Topsail – October 26, 2017
Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that inshore anglers have been seeing double digit red drum days, with plenty of slot and over-slot fish to go around. Speckled trout fishing is also picking up, with the average speck weighing in around 2 lbs. (and several fish reaching the 4 lb. mark). Topwater fishing over oyster rocks has been good for both species.
Flounder action, though, has been harder to come by.
Surf fishing has been producing pompano (up to 4 lbs.) and sea mullet. Pier anglers are taking advantage of good spot runs and finding a big red drum here and there. A few false albacore have been pulled in from the piers, though the vast majority of the “fat albert” action has been just off the beach, where it’s been easy to pull in good numbers of the fish using light tackle.
The king mackerel bite has been phenomenal, with schools of fish so thick that nearshore anglers are concentrating on little else. These are schoolie kings (average size around 10-20 lbs.). You can find them around any kind of structure in the 4-15 mile range, and fishing dead bait on Mackahoos will do the trick.
In the Stream, wahoos have been continuing to bite relentlessly, where fast trolling planers are generating the most action. The average size of the wahoos have been between 30-40 lbs.
Bottom fishing has been producing really big triggerfish, a handful of beeliners, a few gags, and various other bottom fish.
Mike, of Native Son, reports that inshore creeks and channels are overflowing with mullet, glass minnows, and small pogies, and the trout are slowly following them. While most of the trout action has been in the main channels, the smaller creeks are starting to fill up as well. Topwater baits are working in the morning, and Z-Man MinnowZ on 1/8 to 1/4 oz. jig heads are doing well, too.
Drum fishing is still fantastic, especially if you can find an unmolested school. These fish are responding very well to topwaters, but the more public schools are requiring a bit more finesse. Try lightly-weighted jerk shads and gold spoons.
Outside of the inlets, expect to find some killer king and false albacore fishing. Most of the biggest kings are coming from right off the beach, while the false albacore are hanging in the 30-40’ range.
Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that red drum are schooling up in larger numbers over inshore hard bottom flats and oyster bars, as well as around area docks. In the early mornings and on overcast days, the reds are falling for topwater plugs, while live baits, soft plastics, and jigs have been working well later in the day.
While this time of year should be great for speckled trout fishing, the bite has been hit or miss due to unseasonably warm water temperatures. Z-Man Swimming Trout Tricks, MirrOlures, and live baits are seeing most of the speck action, and they are best fished around deep grass banks with good current flow.
False albacore and spanish mackerel are feeding heavily on the surface and have been thick around area inlets out to about the 4 mile range. Your best bet for catching them is on minnow imitation flies, or on metal jigs on light spinning tackle.
King mackerel have been really active out to 7 miles, with most of the fish biting over bottom structure on slow trolled live baits. Unfortunately, some large sharks have been hanging around in the same areas and are stealing a good number of hooked fish. If you start losing your kings to sharks, it’s best to just move on to another spot.
Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that the false albacore bite remains strong, with fish chasing bait in anywhere from 20-60’ of water. Use small jigs and flies to fool them, and don’t be surprised if you hook a nice spanish at the same time.
King fishing has been on fire in the 5-10 mile range, with light tackle and dead bait getting the most hits. Most of the kings have been between 8-15 lbs., but a few bigger kings (20+ lbs.) have been mixed in as well.
Bottom fishing is fantastic in the 20-30 mile range, with grouper and sea bass providing the most action, followed by triggerfish and snappers.
Tyler, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that anglers are catching nice-sized sea mullet and average-sized spots. Drum fishing has slowed down, but plenty of blues are being caught on Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs. There have also been a few trout here and there caught on shrimp (usually first thing in the morning).
The king fishing has been slow, too, with only one 22 lb. fish landed.
Vinita, of Surf City Pier, reports a wide range of fish being pulled in, with pompano, spanish, and sea mullet making up the majority of the catch.
Anglers were able to take advantage of a good spot run early last week, and the kings have been biting as well. Most of the kings have been in the 20 lb. range, with one fish as big as 39 lbs. being pulled in.
Robbie, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that night fishing with shrimp and bloodworms has been producing good numbers of big Virginia mullet.
A few 2-3 lb. bluefish and pompano have been caught by anglers using plugs during the day, and rigging the blues up as bait has fooled about a dozen kings in the mid-20 lb. range.