November 5 – 7, 2021
Welcome to the 8th annual Topsail Fall Surf & Pier Fishing Challenge, a Fisherman’s Post event in early November that includes Topsail’s many miles of beachfront and the island’s three iconic fishing piers, a perfect destination for both surf and pier anglers.
This year’s schedule of events will follow the model of previous year’s, with round-the-clock fishing from the piers and sand starting Friday at 11:59 pm (November 5) and wrapping up Sunday at noon (November 7).
Anglers in the two divisions—Surf and Pier—have separate leaderboards, so pier anglers will only be competing against other pier anglers and surf anglers will only be competing against other surf anglers.
As a result of the continued flounder closure, leaderboards have to be modified again this year. For Surf, we substituted trout (both speckled and gray), and for Pier, we substituted red drum (in the slot). The Surf division is still paying out for the heaviest five fish in each of the four categories (totaling 20 payouts), and for Pier, the leaderboard pays out for the heaviest three fish in each of the four categories (totaling 12 payouts).
We pay out the same percentage of entry fee money for both the Surf and Pier divisions, but we pay out three places for Pier because there are typically less Pier entries than Surf and we want to make the payouts worthwhile for pier anglers who make the leaderboard.
What didn’t change this year is that there are still separate TWTs for surf and pier anglers. Surf anglers have the option of entering the voluntary Surf Red Drum TWT (in the slot), and pier anglers are offered the voluntary Pier Trout TWT (both speckled and gray).
The Special Prizes, though, continue to be a combined competition, with surf and pier anglers all vying together to be the Junior, Lady, or Senior Angler champion.
Also returning is the popular Pier Cup, where the pier angler that weighs in the heaviest fish (not counting trout) gets his/her name and weight of fish engraved on the Pier Cup, along with the name of the pier where the fish was caught. The Pier Cup has been residing at Jolly Roger Pier since the 2021 Topsail Spring Surf & Pier Fishing Challenge, thanks to Todd Butler who weighed in a 2.6 lb. black drum.
The Pier Cup, as the tradition goes, now has to be defended once again at the Topsail Fall Surf & Pier Fishing Challenge.
East Coast Sports and the Medlin family continue to be the driving force in bringing our surf/pier events to the island, and we’re very excited to set up Tournament HQ back at the completely renovated Fishing Village. East Coast Sports offers not only a central location for our Registration and Awards, but it’s also the island’s most fully-stocked tackle shop for anglers needing to gear up on supplies leading into and during the competition.
All participants will receive complimentary tickets to the event’s Awards Dinner. This great meal (catered by the local Boy Scout troop) is on Sunday following the close of fishing, and it’s presented free to all tournament anglers thanks to East Coast Sports. In addition, all anglers at Registration will receive a free ticket for the big Prize Raffle (held immediately following the 2:00 pm Awards Ceremony).
The sponsors who support these events make everything we do possible, so please take time to support and thank the businesses who help us make the Topsail Fall Surf & Pier Fishing Challenge a reality.
And come see us under the tent at East Coast Sports for Friday’s Registration to get in on the action.
Gary Hurley / Tournament Director