As the tourism season is winding down, I know the fall fishing season is heating up. In the surf this past week I have seen more baitfish in the water than I have all year. The Spanish mackerel are crushing glass minnows in the surf at sunrise and sunset. The bluefish are getting bigger and are blasting through the schools of mullet moving up and down the beach. The red drum are moving out of the soundside and are feeding heavily in the inlets. There has even been some good spot fishing in the surf on the falling tide with bloodworms. If this early activity is any indication of how the fall fishing is going to be, I am excited.
The offshore bite is heating up as well. The kings have finally made it here in decent numbers. There were limits caught this past weekend in the 15-mile range, and the mahi continue to be thick at 24-30 miles. The wahoo are still on the feed at 30-plus miles. High speed trolling is the key for these silver speedsters.
The piers have been seeing good catches of black drum at sunrise and sunset on shrimp. The blues are eating up some Gotcha plugs too according to my reorders this week. Some very nice flounder have been caught on the piers as well. The key is to cover ground by continually casting and retrieving in different areas and don’t forget to try right up under the pier where they like to hide in the shade.
The soundside waters have begun to clear up and the topwater action is hot. Just a few years ago it was almost unheard of for people to throw topwater baits for speckled trout and red drum but now everyone is doing it and doing well. One good thing is smaller speckled trout usually ignore topwater baits but big ol’ “gator” trout love em as well as red drum.
I am now doing fishing reports on “The Vine” mobile app almost every day. They can be found on our East Coast Sports Facebook page as well.
Tight lines and fair winds.
Capt. Chris Medlin is a third-generation tackle shop owner and charter captain. He makes his home on Topsail but loves fishing all over. Most of the time you can find him at East Coast Sports in Surf City or just contact him through his website at Eastcoastsports.com.