Fish Post

Topsail / Sneads Ferry – November 14, 2019

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Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that surf anglers have been catching good numbers of whiting with bloodworms on bottom rigs.

Scattered days of spot catches are being enjoyed, with anglers using the same bloodworms as bait.

Sound-side anglers are enjoying good speckled trout action, with both soft plastics on light jig heads and MirrOlures as the top producers.

Nearshore, king mackerel are as close in as the beachfront. Fishing live baits and skirted dead bait rigs have both been successful in targeting these hard fighting fish.

Further off the beaches, with the cooler water, grouper have pushed in as shallow as 60’, and they’re mostly hitting cut baits.

William Godkin, from Davidson, NC, with a puppy drum caught in the New River while fishing with Capt. Ricky Kellum, of Speckled Specialist Fishing Charters.

Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that speckled trout fishing is great, as the fish are staged in all the typical fall-time spots. Creek mouths, ledges near oyster beds, and deep holes off the ICW are holding fish that are responding well to soft plastics and MirrOlures.

Nearshore anglers are reporting false albacore scattered in the area, and these cooler water temperatures should see a run of fish push right onto the beaches.

Brad Arthur and dog, Trigger, with a speckled trout caught on a soft plastic while fishing the New River.

Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that inshore fishing around Topsail has been solid this fall. The action should only improve as the water temperatures begin to dip into the 60s. Speckled trout have been the star, with flounder and red drum in the mix, too.

Speckled trout are holding in a variety of areas along the marsh. Larger creek systems close to inlets, mainland creeks, marinas, and canals are all possibly holding schools of trout. This time of year, MirrOlures are hard to beat, and local tackle shops can turn anglers onto the recent “hot” colors. Z-Man Trout Tricks, MinnowZ, and PaddlerZ soft plastics have also all been great for the trout, reds, and flounder. Rigging on 1/8 and 1/4 oz. Fathom Inshore jig heads has been extremely productive, and Pro-Cure scents have been another key component on keeping on these groups of fish.

As the month moves on, cooler water will push trout up the creeks in search of dark, muddy bottoms that keep warmer than sandy bottoms.

Nearshore bottom fishing is great, with a variety of black sea bass, grunts, porgies, triggerfish, grouper, and flounder biting around AR’s, live bottoms, and ledges. Blue Water Candy Roscoe jigs tipped with squid or grouper rigs fished with cut bait will get plenty of attention if the fish are in the area.


Ray, of Spring Tide Guide Service, reports that speckled trout fishing has been on fire, with fish holding on deeper banks from the inlets back to mainland creeks. Vudu Shrimp and Saltwater Assassin soft plastics have been working great, with anglers finding recent success with rainbow trout and chicken-on-a-chain colors.

Flounder are mixed in, but they’re hitting baits worked along the bottom.


Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that king mackerel fishing has been good for anglers targeting the 8-15 mile range. Dead bait rigs trolled over ledges and hard bottoms has been the most productive, and using a downrigger has led to an increase in bite numbers in recent days.

Bottom fishing has been very good in the 15-30 mile range on days that weather has allowed anglers to push out. Grouper, snapper, and large black sea bass are hitting cut bait and squid wings.

Amberjacks haven’t begun to push out yet, and they are still holding on these same ledges and bottom structure.


John, of Pelagic Hunter Sportfishing, reports that king mackerel fishing has been good from the beach out to 15 miles. Trolling dead bait skirts has been productive when fishing over ledges and structure.

Schools of false albacore are in this same range, and they are popping up to feed on smaller baits. Casting glass minnow jigs has been productive in getting strikes.

Further off the beach, areas of structure have been holding good-sized grouper, snapper, and keeper black sea bass for those anglers fishing cut baits. Triggerfish are being caught in good numbers in some of the deeper spots.

Gulf Stream anglers are landing large wahoo and scattered mahi with skirted ballyhoo.


Tyler, of Seaview Pier, reports that spot and sea mullet are being caught by anglers fishing bloodworms on bottom rigs. Black drum and speckled trout are being caught with shrimp on bottom rigs.

Slot-sized red drum are in the mix. They’re coming from deeper holes just outside the breakers.

A few citation-class red drum are hitting cut mullet on Carolina rigs.

Anglers fishing live baits off the end have landed a few good-sized king mackerel (up to 25 lbs.).


Edwin, of Surf City Pier, reports that anglers at the end have been landing large king mackerel (up to 38 lbs.) with live baits.

Spot fishing has been great, with anglers catching coolers full of fish with bloodworms.

Sea mullet (up to 2 lbs.) and medium-sized black drum (up to 3 lbs.) are biting fresh shrimp fished on bottom rigs, and pompano are hitting Carolina-rigged sand fleas and shrimp.

Some good-sized sheepshead are mixed in, and they’re coming from anglers fishing baits tight to the pilings.

Speckled trout fishing has been hit or miss, with anglers catching most right outside the breakers.

Spanish mackerel and bluefish are feeding on schools of bait. Both the Spanish and the blues are hitting Gotcha plugs and casting jigs.


Brandy, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that king mackerel (up to 32 lbs.) have been biting with good consistency.

Bottom fishing has been producing good numbers of spot, sea mullet, and scattered speckled trout. Good-sized pompano (up to 2 lbs.) are being caught on sand fleas and shrimp.

Bluefish are hitting Gotcha plugs cast to the edges of surface-feeding fish.