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Fisherman's Post Fishing Report Topsail – December 14, 2017
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Vinita, of Surf City Pier, reports that anglers have been catching a number of large mullet. The biggest fish have been coming in off live shrimp, while the rest are going for Fishbites. The trout and bluefish bite have both been impressive, though the fish have generally been small.
Joe, of Seaview Fishing Pier, reports a strong presence of mullet, trout, black drum, and bluefish. Anglers are using live shrimp and dead shrimp on jig heads to pull in most of the fish. Winter anglers can expect to find puffers and even more mullet deep into the colder months.
Chadwick, of South End Anglers, reports that trout are continuing to bite in great numbers, with MR18s, Trout Tricks, and Fathom Inshore jigs providing the most action. Boat basins, bridges, and creeks are where most of the fish are congregating, with a few coming from area inlets.
Bluefish are biting both inshore and off the beach, while a few flounder have been pulled in with Z-Man soft plastics on jig heads. Both red and black drum are still going strong, biting jigs and both live and dead shrimp. You’ll find the drum around oyster rocks, docks, and bridges.
Bottom fishing has been productive in the 3-10 mile range, with good catches of sea bass, grunts, and grouper coming in on metal jigs and squid. Just about any nearshore AR, ledge, or live bottom area should produce fish.
Over the winter months, expect the speck bite to stay strong as long as the water temperature stays above 50 degrees. Areas along the mainland that have dark mud bottoms will hold the most trout, but they will also school around boat basins, canals, mainland creeks, and docks out of heavy current. Use long, light leaders and 1/8 oz. Fathom Inshore jigs to pull them in, and try to fish during the middle of the day when the water is warmest.
Both red and black drum will continue to feed throughout the winter, and they should be fished for with the freshest shrimp that you can find on light Carolina rigs with 2/0 circle hooks.
Sea bass and tautogs will provide good action through the winter on nearshore structure. Use squid baits around ARs, hard bottoms, and ledges. You may also find a grey trout or two.
Mike, of Native Son, reports that while the trout bite has been good, unfortunately the small specks are the ones showing up in the biggest numbers.
Every school will have bigger fish in it, and using a bigger bait like the MirrOlure MirrOdine XL or a Z-Man diesel minnow may help you pick them out of the mix.
Red drum are still thick in the marsh, but a lot of the bigger fish have begun to move to the surf zone. The inshore drum are being caught while sight fishing. Cruise quietly and look for the reds around oyster beds and points. When surf fishing, look for the reds hiding in sloughs. It may be hard to locate them, but once you do, they’re aggressive and biting in good numbers.