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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings
I am born and raised in the mountains of East Tennessee and have vacationed 2-3 times a year on Topsail Island since 2004. Now, thanks to the good lord above, my wife and I have property on the island and our own spot in Surf City.
I have fished for years in the canals and sound side, mostly bottom fishing and catching whatever happened to bite on cut shrimp. Now, I'm ready to move to the other side of the island and wet a hook in some blue water.
I've never surf fished or fished from the pier, either. Can someone tell me which would be the best place to start? I'd like to be interactive with my fishing instead of just throwing out cut bait and hoping something hungry comes along. My sound side fishing for pinfish, etc. I relate to pond bluegill fishing at home. I'm a pretty fair largemouth/smallmouth angler. Can you catch some Spanish or maybe pompano surf fishing with a Gotcha plug (they seem to be popular)?
I really don't care what I catch. I am purely catch and release sport fishing.
I am new to this, so any advice for where would be a good place to start when I next visit in October is appreciated.
 

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Red X Angler
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Welcome to the site, Not much help in Topsail, but if you ever want to know anything about the area from Morganton to Statesville NC as your traveling on I-40 I might be able to help.

Darrell
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Although I never stop to fish, I'm through your way so much this time of year the folks at the Morganton and Hickory Chic-fil-As think I live there!
 

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I love surf fishing, though I'm no where near the most proficient at it. The first thing you're going to hear and need to know is "learn how to read the surf". Google that and/or search it here. Plenty of good info and pictures to help you learn what to look for. When you get the idea of how to spot the holes/troughs/ditches/breaks/bars, then you can work on what to fish for and how. For pomps and flounder and drum I jig and soak carolina rigs. 90% of the fish that I catch like this are within about 50-60' of the water line so don't worry about slinging it as far as you can. And remember to limit your gear so that you can stay mobile. If I don't have any activity within 30 min to an hour I'm moving on to the next spot.
 

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I've had good luck throwing metal from the surf, especially when bait is close in. You can surprisingly catch a wide range of fish from the surf using gotcha style lures. I've caught blue, spanish, trout, ladyfish, bull whiting, shark among other things. I would suggest using a 30lb fluoro leader for the toothy critters. The retrieves for the gotchas can change through the day whether they need to be stripped across the top or a more slow, falling retrieve. Also have had good luck using metal jigs/spoons and jigs with Gulp, Zman, or other plastics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to all.
I have a question about leaders. If you are using a mono leader instead of braid, why not just that size line in the first place? Are you putting a 30lb leader on 20lb line? Even if it's 30, couldn't something with teeth bite through that, too?
 

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Braided line has changed setups because of its durability, feel, and size. You can fit as much 50lb braid on a reel and 15lb mono with better performance . Braid's drawback is that fish can see it which is why a leader is a must. Surf leaders haven't changed much, usually 20 to 40 fluro or mono, but braid has gotten much better so why not take advantage.
 

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My surf plugging rod has 20lb KastKing Braid then about 3 feet of leader below a black barrel swivel. The swivel keeps the twist out of the braid and black insures the fish doesn't go for it instead of the lure. I change the leader for what I'm fishing for. I usually use 17lb fluoro when using soft plastics on jigs and up it to 30lbs when throwing metal.
 
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