Everything You Need to Know About Fall Fishing on Topsail Island

Everything You Need to Know About Fall Fishing on Topsail Island | Seashore Realty

Fall is a beautiful time in North Carolina, but perhaps the one thing we all love on the coast is the fall fishing season! The weather is great, the crowds are gone, and of course, the fish are biting. This week we have everything you need to kick off your fall fishing vacation on Topsail Island. Grab your rod and reel and let's get ready to reel in the big one! 

Why Fish on Topsail Island?

Coastal North Carolina is a fisherman’s paradise. Topsail Island is close to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and surrounded by cooler inshore waters. It's almost as if Topsail Island was made for the angler! With each new season, a new and exciting fishing opportunity presents itself and Fall is no exception.

In the Fall, sheepshead, red drum, black drum, bluefish, trout, striped bass, and sailfish are abundant off our shore. Of course, these are just a few of the fish you can find. Our quiet inland waters are just as exciting. Local creeks and marshes are the perfect habitat for flounder, trout, or red drum. Go ahead and get the grill ready! Freshly caught fish makes the perfect dinner at your Topsail Island beach rental.

Why Fall Is a Great Time to Fish on Topsail Island

Why Fall you ask? Without getting too technical, as the weather changes and the colder temperatures enter the area, fish change their migration patterns. Just like birds, fish begin to migrate south from Northern waters looking for warmer winter waters. As they do this, they also come closer to shore making it the perfect time for anglers to enjoy fantastic fishing on Topsail Island. 

Fishing License Requirements

All fisherman in North Carolina need to have a valid license. There are several different types of licenses depending on where and what you are fishing for. Make sure to have the proper license because the fines can be steep. For more details and current licensing requirements Click here!


You have probably seen folks fishing on the beach and wondered what type of fishing that is. The answer is surfcasting. Surfcasting is a fun and easy way to not only enjoy the beach, but also enjoy some world class fishing.   

If you are new to it, all you need is a rod, a bucket, some bait, and a little bit of patience. Sure, there is a little more to it than that, but at its core surfcasting requires very little. Many of the local bait shops even rent equipment and offer lots of advice on the best rigs and jigs to use. 

Fall on Topsail Island creates the perfect conditions for red drum, speckled trout, and flounder. Make sure you have the propane or charcoal ready because all of that fish you're going to catch is going to need cooking! Need a little advice on the best places to fish on the island? Stop by any of the local bait shops to bend a local's ear. We apologize for the tall tales in advance. 

man surf fishing at sunset | SeaShore Realty

Fall Pier Fishing 

Perhaps the most family friendly form of Fall fishing is fishing off one of the three piers on Topsail Island. Pier fishing has so many great advantages to it. First, you actually don't need a license as the pier itself has a license for all those fishing on the pier. How cool is that? Another great advantage is there is always loads of locals who can offer great advice on the best bait, jigs, and times to fish. 

Don't have your own equipment? No worries, that's another great reason to try pier fishing. All of the piers offer an array of rental equipment, so there's no need to make a big investment or drag all that equipment from home. Many of the piers are open at night and have snack bars making them a fun, family-friendly destination! Even if you aren't looking to fish, stop by and enjoy the atmosphere. 

Need to find out more about the local piers? Below we have a list of the local piers and their contact information. 

Seaview Pier

Location: Northern Topsail Island 

Website: Seaview Pier

Amenities: On sight restaurant. The best part about the restaurant is if you catch and clean your fish, they will cook it for you just the way you like it! Onsite rentals, bait, restrooms, and cleaning stations. 

Jolly Roger Pier

Location: Southern end of Topsail Island 

Website: Jolly Roger Pier

Amenities: Rod and reel rentals, snack bar, bait shop, restrooms. Well-lit and a popular place for night fishing. 

Surf City Ocean Pier

Location: Surf City in the heart of Topsail Island 

Website: Surf City Ocean Pier

Amenities: Tackle shop, bait, cleaning stations, and lights. This is the original pier on Topsail Island and has been continuously operated by the same family since 1973. 

men catching fish off the Jolly Roger Pier in Topsail Beach | SeaShore Realty

Local Charters

If you’re looking for some real Fall fishing excitement, there is nothing like the thrill of charter fishing! Topsail Island has a large professional charter fishing fleet. No matter what type of adventure you're looking for, there is a charter for you. Offshore, inshore, half day, or full day trips are all available. Below you'll find links to great resources all dedicated to Topsail Island charter and fishing boats. 

Queen Jean Fishing Charter 

This charter boat offers an array of fishing charters. There are half-day, evening, and kids fishing adventure trips. Queen Jean's friendly staff will make sure you have a wonderful time on the water. This boat is a great way for the novice fisherman to explore the waters off of Topsail Island. With reasonable prices and short trips, it's sure to be a family favorite. The boat is also equipped with a snack-bar which sells drinks, deli sandwiches, burgers, and beer. Coolers are allowed. 

Topsail Charter Fishing

This a great one-stop-shop for a variety of local charter boats. From chartering an inshore boat to an offshore adventure, the Topsail Charter Fishing website provides a portal to dozens of great boats, captains, and adventures. There are charters to fit any size party, experience level, or budget.  If you have your own boat, you can even hire a local guide. 

Are you ready for your Fall fishing adventure? If you're ready to reel em' in, now's the perfect time to give one of our reservationists a call at 910-328-3400. We have a large selection of Oceanfront properties, where you can walk right out the front door and be surfcasting within minutes. 

Everything You Need to Know About Fall Fishing on Topsail Island | Seashore Realty

Book your fall fishing adventure today.

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