April 30 – May 2, 2021
Welcome to the Topsail Spring Surf & Pier Fishing Challenge, a popular spring event that includes Topsail’s many miles of ocean beachfront perfect for surf fishing, as well as the island’s three vibrant fishing piers.
This year’s schedule of events will follow the model of last year’s, with round-the-clock fishing from the piers and sand starting at 11:59 pm on Friday, and the fishing wrapping up at noon on Sunday.
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.
The Surf and Pier divisions offer slightly different target species. The Surf Division pays out for the heaviest bluefish, trout, sea mullet, and black drum, and then the Pier Division pays out for the heaviest bluefish, spanish, sea mullet, and black drum brought to the scales. 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.
In addition to a separate leaderboard for primary payouts, there are also separate TWTs for surf and pier anglers. Surf anglers have the option of entering the voluntary Surf Red Drum TWT (red drum must be in the slot), and pier anglers are offered the voluntary Pier Trout TWT (both speckled and gray can be weighed in).
The Special Prizes, though, will be a combined competition, with surf and pier anglers all vying together to be the Junior, Lady, or Senior Angler champions.
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 Seaview Pier since the 2020 Topsail Fall Surf & Pier Fishing Challenge, thanks to Willie Stewart who weighed in a 5.0 lb. red drum back in November.
The Pier Cup, as the tradition goes, now has to be defended at the Topsail Spring 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 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 Spring 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 fun.
Gary Hurley / Tournament Director