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Top Topsail Island Destinations

Top Fishing Charters in Topsail Island

Fishing in Topsail Island

Topsail Island is a barrier island that’s found just south of the famous Bogue Banks. While we don’t really know whether it’s really the place where the infamous Blackbeard hid his treasure, we can safely say that Topsail Island fishing charters are worth their weight in gold. Separated from the mainland by part of the Intracoastal Waterway, it’s surrounded by opportunities for some great fishing.

Topsail Island Fishing Spots

The first thing you should figure out when you’re fishing on Topsail Island is where exactly you want to be fishing. The sheer number of possibilities might be overwhelming at first glance. The numerous flats, creeks, and marshland areas make for great fishing inshore, while a number of artificial reefs are great spots for trolling. Lastly, if you’re more of a bluewater kind of angler, why not take a day off and spend it on the Gulf Stream going after big game?

South Topsail Beach

The southern part of the island is the one with more flat areas, making it better suitable for anglers who’d like to work on their sight casting. Places like Topsail Sound and Black Mud Channel are popular angling locations for Redfish, Bluefish, and more. The south side of the beach offers more privacy when surf fishing, so have that in mind if you want to stay on land. It’s also a great location for family trips, because you’re always close to hotels and residential areas.

North Topsail Beach

While both parts of the island offer great fishing, you’ll find that the northern part is the more lively of the two. A good place to get starter here is by taking a trip up to Alligator Bay. It’s a popular kayak fishing destination where you can land a number of Reds, Flounder, Speckled Trout, and other inshore fish. The winds can be rough here in the afternoon, so it’s recommended you make it a morning trip.

That said, if you love Trout fishing, you won’t find a better place for it here than over at Stones bay. It’s about 4 miles inland from the northern tip of the island, and you just need to follow the New River to reach it. Once there, you can fish until you drop.


While the North Carolina seaside in general is a great place for nearshore fishing, the waters near Topsail Beach are the cream of the crop. You have plenty of reefs within 5-6 miles out that host a big number of Spanish Mackerel, Kingfish, Black Seabass, and more during the season. AR 360 is less than 4 miles out if you’re setting off from the south side, and it’s a fantastic location for Kingfish Trolling.

Gulf Stream

If you’ve got the time and determination for a 60+ mile run, then you should definitely check out the bluewater charters. While the norm for these is a 10-12 hour trip, you will be rewarded with Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Wahoo, White Marlin, and perhaps Blue Marlin too. Topsail Island deep sea fishing charters have a long tradition of success, and you’ll have a variety to choose from.

Fishing Techniques

When fishing inshore, the trick to catching lots of reds is to cruise quietly and be on the lookout for them near oyster beds and points. When Redfish move into the surf, a good idea is to check the sloughs near the northern inlet. If you’re also interested in Black Drum, a good idea for both is to hook fresh Shrimp on Carolina rigs with 2/0 circle hooks.

As for offshore, trolling skirted Ballyhoo is the way to go when fishing for Mahi Mahi in the 15-20 mile range. This can also get you some Tuna further out if you’re lucky. Bigger Kingfish, on the other hand, are best sought with Cigar Minnows on dead bait rigs.

Need to Know

Going out with a licensed charter captain means you’ll be able to focus exclusively on the fishing itself. If you want to maximise your chance of getting the catch of a lifetime, that’s one way to do it. Otherwise, make sure to have a valid North Carolina Fishing license with you at all times.

Topsail Island has plenty to offer besides fishing, so do yourself a favor, and make sure to check out the sea turtles, dense forests, and divine beaches too. You might stumble upon a treasure cove yourself, who knows.

Topsail Island
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Topsail Island Fishing Seasons

To celebrate the new year, you’ll find that a lot of seasoned anglers will be headed out to the Gulf. They hope to catch some huge Bluefin Tuna, so why not join them?

Winter fishing in Topsail Island is something you can depend on. Striped Bass, Flounder, and Red Drum are inshore, while Bluefin Tuna is out in the Gulf Stream.

As winter draws to an end, nearshore fishing will be picking up. Head towards the break for some good Wahoo fishing if you’re up for it.

It’s a great time to be fishing for Bluefish in all shapes and sizes! You’ll find them mostly concentrated in and around creeks, but they can be found anywhere inshore.

Expect loads of Amberjack, Barracuda, King Mackerel, and Grouper in the reefs. If you head further out, you’ll be treated with Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and Marlin.

Summertime means offshore fishing time! Go out in the deep waters and get your fair share of Mahi Mahi, Amberjack, Barracuda, Wahoo, and more.

If you want to go bottom fishing or Sailfishing, now is the perfect time for it! Black Seabass, Porgies, and Gag Grouper are nearshore, with Red Grouper being further out.

It’s usually as summer draws to an end that the Spanish Mackerel bite really gets going. You can also have fun inshore with small Cobia to catch and release.

Wahoo will still have a strong presence offshore, and you can also expect to run into Mahi Mahi around the 20-mile range. Troll for Kings on your way there.

Redfish will be schooling up over at the flats, as well as near the local docks. Use topwater plugs for morning trips, and switch to live bait and jigs later in the day.

You aren’t likely to see a lot of Kingfish near the coast, but you’ll have plenty to target offshore. Surf anglers should focus on Trout for the time being.

The Trout bite is great this time of year, but you’ll be getting a lot of smaller fish in there as well. Try using some XL-size artificial bait to attract the big boys.

Topsail Island Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Topsail Island

"Half day, early morning"

Robin B. fished with Reel Cranky Charters on April 3, 2019

It can be very very chilly early spring break time pants and a hoodie. don't forget to bring bags and coolers take your fish home.

"Captain Greg showing my son how to fillet a fish. "

Ray P. fished with Reel Therapy Outdoors on August 30, 2018

Talk to the Captain first, see how the fishing is. If you have to go out into deeper water, go with a longer charter. A five or six hour charter to deeper water might be what you need to do.

"4 hour tour with Captain Greg"

Chris G. fished with Reel Therapy Outdoors on August 29, 2018

Don't book near a full moon. Fishing not as good but not the Captains fault.

"The captain and 1st mate were great guys and very experienced, the sea was rough and we still caught fish , "

Jeffery C. fished with Pelagic Hunter Sportfishing L.L.C on August 24, 2018

Listen to the captains advice , when told the seas are rough there not kidding , if they say seas are good there on point . Rough seas are for hard core fishermen .

Top Targeted Species in Topsail Island

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)



Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel





Little Tunny (False Albacore)

Little Tunny (False Albacore)



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