Topsail – July 6, 2017
Austin, of East Coast Sports, reports that surf fishing has been steady, with red and black drum being hooked regularly in the breakers. The red drum have been caught mostly on cut bait (such as pogies and spots), and the black drum are taking shrimp and sand fleas on bottom rigs.
Spanish mackerel fishing just off the beach has been productive, especially in the mornings and evenings, with anglers catching most of the spanish on Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs. Trolling Clarkspoons has also been producing fish.
Inshore, keeper flounder are being caught on many of the popular soft plastics (Gulps, Vudu, Z-Man, etc.) along sandy flats during the falling tide.
Speckled trout have been active, with most of the specks hanging around the inlets and the creeks near the inlets. The best tactic has been fishing live shrimp under float rigs.
Nearshore anglers are catching king mackerel (as well as the occasional dolphin) by trolling ballyhoo.
Bottom fishermen are catching gag grouper on live baits and jigs in the 20+ mile range. A little further out, anglers are connecting with red grouper while fishing cut bait, live bait, and Roscoe jigs, and tilefish are falling for squid fished on two-hook rigs.
In the Gulf Stream, dolphin are being caught while trolling rigged ballyhoo.
Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that red drum are regularly cruising grass lines in search of food and are eager to take baits. In the early morning, lower-slot redfish (and the occasional over-slot) have been producing a good topwater bite. They are consistently hitting MirrOlure Poppa Mullets as well as Super Spook Jrs, and then later in the day, larger redfish are falling for pogies on Carolina rigs. The majority of the fish are being found around docks and oyster beds, and some of the reds have gone as large as 40”.
Flounder fishing has picked up, with fish being caught while drift fishing channels and following the contour lines. Most of the flounder are being caught on the outgoing tide, and the most productive spots have been near creek mouths.
Nearshore flounder fishing has also been good around the area’s ARs. Many keeper-sized flatfish are being caught, with the occasional 3 lb. fish thrown in.
Spanish mackerel fishing is strong, with good numbers hitting #0 and #00 Clarkspoons trolled behind planers in 30-35’ of water.
Small king mackerel have been caught nearshore, too, with the average size only around 26”. They are attacking the same #0 and #00 Clarkspoons being pulled by those targeting spanish.
False albacore schools have been seen. These fish can be enticed to hit diamond jigs, or they may also fall for trolled Clarkspoons.
Bottom fishing in the 16+ mile range has been producing gag grouper, porgies, and grunts. Most of the fish are being caught over hard bottom, and they are taking squid, cut bait, and metal jigs.
Amberjacks have been hitting baits fished around offshore structure. They are being caught on live pogies, as well as Z-Man HeroZ and Shimano flat-fall jigs.
Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that a lot of spanish are being caught off the beach. Most of the fish are coming from around 30’ of water and are hitting best on gold Clarkspoons behind a #1 planer.
There have been small kings mixed in with the spanish. In addition, lots of false albacore have been moving through the nearshore waters, and anglers can best generate strikes by casting epoxy jigs.
Nearshore, keeper flounder are showing up in decent numbers on the local ARs. The flounder fishing inshore has been producing mostly smaller fish.
Anglers targeting the inshore waters can also expect to find scattered ladyfish, and red and black drum have been holding in their usual summer places.
Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that spanish mackerel are biting well at the turn of the tide around the inlet mouths. The recommended lure is #00 Clarkspoons in pink and silver pulled behind #1 planers or trolling weights. Small king mackerel are mixed in.
Offshore in the 7-15 mile range, good numbers of schoolie-sized kings can be caught by trolling dead baits and Drone spoons.
Further offshore, mahi are mixed in, and they can be targeted with Blue Water Candy skirts over ballyhoo, with blue and white being the most productive color choice.
Robbie, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that good numbers of spanish are being caught in the early mornings on Gotcha plugs.
Speckled trout have been caught in the early mornings, too, and the best bait is live shrimp.
Bottom fishing has been producing black drum on shrimp, as well as red drum on cut bait (such as mullet, spot, and pogies) fished on Carolina rigs.
Most of the flounder are being caught in the breakers on mud minnows fished on Carolina rigs, with fish reported up to 4 lbs.
One of the king mackerel anglers caught and released an estimated 85 lb. tarpon that took a live bluefish.
Garrison, of Surf City Pier, reports that flounder (in the 16-22’’ range) are hitting live mud minnows fished on Carolina rigs.
Speckled trout are taking live shrimp.
Black drum, as well as red drum, are being caught by bottom fishermen. The red drum are feeding on a variety of cut baits, and the black drum are preferring shrimp and sand fleas.
Spanish and bluefish are chasing Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs throughout the day. Anglers throwing diamond jigs also have a chance at catching pompano, but the pompano are few in numbers.
King mackerel fishing has been producing numbers of larger spanish mackerel (in the 4-6 lb. range). Anglers on the end of the pier landed a jack crevalle and a couple of tarpon (weighing 78 and 69 lbs.).
Daniel, of Seaview Pier, reports that good numbers of spanish mackerel (with the occasional bluefish) are being caught on Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs in the early mornings and late afternoons.
Bottom fishing has been producing black drum and mullet, with both being caught on shrimp on bottom rigs.
Speckled trout have been biting, but only once in a while. When they’re active, fishing with live shrimp has been the best method.
Flounder fishing has been slower than usual, but some have been caught on Gulp shrimp and live mud minnows fished on Carolina rigs.
Those seeking king mackerel from the pier are hooking smaller-sized kings (and even tarpon) while fishing with live bluefish.