Fish Post

Topsail Beach – Sep 13, 2018

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Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that the mullet run has started, which means big fish will be following. Reds are biting inshore, with early morning topwaters being the key to finding the best fish. Black drum are being found in good numbers as well, with the new slot rules really helping anglers catch quality fish.

Giggers are finding plenty of flounder, though hook-and-line anglers are hooking mostly throwbacks.

Surf anglers are having success with black drum, and pier anglers light lining for spanish and blues in the early morning/late evening are pulling in citation-sized fish.

Spanish can be found right outside the inlet, where Clarkspoons and Crystal Minnows have been responsible for most of the catch.

King mackerel fishing has been on fire in 80-90’ of water. A ton of school-sized fish are being caught, but some bigger kings are mixed in. Cigar minnows on dead bait rigs are getting the most action.

Good numbers of gaffer dolphin are being found around 20 miles. Trolling ballyhoo or dead bait rigs with cigar minnows has been productive, but the fish aren’t picky. If they’re there, they’ll hit whatever you’re pulling.

There has been a decent wahoo bite at 40+ miles.


Mike, of Native Son, reports that early morning topwater fishing for trout and red drum has been productive. Get out on the water about 30 minutes before the sun breaks the horizon. Start with smaller lures such as Skitterwalks or Top Pups, and then switch to the bigger profiles once the sun is shining and the wind rises.

The deeper part of the main creeks are starting to hold some trout, and you can find them in a hard current seam where they’ll be sitting in the slower water to ambush bait as it swims past. Deep water banks where you have an abrupt drop-off from the grass into deep water will also hold trout.

Redfish are hanging around structure (such as oyster bars) in the same areas as the trout, and the reds will typically be found anywhere out of the current.

As the sun continues to rise, try switching to soft plastics for both trout and red drum (if the topwater bite is slowing).

Flounder are starting to fatten up for fall, and they’ve been biting aggressively.

In the evening, big upper-slot drum have been driving into the creeks to feed.

The kings have started to move a lot closer to the beaches. Live bait and Drone spoons are both producing. Spanish have been smaller the last couple of weeks, but using a diamond jig and light spinning rod to catch them still makes for a fun fight.

Nearshore flounder action has been hit or miss.

Janet Seal with a 6.04 lb. citation spanish that was pulled from Rich’s Inlet with live bait.

Marc, of Bad Habit Sportfishing, reports that spanish, blues, and gray trout can all be found just off the beach, where they’re biting spoons, Stingsilvers, and other shiny trolled baits.

Kings can be found in depths of 50-100’, but they’ll be moving closer and hitting the beach soon. They’re eating both dead and live bait currently, but the kings will definitely prefer live bait once they’re close to shore.

Bottom fishing has been good at times, and it will only get better as the weather (and water) cools.

Gulf Stream fishing is picking up, with good numbers of wahoo, tuna, and sailfish growing by the week. There have also been sails as close as 10 miles off the beach, so you never know where you may come across one.


Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that the spanish mackerel bite has been on fire, with a good mix of sizes coming over the rail. Plenty of false albacore have been swimming with the spanish.

King mackerel fishing is hot between 10-15 miles. There have been a lot of school-sized fish swimming around, and they’re readily attacking dead bait.

On the bottom, the grouper, sea bass, and snapper bite has been fantastic in the 20 mile range.

Sam Schneider (age 14) with a 15 lb. African pompano that fell for a live sardine fished from a downrigger on king tackle.

Tyler, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports that a few blues and spanish have been biting diamond jigs and Gotcha plugs.


Amanda, of Surf City Pier, reports that bluefish, spanish, a few pompano, a couple of mullet, flounder, and black drum have made up the majority of the catch, but overall the action has been pretty slow. The spanish and blues have been hitting diamond jigs and Gotcha plugs, while everything else has been preferring sand fleas, shrimp, and bloodworms.


Kim, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that 30-36” reds, in addition to some black drum, have been biting, as well as the occasional bluefish and spanish mackerel. The black drum are chewing at night, and one king has come in over the past two weeks. Almost all of the fish have fallen for live finger mullet.