Category Archives: Fishing Topsail

Surf City Fishing Pier – It’s that time of year!

by Donna Byrd

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that is not fish they are after.” Henry David  Thoreau

“There ain’t but one time to go fishin’, and that’s whenever you can.”     Diron Talbert

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Fall is the season for fishing here in Sneads Ferry and Topsail Island. And with that in mind, on a warm and sunny Thursday afternoon in November, I decided to visit the Surf City Ocean Pier. With all the rain we’ve had recently, I couldn’t resist the urge to get out in the beautiful weather before it turned cold. What better way was there to spend an afternoon than on a pier with the sun bearing down on your back, the wind in your face and the sea whipping up white caps underneath your feet? I headed down the island to find the pier.

FullSizeRender (1)I’ve never been much of a fisherman but my granddaddy was. He had a small boat he’d take out into the coastal waters of North Carolina. Spending the evening going through his fishing gear and tackle box, he’d go to bed really early and get up at three o’clock in the morning to head “down to the coast.” He’d come home about “dark thirty” with his cooler loaded down with ice and fish and then proceed to clean them on a special “cleaning table” he had built on the back of his property. My grandmother wouldn’t clean them but she sure could cook them!  I loved it when she would call our house and say, “We’re cooking up a mess of fish that Luther caught yesterday.  Y’all come over, we’re having a fish fry.” Those are some of the best memories of my childhood.

Upon arriving at the pier and I realized that I had to park down the street. The parking lots around the pier area were full and cars lined both sides of the street. If all of those people were fishing I wouldn’t be disappointed. I was going to find me a fishing story!

FullSizeRender (3)Hungry, I remembered that I had read that the grill at the pier was known for its hamburgers. I ordered one and chatted with the friendly clerk behind the counter. She gave me a bit of the pier’s history.

Surf City Ocean Pier was the first pier built on Topsail Island in 1948. In 1973, a resident from Smithfield, NC, Edwin Lore, bought the landmark pier and it’s been in his family since then. Over the years it had weathered many storms and hurricanes but in 1996 it was destroyed by Hurricane Fran. The Lore family rebuilt it and in August of 1997 it reopened to the relief and joy of local and vacationing fishermen.

FullSizeRender (9)The pier is nine hundred and thirty-seven feet long with a forty foot octagon shaped deck at the end. It has two large fish cleaning stations with fresh, running water on it and there is lots of lighting for night fishing.  Looking around me, I noticed that the place was a fisherman’s paradise, chock full of fishing equipment, tackle and had a good selection of bait. You could even buy souvenirs in the gift area.There was even a record board mounted on the back wall, showing the largest fish ever caught off the pier. The records were impressive!

FullSizeRender (10)My cheeseburger was ready and I headed out to the dining area outside. It was a nice, shady area that overlooked a little garden filled with whimsical signs, fountains and flowers. What a lovely surprise! I sat at an umbrellaed table and just for a moment, had a sensory overload: ocean, sea breeze, gulls laughing, waves crashing and the smell of a good burger wafting up to tantalize me. Wait a minute. Was this heaven?

An old fellow shuffled down from the pier and sat down heavily in a chair near me. He had a blue cooler with a fishing pole attached to it. Looking tired he settled back in his seat and I could see that he was resting. I couldn’t help but start a conversation with him.

“Did you catch anything,” I asked. “Well,” he said. “I got me two blue fish but somebody gave those to me.  The most thing I caught was some fresh air.” He laughed when he said that and shook his head. “Yeah, got me some fresh air and two fish. That’s about it for me today. My sciatic nerve is bothering me. Pain all down my leg. Done all I can do for today.” I thought that for someone in pain, he still looked content and happy.

I asked if I could see his fish and he opened the cooler and seemed just as proud of them as if he had caught them himself. I wanted to know more about this “old timer.”

“Do you mind if I ask you your name?”FullSizeRender (11)

“No, my name is Clarence.”

Clarence, my name is Donna and I write blogs for Treasure Realty. Today, I’m writing about this pier. Is it OK if I mention you in it?”

“No. I don’t mind,” he smiled. “A blog, huh?”

“Yes. You can be famous to somebody reading my blog,” I laughed.

“Are you a local, Clarence?  You live around here?”

“Well, I live in Wilmington but this is where I like to come to fish.”

“How long have you been coming here?”

“About fifteen years.”

