Fishing is one of the oldest and most popular ways to pass the time, especially in a coastal destination such as Topsail Island. Locals, fisherman, and vacationers alike have fished these shores and the Intracoastal Waterway for decades. A way of life for some, and a simple pastime for others, fishing on Topsail Island comes in many varieties: there’s surf fishing, pier fishing, charter fishing, and so many different methods to explore.
While the act of fishing is enough for some, we wanted to put together this handy guide of fishing spots on Topsail Island so that you can do a bit of catching along with your fishing. Regardless of where your Topsail Island vacation rental is located, there’s sure to be a great fishing spot nearby!
Spot #1 – Surf Fishing
Surf fishing is one of our favorite ways to fish on Topsail Island, because it’s the perfect way to combine two of our favorite things: fishing, and spending all day at the beach! This is especially a plus if some people in your group don’t want to spend the day away from the sand. Just make sure you don’t cast out next to the little ones, and be mindful of your hook!
If you’re surf fishing on Topsail Island, be sure that you bring the proper equipment along with you. Surf fishing rods tend to be longer, stronger, and more durable than traditional spinning rods. If you don’t have a surf rod, they can be rented locally at any of the local bait and tackle shops or fishing piers. We also recommend bringing a cooler to store your catches, as well as enough bait, water, and sunscreen to keep you going all day long. Don’t forget the beach chairs!
Commonly caught fish: Drum, spanish, albacore, flounder trout, various sharks, and so much more
Spot #2 – Pier Fishing
Topsail Island is home to three unique fishing piers, each conveniently located in different areas of the island. The best part about fishing at a pier is that the cost of entry typically includes a rod and fishing license, so all you need to do is purchase some bait and have fun! The piers also offer a convenient place to clean your fish, and most have a bathroom and public parking onsite. Here are the three fishing piers located on Topsail Island:
Seaview Pier, located in North Topsail Beach
Surf City Ocean Pier, located in Surf City
Jolly Roger Pier, located in Topsail Beach
Learn more about the various piers on our Topsail Island Pier information page.
Spot #3 – Fishing Charter
With more than 20 different charter captains and companies to choose from, Topsail Island is a deep sea fisherman’s dream! Topsail Island fishing charters can accommodate groups of all sizes, and most guides will work with you to take you exactly where you want to go and help you catch exactly what you’re hoping to catch.
Chartering a fishing boat takes all of the stress and planning out of fishing, and requires you to provide none of your own equipment. Plus, as long as your captain is fully licensed, you won’t need a North Carolina fishing license as long as you’re fishing from the charter boat.
Some of our favorite Topsail Island fishing charters include:
Spot #4 – The Sound
While the ocean offers a great opportunity to surf fish, charter a boat, or just cast off at a pier, the sound offers a different fishing experience. While there are many places to cast out in the sound, we like to head to Soundside Park where the fish are plenty! Soundside Park even has a little fishing pier and public restroom, making it a super convenient spot to fish and hang out for the day.
Fishing in the sound is much different than fishing in the ocean because of the difference in tide and water depth. You may need to adjust your technique and equipment if you’re set up to fish in freshwater or in the ocean. On the plus side, you can also catch many of the same fish as you might find in the ocean, with the added possibility of crabbing.
No matter how or where you choose to do it, Topsail Island is a great place for anglers of all skill levels. We hope you enjoy your time on Topsail Island, and we think that getting out and fishing is a great way to enjoy the sunshine in our little slice of coastal paradise.