Fish Post

Topsail Beach – Aug 16, 2018

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Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that the inshore red drum action remains hot, especially on top of oyster rocks. Topwaters have been the best lures for the reds, particularly in the early morning. Skitterwalks are always a great choice, but Yo-Zuri topwaters in a frog pattern have been surprisingly effective lately.

There are plenty of flounder out there to be caught, but using big baits is really the only way to find the big fish. Looking around and tight to inshore structure should produce.

Sheepshead are in their usual places. If you come across some pilings, there will likely be fish swimming around them, and you’re likely to pull up a black drum as well. Fiddler crabs and sand fleas continue to produce bites.

Speckled trout have been MIA.

There have been decent catches of spots in the surf, primarily off of bloodworms, though Fishbites have been working as well. Black drum can be found in the suds, too, where night fishing with shrimp will get bites.

Nearshore citation spanish fishing has been decent, especially when using live bait within a mile or two from shore over structure (like the nearshore reefs).

Small kings can be found between 18-25 miles when pulling dead bait rigs. The 20-30 mile range is holding plenty of mahi. Live or dead bait doesn’t matter. If the dolphin sees it, it will strike.

On the bottom, the 20 mile range is holding gags, and American red snapper are chewing around 24 miles out.

Anglers pulling high speed wahoo rigs are finding good catches in the Gulf Stream, and plenty of hogfish have been coming in as well.

Julia Benson with an over-slot redfish that hit a live mullet in 50′ of water near Topsail Beach.

Mike, of Native Son, reports that puppy drum are in the marsh and main channel. Early morning and evening topwater plugs have been producing fish, and the key is to use something aggressive and loud to compete with all the bait in the water. You’re looking for reaction strikes, since the fish aren’t really feeding out of hunger. Cooler, faster moving water is best. Look for places where the drum can get out of the heavy current and near the bait.

Nearshore fishing has been on par with what it was last summer. The bigger spanish have moved off the beach to about 40’ of water. Find a good concentration and break out the diamond jigs to start bringing fish over the rails.

Flounder have been around in good numbers on the nearshore live bottoms, but you’re going to have to wade through a lot of black bass to get to them. Live bait and bucktails have been producing the best numbers. Some days they prefer one over the other, so always bring both.

For inshore flounder, look for deep holes in the main channels.


Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that red drum are coming from docks, oysters, flats, and bays, where live and cut bait will work throughout the day, and topwater plugs will get bites both early and late.

Speckled trout are also fond of the early and late topwaters, while Z-Man JerkshadZ rigged on Mustad Grip Pin Hooks will do the job as well.

Flounder are being found on inshore structure, docks, canals, channels, and creek mouths, as well as nearshore structure.

The spanish bite has been hit or miss, but it is definitely on the upswing as the water clears. Spoons and plugs are getting the most bites.

Barracuda, jacks, and sharks have been around in strong numbers.

Bottom fishing has been up and down, but when it’s up, expect to find plenty of grunts, sea bass, rings, and vermilion snapper.


Ray, of Spring Tide Guide Service, reports that the name of the game is finding a calm day in between all the wind and the rain that’s been plaguing the area, because that calm weather will allow you to get in on a pretty good topwater red drum bite in the New River. Most of the fish have been over-slot reds, and the key to finding them is to cruise the river until you see fish busting schools of bait. Most of the schools have been big, so it’s not too hard to get a bite if you can find them. If the reds don’t respond well to topwater lures, switch over to live bait to increase your chances.

Unfortunately, the inshore flounder bite has been slow due to the weather, but action should improve once conditions do.

A lot of small spanish are starting to show up just off the beaches, while some bigger ones can be found a little further out in deeper water.

Sophie Bachman with a 27″ redfish that she hooked in the Figure 8 Islabnd surf using a drum rig and finger mullet.

Marc, of Bad Habit Sportfishing, reports that nearshore spanish fishing has slowed a bit due to all the recent weather, but the good news is the king bite has been great from 65-85’ of water. The kings are eating dead bait and live bait equally.

Grouper and other bottom dwellers have been cooperative over the past few weeks, especially from depths of 65’ out to the break. Sardines, mackerel, squid, and menhaden are all catching fish.

The Stream has been hit or miss, with nothing more than a few wahoo coming in. It will be getting better in the next few weeks as the fall fishing season really kicks into gear.


Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that flounder fishing with bucktail/Gulp combos has been bringing plenty of fish over the rails when focusing on nearshore reefs and ledges.

Kings are still chewing in depths of 60-80’, where dead cigar minnows, Drone spoons, and ballyhoo are all catching their share. The occasional mahi, amberjack, and false albacore are in the same areas and will take the same baits.

Bottom fishing has been productive in the 70-100’ range. Big sea bass, beeliners, snapper, and grouper have all been mixed in. Cigar minnows and squid have been the go-to baits.


Tyler, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that anglers are finding spanish and bluefish on Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs, with a few kings and bigger spanish mixed in as well (off of live baits on king rigs). Black drum are coming in at night on sand fleas.


Vinita, of Surf City Pier, reports that a lot of black and red drum (at night), kings, and the assorted pompano, spadefish and flounder have all come in. Shrimp and bloodworms are the top two baits.

A 6.25 lb. speckled trout was caught on live bait.


Taylor, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that black and red drum, spanish, and bluefish have made up the majority of the pier’s catch. Most of the fish have come in at night, but a few of the drum have been found throughou