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First of all, thanks to all who helped out with my previous post below (Topsail this weekend), especially Topsail Angler (You put us on 'em Friday, Mike)! First inshore trip with my 17 1/2' Bass Tracker.

Friday - Put in at Soundview Park near the drawbridge in Surf City. Nice facility with good access & parking. Went north in ICW about a mile to white poles on right which lead to some canals. First 30 minutes hooked up with two keeper flounder (15" & 17") around the docks. Right after lunch pulled up on a lone dock on the south side of the main canal (near a house that sits off by itself with a long walkway leading to it) and BAM!! two flounder & several 14-17" reds, all in about 15 minutes. A couple of times all three of us had fish on. Came back towards the bridge late afternoon and fished a few more docks and around the bridge pilings. A few good bites, but no hookups. Came back in at dusk to be greeted by a NC Marine Fisheries patrol boat loading up at the dock. (Glad I measured those flounder) Great guy; very friendly & professional, even gave us a few tips on some places to try out next trip. Glad those guys are out there doing their jobs.

Saturday - Put in at Topsail Beach Marina (town owned, $10 to launch, not much parking, probably won't do that again). Fish Lee Island area near Topsail Inlet. WINDY!! Saw plenty of baitfish in channels along islands. Caught one small flounder and several lizardfish (those are some UGLY critters). Talked to some other folks having the same luck. One of those "should have been here yesterday" stories, I guess. Did see one guy with a beached boat pulling in several blues off the bank from the slough in front of the island adjacent to the inlet channel. Salvaged the day by doing some exploring and riding around during low tide. Even tried some docks and nearby holes on the way back in with no luck.

Baits: 3 & 4" Berkley Gulp shrimp in new penny color (HOTTT!!!) with a 1/4 oz. head jigged back in or bounced near bottom. Tried some mirrolures, spoons, grubs, soft jerkbaits & spinners with no luck.

Lessons learned:

1. Windy days in bigger water are NO MATCH for a 17 1/2' bass boat. In the future I'll find some more sheltered areas for sure. No severe mishaps, but a couple of close calls. DUMB!!! on my part.

2. Don't be afraid to ask around at the launch ramps/tackle shops. Lots of good info, and most folks eager to help out newcomers.

3. GET A GOOD MAP/CHART BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT. Glad I did; it saved the day on Saturday! (And don't forget a tide chart, too)!

All in all, a great first try (I think) at inshore fishing. Came back with a few prop dings from sand bars/oyster beds, a bottom scrape or two on my tin can bass boat, and a few hours spent at the quarter-eating car wash washing the salt away, but had a blast. Can't wait to get back again. And again, thanks to all. Count me in as a regular here. GREAT SITE!
 
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