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I was at the Jolly Roger for the majority of the day today and let me tell you, FALL FISHING is upon us. The brisk north wind and 60 degree temps felt really nice this morning, and the water temps have already dropped around 4-6 degrees in the last week. On the pier the nice sized (23-30inch) puppy drum bit throughout the day. I think there were at least a dozen already landed when I left the pier around mid-afternoon; thats not counting all the ones that got away though! Baits for these ranged from live mullet, to cut bait, to shrimp. A few nice black drum were also landed by someone who had some FRESH SHRIMP! I spoke with several people that braved the rather cool conditions last night and enjoyed really good virgina mullet fishing, although these fish weren't hugh, they were still nice sized fish. Another positive sign was the emergence of the speckled trout from there summer haunts. There were at least 5 quality fish caught with the majority coming early in the morning. The spots made a "spotty" showing throughout the day with just a few here and there; best bait to use was bloodworms. The big blues bit well first thing in the morning on gotcha plugs, but the water was just a tad bit murky for spanish. The flow of big jumping mullet subsided slightly over the last several days but the fingers continue to stream by. Flounder, pompano, and croaker were also present in mixed numbers. Someone caught and weighed in a 3+(I don't recall the exact weight) pompano at the pier yesterday.
I talked to a couple of people who have been fishing the surf for the last couple days and they reported good drum (puppy and black) and blue fishing. I ask about the bigger fall mullet but they don't seem to have shone in the surf quite yet. Shouldn't be long though!
As you may well be able to tell from the above report, the fishing is not as hot and heavy as we would expect to see it in mid-October. It is however a welcome relief from the dog days of summer. There is some really excellent UNCROWDED fishing to be had right now with a real smorgasbord of fish out there. The weather forecast looks favorable for the next several days with lots of NE winds. If everything holds it should be a really good weekend to fish!
Local folklore claims the name, Topsail (pronounced Tops’ul), dates back to the 1700s when pirate ships roamed the coastal waters. The pirates hid their ships in the channels behind the island and waited to plunder passing merchant ships loaded with goods. Eventually the merchants became aware of this hiding place and began to watch for the tops of the pirates' sails peeking above the oak trees on the island — hence the name Topsail Island.