Topsail Beach – Aug 30, 2018
Jerry, of East Coast Sports, reports that 15-16” flounder are being caught inshore, and mid to upper-slot redfishing is fantastic.
Trout are out there if you know where to look, especially in the deeper holes on the New River.
The surf has been hot with a wide mix of fish, from red and black drum to flounder, big sea mullet, pompano, and bluefish. Bloodworms, shrimp, and finger mullet are the top producing surf baits.
Nearshore fishing has been all about spanish, while offshore has been producing kings.
Wahoo have been mixed in with the kings starting around the 30 mile range.
A lot of grouper, black sea bass, and triggers are readily chewing up bait on the bottom.
Mike, of Native Son, reports that drum fishing has been steadily improving over the past two weeks, though numbers are still down overall in the area for this time of year. Early morning/late evening topwaters have been the most consistent lures, with Skitterwalks and Top Pups putting the best numbers on the board. She Dogs are working well in the wind.
During the heat of the day, try fishing the deeper holes in the creeks and main channels with live bait or soft plastics.
Speckled trout are showing up in the drum holes. Z-Man MinnowZ with a light jig head will work for the specks (and the occasional flounder). A massive amount of shrimp are moving toward the ocean right now, but they haven’t been great for fishing due to the many pinfish in the area. If you’re going to fish with live bait, triple the amount you think you need in order to compensate.
Flounder have been steady off the beach when the wind backs off enough to let boats out of the inlet. Bucktails and live mullet are both working when drifted until a fish hits, then it’s time to anchor and start working the bottom slowly.
Spanish are coming in on Diamond jigs and Clarkspoons, and decent-sized bluefish are chewing off the beach as well.
Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that red drum are chewing near ICW docks, oyster beds, flats, and creeks. Rapala Skitterwalks, MirrOlure Poppa Mullets, MR17s, and MirrOmullets are all drawing strikes early in the day. Live and cut pogies and live mullet on Carolina rigs, free lined, or under floats are all working as well.
Speckled trout are hitting topwater plugs early in the day, though the bite has been very unpredictable. Good numbers of bluefish are holding in the same areas.
Flounder are hitting 3/8 oz. Fathom Belly Blade jigs and live Carolina-rigged finger mullet. They can be found near docks and in channels, creek mouths, and nearshore structure.
When the weather cooperates, so do the spanish mackerel, especially on trolled planer/spoon combos and casted Hogy Epoxy and Heavy minnows. Lots of bluefish and ladyfish have been in the mix as well.
King fishing has picked up when using Rapala Mag Divers, Drones, and dead cigar minnow rigs. Trolling live menhaden has also been effective. Most of the kings have been school-sized.
Ray, of Spring Tide Guide Service, reports that redfish have been constantly on the move between shallow and deep water, and they are in new spots every day. There have been a few caught in the inlets and some in the river, so your best bet is to cover a lot of ground until you can find a school. The good news is that most of the fish caught have been a decent size, with the majority of them measuring 22-26”. There are also schools of over-slot fish in the area averaging around 32-33”.
The best way to target the reds is with topwater lures. When you see a fish swirling on it, reel it in and cast an artificial (such as a Saltwater Assassin with menhaden Pro-cure) to draw a strike. If that doesn’t work, try throwing live bait.
As for the nearshore bite, spanish have moved to about 40-50’ of water.
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 in 65-85’ of water. They’re 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.
Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that the spanish mackerel bite has been excellent, with a good mix of keeper fish (up to 2 lbs.) being caught on 0 and 00 Clarkspoons pulled behind #1 planers and trolling weights. Some fish have also been coming to the top in the last few days and hitting small casted jigs.
Bottom fishing anywhere from 5-20 miles has been steady. Black sea bass, porgies, grunts, and a few gags have been in the mix. Cut bait like cigar minnows and squid have been putting the most fish in the box. Larger black sea bass have been responding well to jigs and bucktails.
Tyler, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that once the northern wind started coming through, fishing picked up big time. Blues and spanish are hitting Gotcha plugs and diamond jigs, while night anglers are enjoying a strong red and black drum bite when using shrimp, bloodworms, and fiddler crabs.
Mandy, of Surf City Pier, reports that red and black drum have been consistent over the last few weeks, while a mixed bag of other fish have started to make an appearance as well. Flounder, spadefish, pompano, and the occasional spot have been caught as well. Shrimp has been the most popular bait.
Spanish and blues have been sporadic, and a 19 lb. king came in.
Kim, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that blues and spanish have been the most abundant fish around the pier, while a couple of black drum, red drum, barracuda, and a 27 lb. king have also been caught recently.