“Wow.  That’s a long time. What is it about this pier that makes you want to come all the way from Wilmington just to fish here?”

“I like it because it’s clean. The one I used to go to in Wilmington has a bar above it and after a while, people get too foul-mouthed. When they drink, they end up saying what’s in their hearts. I don’t like that. This place is clean, no alcohol.  It’s a good place.”

I shook Clarence’s hand and told him I’m glad he liked coming to Surf City Pier. I wished him a good day and told him I hoped his leg would stop hurting. He sat there, grinning. I could see that just being there made him happy.

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I decided it was time to “walk the planks” and headed on up to the pier. It was loaded with people! They were mainly standing on the left, the northeast side. I asked someone why was everyone standing on that side. “The fish up north are headed down south to the warmer waters. We’re trying to catch them as they migrate.” That made sense to me. I supposed that in the springtime, they would fish from the right side of the pier as the fish headed back up north.

As I walked toward the end of the pier, I saw one fisherman after another, pull fish from the ocean; blues, spot, black drum, trout and flounder. There was such a happy spirit on the planks. At the octagon shaped deck on the end, I noticed that most of the fishermen there were seated with their buddies, talking and laughing, while their poles were stationed by the edge, waiting for a nibble or bite. These folks knew how to enjoy a beautiful day!FullSizeRender

Coming back towards the tackle and bait shop, I realized I had never seen so many blue coolers in one place. They almost formed a line down the nine hundred and thirty-seven feet of wooden planks. I stopped and asked one of the men if I could look inside his cooler. He proudly showed me his catch of the day: a cooler full of some flat, brownish flounder. I could imagine a fish fry for his family in the near future.

The day was gorgeous and the fish were biting. The breeze was stiff and the American flag hoisted up over the pier was unfurled and stiff in the wind. I realized I had let my worries fly away with the breeze just as these happy folks had and that I had picked up another thing that was in abundance on the pier: hope. There was so much hope and expectancy in the people fishing that it was contagious.  No wonder Clarence like to fish here.FullSizeRender (2)

If you want to experience some good fishing and clear your head of worries, I’d recommend a visit to the Surf City Ocean Pier. Oh yeah. Bring your hope with you and if you’re running short of that, you’ll just catch some there along with a lot of fresh air!


The Surf City Ocean Pier is located at:

112 South Shore Drive Surf City, NC 28445

Telephone number: 910-328-3521

Even a Rainy Day on Topsail Island is Magical

by Donna Byrd


I love Wednesdays because that’s my husband’s day off. Usually, in the warmer months, Bill golfs for half of the day at one our beautiful, local golf courses and then spends the rest of his day with me, maintaining the yard, fixing things around the house, visiting places we haven’t been before, walking the beach or (my favorite) shopping.

This past Wednesday, we awakened to a rainy, gray day.  It was obvious that golf was not in the forecast and neither was working in the yard. What could we do on a warm, rainy Wednesday to make it feel special? We took a ride down the beach road and searched for a cozy lunch at a place we’d never been before.

I’ve always loved a rainy day at the beach and when I was growing up and we’d go to the beach on vacation, the week would usually have at least one rainy day. That was the day we doctored our sunburns, read books and magazines, ate at one of our favorite seafood restaurants from the cheaper lunch menu and then explored the local shopping scene.

This Wednesday with Bill felt like one of those days. As soon as the car left the high bridge and began making its way down the beach road, it began to rain in earnest. The windshield wipers were having trouble keeping up with the big drops, but I didn’t care. I loved the sound of the rain hitting the glass and the rhythm of the wipers slapping against the sheet of water. It seemed as if we were in our own world on that deserted beach road, safe and dry while all nature outside was fending for itself in the pouring rain. I know it makes me seem like an odd sort of person, but that feeling makes me feel satisfied and content.


We decided to go to “Daddy Macs” for lunch.  It’s in a wonderful location; right on the ocean looking out over the Surf City Ocean Pier, Topsail Island’s first pier, built in 1948.   I was hoping to get a few good pictures of the pier from the restaurant’s back porch/deck.

The restaurant was casually beautiful! The dining area was surrounded by windows that gave majestic views of ocean waves tipped in foamy white, gray sky, seagulls and nautical birds trying to fly with the wind currents. We saw rain darkened, faded gray planks that made up the pier next door and the fishermen on it, covered in yellow, red and blue rain slickers.

