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What is the best time of year to catch flounder in the surf and what is the best way to catch them? I plan on using gulp shrimp but I'm open to other ideas.
 

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Late summer and fall are probably best times but there are a few around as early as June. Live bait is your best bet but I also catch them using Gulp shrimp and swimming mullet (white, glow or sugar and spice) on carolina rig or 1/4 oz. jighead or speck rig (two 1/4 oz jigheads)
 

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When I first started surf fishing outer banks, we used strip baits, mostly mullet and flounder belly. Tying 2 dropper loops in main line for hooks and a coin shape sinker tied on end. Saw hundreds of flounder caught like this back in mid 80's to mid 90's.
 

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Red X Angler
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What he said ^^ except I use a Sea Striker double bucktail rig with a tapered strip of mullet or squid on the rear bucktail. Rigs are available in almost all coastal tackle shops. One ounce large bucktail with an 1/8 oz. trailer. You can thread a Gulp on the back (small) bucktail too. I don't use flounder belly any more because you have to keep the carcass of the flounder you are using to show a game warden if he checks you to make sure it was a legal fish. Pain in the neck.

If you go with the C-Rig option and a baitfish you can catch reds or Spanish too.
 

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I'll be in topsail all next week - in past years I've targeted mainly mullets and pompano in the summer, but looking back I have wondered why I never really tried for flounder and reds. I am going to try gulp shrimp on a red jig or C-rig first.

But here is my dumb question: where in topsail/surf city do people get baitfish if they don't want to buy or mess with a cast net? I hear about mud minnows and "mullet" all the time, but I suspect when they say mullet they don't mean the whiting variety of mullets.

Also - I will be surf fishing for the most part...

Jay

What he said ^^ except I use a Sea Striker double bucktail rig with a tapered strip of mullet or squid on the rear bucktail. Rigs are available in almost all coastal tackle shops. One ounce large bucktail with an 1/8 oz. trailer. You can thread a Gulp on the back (small) bucktail too. I don't use flounder belly any more because you have to keep the carcass of the flounder you are using to show a game warden if he checks you to make sure it was a legal fish. Pain in the neck.

If you go with the C-Rig option and a baitfish you can catch reds or Spanish too.
 

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Jay- if you have a minnow trap- buy a cheap can of the pop cap catfood and place that in the trap and go to the Surf City park area by the swing bridge. As you enter the park to your LEFT there is a bridge area over the water that should have plenty of mud minnows. You should be able to see them and if you put that catfood in your trap and keep it just under the water- within 10-15 minutes you should have plenty of bait. If your going to be down Friday- Monday ( Aug 1-4 th ) and let me know how to get in touch with you- I'll be glad to net you some mullet and bring them to you.
 

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I'll be in North Topsail this coming Saturday fishing for anything that bites. Will be using Gulp Shrimp on 1/4 oz jigheads, bottom rigs with shrimp/squid, and hopefully some form of bait fish on a Carolina rig. Is it true you can drive out on the beach at the very north end of the island? If so, that's where I will be.
 

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This is my first trip to topsail island. Will be there the 2nd week of August. Have been reading this forum for weeks now. The info has been great. Now just ready to hit the surf and wet a hook!
My question for you guys, Is the beach crowded on topsail? We have a house rented about half way between surf city and jolly roger piers. Just wondering if fishing at the house will be possible or if I will need to look into fishing some of the public access spots I've read about on here?
 

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Red X Angler
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This is my first trip to topsail island. Will be there the 2nd week of August. Have been reading this forum for weeks now. The info has been great. Now just ready to hit the surf and wet a hook!
My question for you guys, Is the beach crowded on topsail? We have a house rented about half way between surf city and jolly roger piers. Just wondering if fishing at the house will be possible or if I will need to look into fishing some of the public access spots I've read about on here?
Be out there at sunrise and again in the late afternoon, evening. You can get 6-8 hours of peaceful fishing in per day this way. The rest of the time hit the public fishing areas.
 

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Jay- if you have a minnow trap- buy a cheap can of the pop cap catfood and place that in the trap and go to the Surf City park area by the swing bridge. As you enter the park to your LEFT there is a bridge area over the water that should have plenty of mud minnows. You should be able to see them and if you put that catfood in your trap and keep it just under the water- within 10-15 minutes you should have plenty of bait. If your going to be down Friday- Monday ( Aug 1-4 th ) and let me know how to get in touch with you- I'll be glad to net you some mullet and bring them to you.
Thanks for the tips FishinTechnician - no need to trouble yourself with delivering mullet! But thanks for the offer! I may try trapping mud minnows, I'll have fairly close access to a pier on the sound side, and if that doesn't work I know exactly where you are talking about by the park in Surf City.

I'll try for flounder and reds first and then will probably get some fresh shrimp and go for the "whatever bites" species of fish.

Jay
 

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Be out there at sunrise and again in the late afternoon, evening. You can get 6-8 hours of peaceful fishing in per day this way. The rest of the time hit the public fishing areas.
I'd like to add to this - if you are renting a house, then the beach in that area might be fairly uncrowded during the weekdays. At least that has been my experience the past few years. I always fish mornings and evenings at least, but during the week I've seen it uncrowded-enough where you could fish just about all day long if you wanted to. Just use common sense and be considerate when the families trickle out after the morning. If you got an oceanfront house, I think they all have steps down to the beach - you can't beat the instant access.

Jay
 

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When y'all target flounder from the surf with jigs where do y'all cast? Y'all fishing in the suds? Past the breakers? Seems like it would be tough to feel the bite until your got used to it with a 1/4 ounce jig head with all the waves. Thanks for the info.
 

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When y'all target flounder from the surf with jigs where do y'all cast? Y'all fishing in the suds? Past the breakers? Seems like it would be tough to feel the bite until your got used to it with a 1/4 ounce jig head with all the waves. Thanks for the info.
I'm a flounder surf fishing noob, but I figure I will try to find sloughs between the breakers, making sure I also hit near the drop offs from the sand bar and the shore. If I can find a rip, even better, I think. In between the breakers I figure it would be just like any other flounder jig bite I've had out of a boat. If the breakers interfere with feeling the bite itself, I am thinking I will still feel the "snag" or weight as I work the jig. I hope... :D In any case, you can feel the breakers through the line, but at least with dropper loop or C-rigs with bait, there is no mistaking the bites even with the breakers. Besides that, I know people fish regular gotcha-type jigs, bucktail jigs and speck rigs in the surf - if it were that much of a problem, they'd never get used there!
 

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Sometimes that little ditch right at the surf holds Flounder. But fan casting is your best bet. Sometimes they will be on and around the sand bar particularly at low tide. Look for holes in the bar as well.
 

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Red X Angler
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The vast majority of my surf caught flounder are within 20 yards of the beach. If you use the double bucktail rig I mentioned earlier you will have no problem detecting bites and keeping the bait along the bottom in normal surf conditions.
 

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Ive been using the double bucktail rig recently, but my heavy jig has been on the bottom. Am I reading it correctly that you put yours above the lighter jig?
 

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No, the lighter jig will be behind and slightly above, the big jig. You've got it right.

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