Fish Post

Topsail / Sneads Ferry – September 12, 2019

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Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that red drum have been the target of the majority of inshore anglers, with fish coming from the marshes and ICW docks. Carolina-rigged live baits have had the most success in the deeper holes, while anglers working the flats are using soft plastics and topwater baits.

A few flounder are being caught around docks with live mullet and mud minnows.

Sheepshead are hanging around inshore bridge pilings and docks, and they’re hitting fiddler crabs.

Surf anglers have been catching bluefish and a few red drum while soaking Carolina-rigged cut bait. Sea mullet and spot are hitting smaller pieces of shrimp and Fishbites strips on bottom rigs, and days with cleaner, calm water have produced pompano just off the sand.

Owen Mann with a 27″, 6 lb. trout that fell for a Carolina-rigged live finger mullet in the New River.

Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that red drum fishing has been very good from the mashes behind Topsail up into the lower New River. Topwater plugs worked early are getting strikes from slot and over-slot fish feeding on the edges of grass banks on flood tides. Anglers targeting docks and deeper holes in the marshes during lower tide cycles are also getting bites.

Flounder are falling for soft plastics and Carolina-rigged live mullet fished around docks in the ICW.

A few speckled trout are being caught on the same deeper grass points as the reds. Soft plastics under a popping cork is a great search bait with the smaller schools of trout so scattered.

Nearshore trips have been producing flounder at the ARs out to five miles. Live baits and bucktails fished close to structure have been getting bites.

A couple of stray over-slot drum are around these same structures, and they’re hitting Carolina-rigged baits.

Spanish mackerel are schooled up from the inlet out to three miles. They’re striking glass minnow style jigs and trolled spoons.

Hayden Bowes, from Midlothian, VA, with a 39″ red drum caught on live bait near the south end of Topsail Island. He was fishing with Capt. Chadwick Crawford, of South End Anglers.

Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that over-slot red drum are being caught from the marshy areas around New River. A good number of slot-sized reds are mixed in, with both hitting topwater baits early. As the day wears on or the tide drops out, switching to Carolina-rigged baits and soft plastics has been producing well.

Nearshore anglers are catching keeper flounder around structure from the inlet out to five miles. Carolina-rigged live baits and bucktails are both producing bites.

The nearshore ARs out to 10 miles are loaded with black sea bass and a few small grouper. Both species are being landed with Carolina-rigged live baits.


Ray, of Spring Tide Guide Service, reports that red drum fishing has been great, with many slot to over-slot fish being caught in the area. Topwater plugs have been working well in the marsh channels early, with gold spoons and Carolina-rigged baits being more productive as the day wears on.

Nearshore anglers have been catching flounder (up to 6 lbs.) at ARs out to five miles. Live baits and bucktails with soft plastic trailers are both getting bites.

Spanish mackerel are around the inlets and off the beach to three miles. Trolling and casting spoons will catch a good number of fish, while slow-trolling live baits at the reefs is producing the larger spanish.


Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that bottom fishing has been steady. Targeting structure and live bottoms in the 12-20 mile range with cut baits has been producing vermilion snapper and grouper, and large black sea bass are hitting smaller jigs worked just above the structure.

There has been plenty of red drum around nearshore ARs and inlets. Jigging bucktails and fishing Carolina-rigged cut mullet has both been producing hits.


John, of Pelagic Hunter, reports that anglers have been finding double-digits of mahi while trolling ballyhoo around weed lines.

Targeting temperature breaks with skirted baits has produced wahoo and a few large blackfin tuna.

Bottom fishing has been great, with snapper, grunts, black sea bass, and triggerfish all hitting cut baits in the 80-100+’ water depths.

Nearshore structure out to 20 miles has been holding good-sized king mackerel (up to 40 lbs.). Slow trolling live baits and dead bait rigs are both producing strikes.


Tyler, of Seaview Pier, reports that flounder (up to 16”) are hitting Carolina-rigged live mullet fished in deeper holes near the surf zone. Slot-sized red drum are being caught with Carolina-rigged live shrimp in these same holes.

Large spanish mackerel are being landed further down the pier with Gotcha plugs and live baits.

Sheepshead (up to 4 lbs.) are being hooked with Carolina-rigs tipped with shrimp and sand fleas fished tight to the pilings.

A few keeper speckled trout are falling for live baits and soft plastics. Fishing early mornings and targeting the deep areas outside the breakers has been key in getting bites.


Edwin, of Surf City Pier, reports that king mackerel (up to 32 lbs.) are being caught with live baits fished off the end.

Bluefish and a few spanish mackerel are being hooked on Gotcha plugs cast towards surface feeding fish.

Anglers fishing Carolina-rigged cut baits have landed some over-slot red drum (up to 32”).

Speckled trout are being caught in the early morning by those casting soft plastics and live baits into deeper holes just outside the breakers.

Bottom fishing with shrimp and Fishbites strips has been producing spot, pinfish, and spadefish.

Some nice-sized pompano (up to 3 lbs.) have been landed off sand fleas.


Brandy, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that speckled trout are being caught in the early mornings with Gulp and Z-Man soft plastics on jig heads.

Large spanish mackerel are being found towards the end of the pier with Gotcha plugs.

Carolina-rigged sand fleas fished close to the breakers has been producing pompano.

Slot and over-slot red drum have been running around the pier, with anglers having the most success with Carolina-rigged cut mullet.

Anglers fishing at night have been catching sea mullet, spot, black drum, and bluefish. Bottom fishing with shrimp has been the top producing method.