Fish Post

Topsail / Sneads Ferry – August 29, 2019

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Chris, of East Coast Sports, reports that red drum fishing has been good in the backwaters, with smaller schools of slot fish being found and caught on Carolina-rigged cut and live bait. Anglers up around the New River, though, have been finding some groups of over-slot fish.

Speckled trout are holding along grass banks, and soft plastics fished under popping corks have been the most successful setup.

Sheepshead are being hooked near pilings with fiddler crabs and sea urchins.

Smaller flounder are hanging along ledges around the inlet, and they’re feeding on the mullet that has been schooled up in the area.

Surf anglers are catching spanish mackerel from the sand in the mornings, with pier anglers reporting better numbers through the heat of the day.

Larger spanish mackerel are being landed while slow-trolling live baits around the ARs.

The same ARs in the 1-3 mile range are holding flounder for anglers fishing Carolina-rigged live baits and bucktails around structure.

King mackerel are being caught in the 7-15 mile range with live baits and dead bait rigs.

Hannah Bowers, from Midlothian, VA, with a 37″ red drum caught on live bait off of the south end of Topsail Island. She was fishing with Capt. Chadwick Crawford, of South End Anglers.

Mike, of Native Son Guide Service, reports that nearshore anglers have been catching good numbers of spanish mackerel while trolling spoons just off the beach and around local ARs. When finding a concentration of surface feeding fish, casting clear and pink glass minnow jigs has been providing great action.

Flounder are staged around structure in these same areas, and they’re hitting bucktails tipped with Z-Man PaddlerZ soft plastics. Carolina-rigged mullet and mud minnows work great, too, but they will catch large numbers of short black sea bass.

Inshore, nice-sized speckled trout are falling for topwater baits in the early mornings and late evenings. Anglers seem to be doing best with dark-colored MirrOlure Top Pups and She Dog plugs.

Red drum are hanging around docks and deeper holes off the ICW, and Carolina-rigged cut bait has been working well in producing a few bites.

Flounder are in these same holes. They’re hitting Carolina-rigged live baits.


Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that nearshore structure has been producing limits of flounder for anglers jigging bucktails and fishing Carolina-rigged live baits. Short black sea bass are in large numbers at these same structured areas, and they are not shy of any baits fished in their range. Sharks have also been a common by-catch in the 1-5 mile range.

A few over-slot red drum are mixed in at these nearshore locations, and they’re hitting the Carolina-rigged baits.

Inshore anglers have been working deeper holes from the ICW back into the marshes for slot-sized red drum.


Ray, of Spring Tide Guide Service, reports that red drum fishing has been very good in the area, with slot to well over-slot fish being caught on Carolina-rigged live and dead baits.

Some large flounder have been caught at the nearshore ARs by using both live baits and bucktails.

Trolling along the beaches with Clarkspoons has been producing spanish mackerel.

Connor DiMauro (age 10) with a 5 lb., 23.5″ flounder caught on a bucktail at an artificial reef off of Wrightsville Beach, NC.

Jim, of Plan 9 Charters, reports that king mackerel are in the 15 mile range, and they’re hitting dead bait rigs and slow-trolled live baits.

Bottom fishing in the 80-100’ depths has been producing grouper, snapper, large black sea bass, and amberjack.

Mahi are scattered with the hot water temperatures, but a few fish are being pulled up while trolling skirted baits.

Offshore, the wahoo bite has been improving, with anglers reporting catches while pulling high-speed lures and skirted ballyhoo.

Nearshore anglers are catching limits of spanish mackerel both while trolling and casting spoons from just off the beach out to 5 miles.


John, of Pelagic Hunter, reports that bottom fishing has been consistent, with large grouper, amberjack, snapper, and black sea bass hitting cut baits around ledges and live bottoms.

Mahi are scattered, but anglers are finding a few while trolling skirted dead baits.

King mackerel are thick in the 10+ mile range, with dead bait rigs and slow-trolled live baits being the most successful in getting strikes.

Nearshore structure has large spanish mackerel staged up and hitting live bait.


Tyler, of Seaview Pier, reports that sea mullet and black drum are being caught with shrimp fished on bottom rigs.

Keeping baits up against the pilings is producing good-sized sheepshead.

Early morning anglers are hooking speckled trout with live bait and soft plastics.

Red drum are hitting cut baits, with both slot and over-slot fish mixed together.


Edwin, of Surf City Pier, reports that spanish mackerel are hitting Gotcha plugs and glass minnow jigs. A few bluefish are hitting baits fished on the bottom, as well as the casting jigs.

Flounder (up to 4 lbs.) are being caught with live baits fished on Carolina rigs. Keeper-sized speckled trout are also hitting the live baits.

Red drum (up to 35”) have made a good showing, with Carolina-rigged mullet getting most of the bites.

Anglers fishing shrimp and sand fleas near pilings have caught black drum, spadefish, and sheepshead.

Bottom rigs fished with Fishbites strips and shrimp are producing sea mullet.


Brandy, of Jolly Roger Pier, reports that bluefish are being caught with cut bait fished on bottom rigs. A few fish are hitting Gotcha plugs, but that bite has been focused on the early morning and evening hours.

Puppy drum are falling for Carolina-rigged cut bait.

Sea mullet are feeding on shrimp on bottom rigs. The daytime bite has been slow, with night-time anglers reporting the majority of fish.

Black drum are mixed in for those fishing bottom rigs, and a few flounder and speckled trout are hitting Carolina-rigged live baits.