Island Fishing - Lee Ruk photo

Topsail offers several options when it comes to dropping a line. From piers and surfside to trolling on a charter boat, few things are better than casting a line on Topsail Island’s beautiful coastline. Anglers rave about the spring sea mullet and the Spanish mackerel, drum, flounder, cobia and spots as the water begins to warm.

Pier fishing was born with the construction of the Surf City Ocean Pier in 1948, now an icon in the community. The love of the sport quickly caught on, leading to the construction of two additional ocean piers and more recently, soundside pier in Surf City.

Fishermen who prefer a little solitude and peace, can easily find their place in the sand for a little surf fishing, by far, one of the most relaxing ways to participate. It’s not uncommon to find an angler resting back in a beach chair, his rod tucked into the sand by his feet as he patiently waits for a nibble. The payoff for surf fishing isn’t bad either, with catches often including flounder, trout, black drum, spot and pompano.

Those feeling a little more adventurous have their choice of more than 25 charter boat captains in the immediate area, with fishing trips that range from inshore jaunts calm enough for the kids to high seas adventures in the Gulf Stream. Most captains can cater a trip to your wants and needs, however, how good of a day you have is always up to the fish. Visit for a list of charters available in the area.

Rules & Regs

While fishing on any of Topsail’s three ocean fishing piers, anglers are not required to purchase a NC Fishing License. The piers carry blanket licensing to cover all fishing on the premises. A license is required, however, for the Surf City Soundside Pier.

All other fishermen over age 16 must purchase a permit from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Those interested can pay with a credit card online at or by calling 1-888-248-6834. To learn more, visit

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.