-6 lb. fish off fresh cut shrimp on bottom rigs. Some redfish have also been caught on live and cut bait.