IMG_2444 Although it was gray and misty, it was one of the most beautiful scenes I had witnessed at the beach. There was even a huge, bright, American flag that proudly flew from the pier, brightening up the dreary landscape.  I stepped outside in the rain to take some pictures.

We were seated in a booth by the windows. I had fried flounder, fries and slaw while Bill had one of Daddy Mac’s classic hamburgers. We took our time at the cozy table and watched the ocean swells through the rain splashing down the windows. The staff had some great music playing on a Pandora station. Our food was delicious and so was that “rainy day at the beach” lazy feeling. Ahhh…did I tell you I love the beach in the rain?

We couldn’t sit at the lunch table all afternoon and eventually we paid our bill and left. We met a sweet couple with a few kids outside on the front porch.  They were from Burnsville, North Carolina in Yancey County.  That little town is far away from here, right by the Tennessee border. They love to come to Topsail Beach in October when things aren’t quite as busy. Even they didn’t mind the rain.

We said our goodbyes and ran to our cars, sorry for our Daddy Mac experience to end. I wished the nice couple lived near Topsail. I knew if they did, we might become good friends.

We rode over the swing bridge, leaving the island to go home by way of Highway 17. Stopping at the new Dunkin Donuts on the mainland side, we got a coffee to share and began to make our way back to “The Ferry.” We took a few detours and discovered some roads we had not yet travelled. On a whim, we took a “dead end” that surprised us with its quaint homes and pretty twists and turns. The trees along the road were in full fall color and were swirling in the air with the rain. There was a little white chapel with a steeple and suddenly, the road ended. We could have driven straight off into the Intracoastal Waterway!

Stopping the car, we sat there drinking our coffee,  in our own little dry world, while the rain fell from the gray sky and we watched the dark gray water lap at the grassy shore. Even a rainy day at the beach is magical.  See you soon?

Find Some Of Topsail Islands Freshest Local Catch At Surf City Crab Seafood Market

surfcitycrabseafoodtopsailislandSurf City Crab Seafood Market

If you’re looking for the freshest seafood Topsail Island has to offer, it’s hard to beat Surf City Crab Seafood Market without catching it yourself. This fresh seafood marketplace has been in business for more than 20 years and during that time, they’ve served the local community and visitors to Surf City and all of Topsail Island with the freshest seafood available. They take great pride in their ability to bring out the best selection and freshest seafood day after day.

Surf City Crab is open daily from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm and they do offer plenty of onsite parking. The market itself is owned by the Kugatow family and is currently under the management of Adrian Kugatow and J. M. Moseley.

Not only do they provide excellent quality in a wide variety of fresh seafood, we believe you’ll find the prices at Surf City Crab  to be outstanding. A trip to Surf City Crab might not seem like the top of your priority list but it’s quickly becoming a Topsail Island topsail-island-seafood-markettradition. You can even purchase really cool tee-shirts to commemorate the event. This tradition always ends in folks sitting around their own table, enjoying delicious fresh seafood dishes in the company of their closest friends and families. Now what could be better than that?

The market operates year round offering a fine selection of fresh seasonal seafood. Whether you’re celebrating Mardi Gras with a crawfish boil or shrimp etouffee or you’re looking for oysters for your holiday dressing — or maybe a romantic evening in, they’ve got you covered.

If you’re a little lost for what to do with the bountiful selection of seafood, or perhaps you’re not the greatest cook in the world… don’t worry. Just ask some questions on what to buy and how to best prepare and you’ll be amazed at the helpful hints, tips, and suggestions you can get form the friendly staff at Surf City Crab. These people know seafood!. Most importantly, you’ll surprise your family and friends by preparing a culinary masterpiece they had no idea you could create. Find The Surf City Crab Seafood market on Facebook or check out this short video about Surf City Crab

Here are some additional articles you may find interesting:

Topsail Island Crab Pot
Sears Landing

Planning A Topsail Island Vacation?

Click Here And Explore 400+ Topsail Island Vacation Rentals


Weekend Getaways on Topsail Island


Why wait for the summer to come to the beach? If you reside in Jacksonville or anywhere near Topsail Island, September and October are great months for a weekend getaway to the beach!

Top Ten Reasons to Visit Topsail Island in the Fall

Warm weather on Topsail10) Milder Weather: During the fall, the weather is milder than during the summer months. The average temperature on Topsail is 84 degrees in September and 76 degrees in October.

