Fish Post

Topsail / Sneads Ferry – October 24, 2019

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Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that surf anglers have been catching some good-sized pompano (up to 2.5 lbs.) while casting shrimp and sand fleas into deeper sloughs off the sand.

Bluefish and spanish mackerel are being hooked with Gotcha plugs, Diamond Jigs, and Big Nic Spanish Candies.

Inshore anglers are landing some upper-slot red drum in marshes with topwater plugs and Carolina-rigged baits.

Bottom fishing in deeper holes around the inlet has produced spot and sea mullet.

Speckled trout fishing has been picking up. Soft plastics under corks, MirrOlures, and topwater plugs are all producing strikes, as anglers work grass banks from the marshes up towards New River.

Nearshore anglers have been finding king mackerel as they push in from off the beach. Trolling dead bait rigs and live menhaden have both been successful methods.

Offshore anglers are finding good numbers of wahoo with high speed trolling rigs and ballyhoo.

Grouper are holding around structure in the 15-20 mile range, and they’re hitting cut baits.

Fisher and Orin Gray with a 12 lb. gag grouper caught in 60′ of water 11 miles out of New Topsail Inlet.

Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that speckled trout fishing is moving into its classic fall pattern, with groups of fish scattered from the ICW out to the inlet. The best method is to target deep holes off the ICW, creek mouths, docks, oyster beds, and smaller ledges. These fish are staged up anywhere they can ambush the schools of bait pushing around.

Red drum are being caught in these same areas with Carolina rigs (live and cut bait) and soft plastics. Topwater fishing has been successful early in the day for both reds and trout.

Nearshore anglers are casting jigs to surface-feeding schools of false albacore and spanish mackerel.


Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that red drum are being caught in good numbers with all the bait moving around inshore. Topwater plugs are the favorite method early, and then switching over to Z-Man soft plastics keeps anglers on the bite as the afternoon wears on.

Speckled trout are a big part of the early morning topwater action, and this last cold front may see the bite turn on with water temperatures dropping a few degrees.

Nearshore anglers are finding schools of false albacore and spanish mackerel while the fish cruise the beaches for bait. Casting Spanish Candies, Hogy jigs, and similar casting jigs are all getting strikes.

King mackerel are being caught with live menhaden and dead bait rigs from the beach out to 10 miles.


Ray, of Spring Tide Guide Service, reports that red drum fishing has been steady, with anglers finding quite a few over-slot red drum mixed throughout the deeper areas of the marsh.

Speckled trout fishing has been good, and the recent weather change could see the bite break wide open any day. Topwater plugs are getting some active swipes in the morning, with anglers fishing soft plastics and sub-surface lures throughout the afternoon.

Spanish mackerel are schooled up off the beach, and they’re hitting Spanish Candies and similar casting jigs.

Groups of false albacore are popping up as well, with casting jigs being successful in getting strikes.


Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that recent weather hasn’t dampened the bottom fishing bite. Good-sized grouper are holding in the 80’ range and hitting cut baits.

Anglers always find a mixed bag at these offshore wrecks and live bottoms, with triggerfish, black sea bass, grunts, and porgies all being landed.

King mackerel are holding from around these same rocks and ledges, and then all the way onto the beaches. Both live and dead baits have been productive.

Spanish mackerel and false albacore are popping up just off the beaches, and they’re hitting Blue Water Candy casting jigs thrown around bait balls.


John, of Pelagic Hunter Sportfishing, reports that live bottoms, rocks, ledges, and wrecks are holding a variety of species for anglers dropping cut baits. Targeting those 60-100’ depths has been a good starting point for boxes full of grouper, snapper, triggerfish, grunts, and porgies.

King mackerel are being caught from the beach out to 15 miles, and they’re hitting both live and dead baits.

Offshore anglers are landing some large wahoo, scattered mahi, and deepwater swordfish.


Tyler, of Seaview Pier, reports that spanish mackerel and bluefish are breezing by the pier. They’re hitting Diamond jigs and Gotcha plugs.

A few over-slot red drum are taking cut baits at night.

Speckled trout are being caught on live baits and soft plastics in the evenings and early mornings, with most trout holding just outside the breakers.

Bottom fishing anglers have been landing sea mullet, and some days with northeast winds have pushed in schools of spot. Pompano are being caught on clear water days.


Edwin, of Surf City Pier, reports that anglers fishing live baits off the end have landed king mackerel (up to 24 lbs.). Spanish mackerel and blues are mixed in, and they’re hitting Gotcha plugs.

Spot fishing has been come and go, with evenings seeing the most fish, and bottom fishing has been producing good-sized pompano (up to 2.5 lbs.).

Some good-sized black drum are hitting Carolina-rigged cut baits and shrimp.

A few speckled trout are being caught at night.



Brandy, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that king mackerel (up to 29 lbs.) are being caught by live-baiting anglers. A few large spanish mackerel (up to 8 lbs.) are also coming over the rails from live baits and casting jigs.

Speckled trout are being caught in the early morning with Gotcha plugs.

Bottom fishing has been producing spot and sea mullet, and a couple 40” class red drum have been landed with Carolina-rigged cut baits.