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Hey guys, I’m gonna be in Topsail this weekend doing some surf fishing. I plan on running 3 fish finder rigs and a hi low for bait fish. What can I expect to catch out there bigger fish wise? Fairly new to saltwater fishing and not really sure what runs at any point through the year.
 

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Puppy drum is always a possibility, as are sharks, skates, rays.

When I first started surf fishing seriously I would do something similar -- 3 fish finders with cut/live bait, and a small rod for bait.

Now it's 4 rods running #6 circle hooks with fresh shrimp or fleas. I have caught more decent fish (puppy drum, black drum, nice pompano) on these rigs than I did in years of using fishfinders.

I only break out the fishfinders/larger hooks if there's a good chance of overslot drum or big blues, i.e late spring or late fall. Deer season and work (I'm a teacher) mean I haven't used my fishfinder rigs (they are neatly bagged up, just waiting), or even my heaver setup (it's hanging up in the rafters, just waiting) in years now.
 

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If you are targeting bigger fish from shore at this time of year at TI then go to either New River or New Topsail Inlet. Drum (black & red,) blues, sharks & rays will be your target. Great knots and strong hooks are essential, especially if you hook into a shark.

Otherwise, go with recommendations from slosh, your favorite 2 hook rig with salted shrimp and/or fleas, fished in different surf zones.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you are targeting bigger fish from shore at this time of year at TI then go to either New River or New Topsail Inlet. Drum (black & red,) blues, sharks & rays will be your target. Great knots and strong hooks are essential, especially if you hook into a shark.

Otherwise, go with recommendations from slosh, your favorite 2 hook rig with salted shrimp and/or fleas, fished in different surf zones.
Bigger fish are more than likely gonna be in the areas you named only?
 

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Bigger fish are more than likely gonna be in the areas you named only?
Bigger fish will be all along the island but in my experience the inlets give you better odds at getting something bigger. Other than the inlets I cannot tell you where to go because that changes with every tide cycle.
 

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I was just there two weeks ago. I can only report what I caught vs what is running now.

Pompano in between the bars and in holes ( caught on shrimp and fishbites)
Spanish Mackerel running the troughs in the morning ( sting silvers)
Black tips coming in near dark and into the night ( fingermullet on a 6/0 or 7/0 Carolina rig and or cannonball )

Other bait fish brought in but, tossed back or used.

Oh, and I was on the south end and in the inlets


Headed to the OBX in a month we will see what is hungry out there then.
 
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