Kids on beach September




9) Warm Water: In September, the average sea temperature is still 81 degrees! October’s average is 77 degrees.



8) Water sports: With the weather and the water being so pleasant on Topsail this time of year, surfing, swimming, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and the like are all very enjoyable.

Fall boating on Topsail Guest photo jet ski












7) Golf, Tennis, and More:  Take your pick from one of several nearby golf courses like North Shore Country Club, Castle Bay, Olde Point, or Belvedere Plantation, and enjoy several rounds from sunrise to sundown. There are several public tennis courts on the island and several of our condo properties and neighborhoods have private courts accessible to renters. Don’t forget our local parks, where guests can enjoy playground areas, basketball courts, picnic shelters, and other local concerts/events.

Olde Pointe Golf Club

6) Shopping: Golfing not really your thing? Why not take home some Topsail Island treasures? Lots of local shops are still open in September and October, and the discounts abound as shopkeepers transition into the off season.

shopping shark attack



shark rider








5) FISHING: One of the best times of year to fish on Topsail is in the fall. Go to fisherman’s post  for a report of the local action. Then, check out one or more of Topsail’s fishing piers, like Sea View, the Jolly Roger, or Surf City Pier, or try your hand at surf fishing from your own tailgate–in one of the few places where you can actually drive your vehicle out on the beach (on the northern tip of the island). Of course, there are fishing charters available as well for those who prefer offshore trips. Contact Topsail Charter Fishing or Rough and Ready Charters for more information. Don’t miss the Spot Festival happening September 28th and 29th!

Night shot at Sea Viewguest fishing












4) SEA TURTLES Hatch: Many of the sea turtle nests on Topsail will come alive in September and October. Don’t miss your opportunity to witness the miracle of life as these endangered creatures emerge and make their way into Topsail’s waters. For more information see Topsail’s local Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center website.

Take a look at this video captured on Topsail:

3) SHORT STAYS Available: Need a break from the grind? Why not getaway just for the weekend on Topsail? Enjoy a 2 night stay in nearly all of our condos. Some homeowners will accommodate 3 or 4 night stays on those long weekends as well. Give us a call for more info. or to book a short stay: 800-762-3961.

2) CHEAPEST RATES: Stay in an oceanfront condo cheaper than you can stay in some of the mainland hotels! Rates start at just $90 per day!

…and the NUMBER ONE reason to come to Topsail in the fall is…

1) R & R:  Escape the noise of city life and enjoy the beauty and serenity of Topsail Island in the fall. This is the time of year when you can really get a sense of what it might be like to have your own private beach! Experience the peace and tranquility that settles over your soul as you breathe in the salty air, listen to the waves roll, and watch the wildlife. But be forewarned…just a weekend may not be enough; you may be tempted to extend your stay!

Just imagine yourself and your significant other enjoying a fall sunset from your private balcony at the St. Regis:

R and R at SR in the fall

 …Or maybe here on the sound side?

Sunset View of Sound NTB

With mild temps, our cheapest rates, short stays, excellent fishing, awesome surfing, and fewer crowds, now is the time to plan your fall visit to one of the most beautiful places on earth! Don’t wait; give us a call today to book your 2, 3, or 4 night stay on Topsail Island: 800-762-3961.



*Several photos appearing in this post were taken by previous Treasure Realty guests and have “FlipKey Traveler Photo” logos. These photos are provided courtesy of FlipKey.

Topsail Island Fishing Resources And More

Topsail Island SunsetTopsail Island as you probably already know is one of the most beautiful places on the planet to relax and enjoy yourself with friends and family. As you can see from the pictures included here, the Topsail Island sunsets are absolutely amazing. They are filled with vibrant colors and cloud formations that are truly mesmerizing and that’s just for starters.

Topsail Island also has 26 miles of white, sandy beaches on which you can walk, play or just lay back, relax and soak up some sun. In addition to our beaches, Topsail Island and nearby Sneads Ferry are home to some of the best restaurants you’ll find anywhere. From fresh local seafood and shellfish to italian, chinese, authentic mexican and more, Topsail Island has something for every taste.

Topsail Fishing SunriseAnd things to do…. the choices seem endless. Shopping, dining, golf, boating, surfing, kayaking and more are all easily accessible here on the Island and in nearby Sneads Ferry, Wilmington and Jacksonville. There is something to satisfy everyone in the family making Topsail Island the “perfect” family vacation destination.  And we have something else here on Topsail Island.

