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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan on going out of Topsail inlet and Carolina beach inlet to do some offshore fishing come spring or at least some warmer days. I have never been out of these inlets, and I know some inlets can be tricky to get in and out of even on calm days. I definitely don't want to do anything foolish, so any advice that some of the more experienced hands can offer would be greatly appreciated.
 

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any advice that some of the more experienced hands can offer would be greatly appreciated.
My advice is to make sure you hear from TopsailAngler. Topsail Inlet's his back yard.
 

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If it were me, I'd avoid Topsail unless you truely know it well and can run it all the time. Shoals up quick and you can end up in ankle deep water with 4 ft rollers on you in a heartbeat. I compare it to lighthouse channel runnin out of Harkers... them shoals shift and unless you follow a big boat out.. can be tricky if you dont run it all the time. Be carefull following big boats to as they've been known to strike sand as well and it usually happens pretty quick,, dont wanna run up their tail pipe..

Wrightsville without a doubt and right smack in the middle between the two inlets you mention. Masonboro inlet, deep water, no navigation issues, pretty much no brainer and once inside, good runs north and south in the ICW.

I'm sure Mike will chime in on Topsail. Masonboro get's my vote! (probably one of the nicest inlets on the NC coast) ;)
 

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Big Al - can't help you much with Carolina Beach as I've only used it only a couple of times as a back-up re-entry location when the wind is such that I was getting beat-up heading north so I took the ICW back home. However I use New Topsail Inlet all the time.

NTI like many shallow draft inlets tends to shift around so always use caution. It is well marked by Coast Guard maintained buoys, but again use caution. The buoys are generally in the right places but sometimes they come loose. At low tide is about 7 feet at it shallowest spot (center of channel). I'd recommend you go out/come in with someone who knows the channels the first time or two.

It can get a little tricky on sloppy weather days so be sure to get familiar with it on nicer days. With that said, so far I've always been able to get back in there. However, I keep as a backup plan coming in through Masonboro if I ever get caught in real bad conditions (low vis, high wind, big seas). I would never come back in Rich's inlet in sloppy conditions - there is only 4 foot of water on low tide, it is not marked with buoys and is very, very hard to read from the ocean side if there is anything over 2-3 foot seas.

Hope this helps. I'd be happy to buddy boat with you sometime if you want.

Tight lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With this advice, I think I'll wait until I go with someone more familiar with these inlets, or possibly buddy boat. I have fished the jetties at masonboro inlet and gone out from this inlet, so I think I'll stick with Masonboro inlet for the time being. Oh, by the way, you guys are a terrific source of excellent information! In my case, very helpful and much appreciated!
Mike(TA) I hope to take you up on your offer, so make sure you stick around.:)
 

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Mike(TA) I hope to take you up on your offer, so make sure you stick around.:)
Well I sure hope to........ Lord willing.

Once you go in and out of NTI a few times with someone, then on your own a time or two you will be fine. Like I said, I use it all the time - saves me a ton of gas as I live on the water 2 miles from the inlet (well less than a mile as the gull flies).
 
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