Fish Post

Topsail – October 12, 2017

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Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that there has been plenty of red drum action on inshore oyster beds, where Cajun Sleigh lures in gold and copper are being used to take advantage of a strong bite. A few speckled trout have also been landed inshore, with topwaters and soft plastics responsible for most of the catch.

Flounder fishing has dropped off some.

On the beach, surf anglers are finding that the spot bite is really picking up, and there are plenty of slot and over-slot reds to catch.

Nearshore, the false albacore bite has been incredible, and Spanish Candies are among the top producers. A few spanish mackerel are still in the mix. Most of the big spanish are being caught slow trolling live mullet.

Some nice kings (many of them around 30 lbs.) are biting live bluefish within the two mile range, specifically in around 70’ of water.

The wahoo bite is strong and continues to improve. The ‘hoos are currently falling for high speed trolling lures.


Michael Nichols, of Wilkesboro, NC, with a 19” sheepshead landed using live shrimp near Brown’s Inlet.


Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that while false albacore are thick just off the beach, the wind has unfortunately come with them. If you can find a break in the weather, get out to about 35’ of water and keep an eye on your depth finder. Whether the bait is on the bottom or the surface, the false albacore will be there as well.

There have also been plenty of large drum just off the beach. A few big reds have also made it inshore into area creeks and around points and oyster beds.


Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that red drum, speckled trout, and flounder are all biting inshore. The reds are actively feeding along oyster beds, shorelines, and flats. Rapala Skitterwalks and MirrOlure Poppa Mullets are pulling in the fish during the morning hours. Later in the day, Fathom Inshore jigs, gold spoons, and Z-Man soft plastics are working. Live menhaden and finger mullet under floats and on Carolina rigs are also producing steady bites.

As for the specks, target them either early in the morning or late in the evening around area inlets and creeks. Topwater plugs (like small Zara Spooks and Skitterwalks) are out-fishing most other baits, though Z-Man Trout Tricks, Fathom squirrely tails, and Bass Assassin paddle tails are working if the trout aren’t going for surface baits.

Big flounder are showing up in the larger creeks toward area inlets. The fish are holding in canals, creek mouths, and contours along deeper channels on the falling tide, where menhaden and finger mullet on Carolina rigs are likely to connect. If you can’t find bait, then scented jerk shads on 3/8 oz. jig heads have also been working well.

When the weather has allowed, nearshore trolling for spanish, kings, and false albacore has been productive. Sight casting for the false albacore will only get better, with Hogy Epoxy minnows and Sea Striker jigfish both proving to be fantastic baits. And as long as the water stays above 70 degrees, the spanish will continue to bite.

Once the weather stabilizes, look for bottom fishing to be very good in the 6-20 mile range for sea bass, grouper, grunts, porgies, and triggers.


Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that spanish, blues, and false albacore are currently the best bet for nearshore fishing. Fish have been schooling and feeding on the surface, so flashy jigs, spoons, and flies are all good choices for bait.

Drum are biting around local inlets and nearshore structure. Slot and over-slot fish alike have been caught with jigs and both live and cut bait.

There is a lot of bait around, so king fishing should continue to pick up over the next few weeks as the water cools. Trolling dead bait in the 5-15 mile range should be productive.


Daniel, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that after a great spot run last week, the action has slowed down a bit. Overall, the catch has mainly consisted of Virginia mullet, bluefish, and some good-sized spanish and pompano. The pompano have been falling for shrimp, and the spanish are hitting Gotcha plugs.

One or two decent kings have also been pulled in, with live bluefish as the bait.


Capt. Jesse Gawlik, of Ocean Stinger Fishing Charters, with a 45 lb. king mackerel. They were trolling 36 miles offshore in 98’ of water out of Masonboro Inlet. The king was caught on a small blue/white Ilander rigged with small ballyhoo behind a #6 planer.


Vinita, of Surf City Pier, reports a “mixed bag” of fish. Flounder, blues, pompano, Virginia mullet, and red drum have all been biting, while a good number of kings have also recently shown up.

Spots are inconsistent, but they’re definitely out there.


Robbie, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports a recent surge of pompano that are biting bloodworms and shrimp. In addition, there have been a few spanish, blues, black drum, and Virginia mullet.