Topsail – November 16, 2017
Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that the inshore speckled trout bite is on fire, with a lot of 4-5 lb. fish being pulled in from the waterway as well as area creeks and inlets. Bass Assassin Sea Shads and Betts Perfect Sinker Shrimp in electric chicken are proving to be the best artificial baits for the specks, while live shrimp are also working well.
There have been good numbers of red drum found in the same areas as the trout, in addition to a few flounder. The flatties are mostly hitting live bait.
Surf anglers are also taking advantage of the fantastic trout bite, and they are catching plenty of good-sized sea mullet as well. Flounder are biting a little stronger on the beach than they are inshore, and there have also been a few spot runs here and there.
Local pier anglers are catching plenty of sea mullet and a few big kings.
Most of the king mackerel action has been in the 5-25 mile range, with lots of schoolie kings biting trolled Mackahoos. The king fishing has been so good that most anglers are staying within range of the schools and targeting them specifically. Expect the kings to start slowing down on the beach but staying strong both nearshore and offshore.
Those fishermen who have ventured down below the kings have found a great grouper bite fairly close to the beach—5 or 6 miles out is as far as you need to go. There has also been a strong red snapper presence on the bottom.
Mike, of Native Son, reports that the main story these past few weeks has been the speckled trout action, with most fish being in the 17-22” range. The specks have started to migrate from the main channels to the smaller feeder creeks, and if you can find a concentration of bait, chances are the trout are close by.
MirrOdines have been producing the most fish, especially in electric chicken, white broken glass, and pinfish colors. Chartreuse, opening night, and green lantern-colored Z-Man MinnowZ are also working well.
Plenty of flounder can be found in the same spots as the trout, and they will readily eat a soft plastic if you can wade through the lizardfish to get one to them.
Red drum are starting to school up and can be found in their usual winter places, such as on points and oyster bars. Thanks to outstanding water clarity, you should be able to see the drum and cast right to them.
Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that king mackerel fishing remains excellent. The fish have been anywhere from 30” to 25 lbs. and are being found between 8-12 miles. Both live and dead bait are catching the kings.
False albacore are being found from the inlet out to about 10 miles offshore, where small shiny jigs and flies are producing the most fish.
Bottom fishing has been fantastic. Sea bass, grouper, and snapper are all happily biting, especially in the 70-100’ range. Deeper water has been producing some larger sea bass and a few red snapper during the mini season opener.
Frank, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that the last few weeks have been slow, with no significant catches. Fishing on the beach around the pier has been decent for such species as sea mullet, flounder, and spots, but the fish are hanging just out of reach for pier anglers.
Vinita, of Surf City Pier, reports that kings have still been biting, with fish anywhere from 10-35 lbs. being pulled in. Cut bluefish remains the best bait for the kings.
While a few spot runs have come through, they’ve been inconsistent. A decent sea mullet and pompano presence has kept anglers busy, though, and the trout bite has been off and on.
Robbie, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports a mixed catch of Virginia mullet, puppy drum, bluefish, speckled trout, and a few spots here and there. Live shrimp has been the highest-producing bait, while Gotcha plugs are pulling in most of the blues.