The fishing has been very good around Topsail Island so far this summer and the action won’t slow down this month. We are seeing more and more shrimp, menhaden, and mullet arriving with each tide. The inshore bite has been good for redfish, flounder, black drum, and a speckled trout. Just off the beach there is an excellent bite of spanish, kings, bluefish, and false albacore while trolling. Further out the bottom fishing has been outstanding, along with king mackerel and amberjacks.
Redfish are patrolling grass shorelines, docks, and oyster bars in search of shrimp, crab, and baitfish. They are crushing topwater plugs fished early and late in the day, especially during higher tide periods. MirrOlure Poppa Mullet and Top Pups are getting the job done on the surface.
Popping corks fished with a Z-Man EZ Shrimp have been producing good numbers of fish throughout the day. Let the amount of chop on the water determine how aggressively to work the cork, calm conditions require less aggressive presentations, while on windy days the fish respond better to a larger “pop”.
Live mullet and menhaden on Carolina rigs are getting great results while fishing around waterway docks and oyster bars. Cut bait is extremely effective in situations where there is a lot of current or the water is dirty after heavy rains. Let the scent travel down current to where the fish are holding and wait for them to find it. I prefer to use circle hooks for both live and cut bait fishing.
Spanish mackerel fishing will continue to provide great action for boaters trolling around area inlets and along the beaches. #1 planers fished with #0 and #00 gold or pink Clarkspoons will account for the best action while trolling. Surface feeding fish will take ½ oz. Jigfish and smaller diamond jigs casted into the schools.
Free lining live 4-6” menhaden around nearshore structure will connect with some of the largest spanish in the area. Fish over 5 lbs. are not uncommon, use tackle heavy enough to handle the job, king mackerel will also take the same baits used for targeting spanish. I like to use two hook stinger rigs with #5 single strand wire to target mackerel.
Flounder fishing around nearshore structure during the month of July can produce some of the largest fish of the season. Live finger mullet and menhaden in the 3-5” range fished on 1 oz. Carolina rig is the best way to target these fish. They will also take a 2 oz. white Spro jig tipped with scented shrimp or paddle tail soft plastics.
Be sure and support your local tackle shops and charter captains, they are your ticket to a great day on the water. Give us a call at South End Anglers for advice on inshore and nearshore fishing or to book a charter. Follow South End Anglers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/southendangersnc/ and Instagram at southendanglersnc.
Captain Chadwick Crawford
South End Anglers