Topsail – June 22, 2017
Austin, of East Coast Sports, reports that bluefish, sea mullet, and red and black drum are all showing up in good numbers along the surf. They are taking a variety of natural baits fished on the bottom. Sand fleas, bloodworms, Fish Bites, shrimp, and fiddler crabs are all working; however, the red drum and bluefish are taking more of an interest in cut mullet and menhaden on fish finder rigs. There has also been a very nice run of summer spots so far this season. Bloodworms and Fish Bites are getting most of the spot bites.
When the water is calm and clear, anglers are connecting with spanish mackerel while fishing towards the inlets. The occasional bluefish is also biting around the same areas, with most action coming while casting around high tide. Diamond jigs and Gotcha plugs have been the bait of choice.
Black drum and sheepshead have been biting well around inshore bulkheads and pilings on shrimp and fiddler crabs. Red drum and flounder are showing up in the canals and marshes, and they’re taking live minnows, Gulp shrimp, and topwater plugs.
Schoolie-sized king mackerel are being caught in good numbers in the 8-10 mile range. Blue Water Candy dead bait rigs with cigar minnows and live menhaden are how most are targeting the kings, with planer and downrigger baits getting most of the bites.
Grouper, sea bass, beeliners, and pink and silver snapper have been plentiful on the bottom inside of the break. BWC Roscoe jigs tipped with squid are getting the bites.
Bailer mahi have been biting at 25 miles on skirted ballyhoo.
Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that red drum fishing has really picked up this past week. The fish have been interested in a variety of topwater baits from MirrOlure and Rapala, and the smaller versions have been working the best. Popping corks have been effective with Z-Man EZ Shrimp, and the best action with corks has been on windy days.
The reds are also biting live and cut menhaden fished on circle hooks around oyster points and waterway docks. There has also been an increase in flounder activity in the same areas using live finger mullet on Carolina rigs.
Flounder fishing has picked up throughout the area on both the nearshore structure and throughout the marsh. Nearshore live bottom, ledges, and ARs are all holding fish. Inshore, the flounder are using creek mouths, docks, and bottom contours in the deeper channels to feed.
Spanish fishing has been decent around New Topsail Inlet when the weather allows. The fish haven’t been very widespread, but rather they are concentrated in a few schools. Spoons and planers trolled down tidelines and around bird activity has worked best.
ARs in the 8-20 mile range have plenty of amberjacks on them. Live bait and high speed jig fishing is getting most of the action. Bottom fishing with jigs and squid is producing sea bass, grunts, porgies, and the occasional gag.
Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that spanish mackerel have been in 40-50’ of water. Clarkspoons and #1 or #2 planers are getting them to bite. There have been quite a few undersized kings in the mix as well. In addition, there was a nice run of false albacore this past week in the same areas the spanish and kings were using.
Just off the beach, flounder fishing has been getting better, with mostly short fish and the occasional nice one in the mix. Keeper sea bass and grunts have been showing up while nearshore flounder fishing.
Inshore, there have been some speckled trout in the mornings, and they’re biting topwater plugs. Targeting water on the bottom has produced a couple of gray trout. Marsh drains and oyster points with deep water nearby have been the hot spots for trout.
Red drum are feeding well when you can locate them. Finding schools of baitfish has been the best indicator of the areas where the drum are holding.
Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that king mackerel fishing has been good in the 7-15 mile range. Fish are falling for dead bait rigs and Drone spoons.
Targeting 15-20 miles off the beach, there have been some mahi in the mix. The mahi are being caught on blue/white and green/yellow skirted ballyhoo.
Grouper fishing has improved in the 80-100’ depths.
Robin, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that black drum are biting very well, with excellent numbers of keepers in the mix. Shrimp and sand fleas are working best. There are keeper and over-slot red drum being hooked along the surf on shrimp and cut bait.
Bluefish have been biting well on plugs when the water is clear, and they are biting cut bait better when the water is dirty. Spots have been making a good showing at night and in the early morning hours. Bloodworms are getting most of the bites from the spots.
There has been an increase in baitfish along the beach over the past week. Tarpon have been rolling, but none have been hooked. Once the weather settles, the fish should begin to cooperate.
Garrison, of Surf City Pier, reports that bottom fishermen have been connecting with a nice mix of fish, with spots, sea mullet, red drum, and black drum all taking a variety of natural baits. Bluefish and spanish have been biting in the mornings on Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs.
Daniel, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that black drum and sea mullet have been biting well on fresh shrimp. There has been the occasional blow toad biting shrimp, too.
Tarpon have been sighted, with a few hookups on the nice days.