Topsail – May 11, 2017
Austin, of East Coast Sports, reports that surf fishing has picked up over the past week. Anglers are reporting catches of sea mullet while fishing on the bottom with fresh shrimp. High tide and low light periods have produced the best catches. A few black drum are also showing up with the mullet.
Bluefish are biting cut mullet fished on the bottom with both fish finder and Sea Striker bluefish rigs. The majority of the fish have been school size in the 2 lb. range. There are still a few choppers around, but the majority have moved on. Casting metal jigs from the shore is producing a few blues, especially while fishing towards the south end of the island.
Red drum are in good numbers back in the marsh, and then on flats during high tides. The fish are taking a variety of artificials, and Gulp shrimp and jerk shads on 3/8 oz. Blue Water Candy jigheads have been working well. Rapala Skitterwalks and Super Spooks are getting bites while fished along grass shorelines.
The reds are readily taking live mud minnows and cut bait fished along the bottom with Carolina rigs. Docks and oyster bars are holding good numbers of fish.
Flounder fishing has picked up considerably over the past couple days. Gulp jerk shads and live mud minnows are both producing fish.
Speckled trout fishing has been up and down lately. The most consistent fishing has been with the smaller versions of Super Spooks and Skitterwalks. Early morning hours have been the most productive time to target trout, and this pattern will continue throughout the summer months.
Black drum and a few sheepshead are being found around bridges and deeper waterway docks. Fresh shrimp is needed for the black drum, and fiddler crabs and urchins are getting the sheepshead to bite.
Nearshore boaters are reporting good catches of king mackerel while trolling cigar minnows on dead bait rigs and Yo-Zuri plugs. Spanish are beginning to show up, and the best action has been with both Clarkspoons behind #1 and #2 planers and the small size Yo-Zuri deep diving plugs.
Gag grouper are biting well starting in the 10 mile range, along with sea bass and a few grunts. Cobia are showing up, and most of the fish have been spotted holding near pods of menhaden. Cut bait and Bowed-Up cobia jigs are getting bites.
Gulf Stream boaters are reporting catches of mahi and wahoo. The majority of catches are coming on skirted ballyhoo and assorted lures, and look for the mahi action to get better in the next few weeks.
Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that red drum fishing along the marsh has picked up considerably over the past week. The reds are patrolling flats during high tide and otherwise cruising grass shorelines in search of baitfish. MirrOlure Poppa Mullet and Z-Man jerk shads are getting these fish to bite. Oyster bars and docks are holding good numbers of fish on both sides of the tide. Most of the bites are coming on fresh cut menhaden and live mud minnows.
Flounder are beginning to show up in better numbers, as they’re holding near the inlet and some of the creek mouths. Z-Man MinnowZ on 1/4 oz. Fathom jigheads and live mud minnows on Carolina rigs are getting the flatfish to bite.
Spanish mackerel have shown up in good numbers around the inlet and along nearshore wrecks. Trolling with Yo-Zuri plugs and Clarkspoons behind planers have accounted for most of the action. Surface feeding fish have been present during the evening on an outgoing tide near the inlet.
Bottom fishing in the 5-15 mile range has been decent, with grouper, sea bass, and porgies in the mix. Squid baits and metal jigs are how most fish are being caught.
School-sized king mackerel are falling for Rapala deep diving plugs in the same range.
Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that king mackerel, spanish, bonito, and bluefish have all been biting. They’ve all been mixed in the 3-7 mile range. Large Yo-Zuri deep divers and oversized Clarkspoons pulled behind #1 and #2 planers are fooling these fish. The spanish and bluefish were preferring smaller-sized spoons. Most of the kings were “snakes” (up to 32”). There were, however, some nice-sized kings being caught, too.
Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that larger spanish have shown up. Pulling #1 and #2 planers and assorted colors of Clarkspoons has been the best for the spanish. King mackerel have migrated closer to shore, but the weather has limited the days to get out there. Dead cigar minnows on Blue Water Candy dead bait rigs around live bottom has been effective. Drone spoons and planers have proved successful while trying to cover more water.
Cobia are in the area, so keep a large bucktail or jerk shad handy while fishing nearshore.
The trout bite has slowed down, but early morning or late evening is producing nice fish. There hasn’t been big numbers, but the quality has been great. The red drum bite has also slowed a little, but look for the fishing to pick up once the mullet migrate back into the sound.
Elizabeth, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that a few spanish are being caught on Gotcha plugs, and there are also good numbers of school-sized bluefish eating plugs. The bite will improve as the water clears back up.
Bottom fishermen are seeing catches of sea mullet and croakers, mostly after sunset and during high tide. Fresh shrimp on the bottom has been the ticket.
Terry, of Surf City Pier, reports that black drum and sea mullet are being caught on the bottom on both fresh shrimp and Fishbites. Bluefish in the 1-3 lb. range are being caught on plugs throughout the day. Spanish are beginning to show up, and there have been some bigger fish landed already.
Tyler, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that black drum and sea mullet are biting. Fresh shrimp and Fishbites are getting most of the action from the bottom fish. Plug casters are seeing decent catches of bluefish and the occasional spanish.