NOTE: Special thanks to Darlyne for the beautiful pictures. Visit Her On Facebook To See More

Did I Mention Topsail Fishing?

Topsail Island and surrounding areas are host to some of the best coastal fishing anywhere. You can relax on the sand and fish in the surf, you can check out one of the 3 piers here on Topsail island or you can book a trip with one of many experienced, local Captains for either in-shore or off-shore fishing excursions.

This time of year you can expect to catch a wide variety of fish in Topsail waters. Red Drum are typically plentiful in the surf and sound during the summer as are flounder and also sheepshead. Flounder are my favorite fish. Flounder, for those of you who haven’t tried it, is a mild, white, flaky fish that is absolutely delightful fried, baked, grilled or any other way you choose to prepare it.

On the piers during the summer you will find folks reeling in spanish, blue fish and also good size trout which are are another delicious fish to eat. Some of these catches require specialized bait and tackle but the trout are caught a lot of times on nothing more than live shrimp. Our friends at East Coast Sports offer a frequently updated fishing report. Watch a recent report for July 3rd, 2013.

Here are a few resources you might want to check out if you have an interest in fishing here on Topsail island

Off-Shore Fishing

East Coast Sports

Miss Jo Charters

Topsail Beach Charter Fishing

In-Shore Fishing

Flatfoot Charter Fishing

Topsail Island Fishing Piers

The Surf City Ocean Pier

The Sea View Fishing Pier

Jolly Roger Fishing Pier

The Jolly Roger Pier

Topsail Island is truly a vacationers paradise and more than that, it is a fisherman’s paradise.

We hope you have found this post enjoyable and if so, we hope you’ll share it with your friends.


Herrings Outdoor Sports – Everything You Need For Fun In The Sun

Herrings-outdoor-sportsHerrings Outdoor Sports

Everything You Need For Fun In The Sun

Before heading out for some fun in the sun with family or friends, stop at Herring’s Outdoor Sports. Located in Surf City on Topsail Island, Herring’s Outdoor Sports store has everything anyone could ever need for virtually every type of oceanfront sport you can think of. This store carries kites, kayaks, fishing gear, beach items, camping essentials, tools, knives, hammocks, and even products for pets. They also offer men’s, women’s, and children’s sportswear, footwear, and accessories.

Brand Names and High Quality Items

The Herring’s Outdoor Sports store knows how important it is to have safe, durable, and high-quality products, so they only offer the best of the best. Some of the brand named apparel customers will see in the store include The North Face, Horny Toad, Patagonia, Royal Robbins, Lole, Ex Officio, and Life Is Good. In the footwear section, customers will have a wide range of choices, by trusted brands like Teva, Crocs, Keen, Olukai, and Merrell. Each product has been carefully selected to meet Herring’s high demands of durability, function, quality, and value.

The Kayak Specialists

Herring’s is a business that is focused on families and one activity that families enjoy in North Carolina is kayaking. In fact, Herrings Outdoor Sports is the area’s premier kayak outfitter. Not only do they have new and used kayaks for sale in the store, they also have kayak rentals. Whether it’s the first time you’ve been in the warm water that surrounds Topsail Island or your one hundredth time, Herrings guided and self-guided tours are the best in the area.

Here Is A Great Video Shot By A Topsail Island Visitor During July of 2012. Looks Like Fun.

When the weather is warm, get outside and play or take a kayak out and enjoy the blue skies and amazing scenery in and around Topsail Island, North Carolina. If you need gear to get your adventure going, the friendly staff at Herrings Outdoor Sports store will have you ready in a snap.

For more information about Herrings Outdoor Sports, visit their website at:

Bad Habit Sport Fishing Topsail Island

Kick Your Habit into High Gear with Bad Habit Sportfishing Today

Bad Habit, with Captain Marc Hairston at the helm, is your ticket to some of the best sportfishing Topsail has to offer. In fact, with a first place finish in the Topsail king mackerel tournament 23 and under division under its belt, the Bad Habit Fishing team looks like a good bet for your next charter fishing adventure.

The Fish

There’s nothing in the world quite like the excitement of deep sea fishing on the beautiful waters of the Atlantic—except perhaps glancing over to see a pod of dolphins playing in the waves beside you. It really doesn’t get much better than spending your days catching fish on the open sea and then bringing a cooler full of them home with you at the end of a long day on the water. Captain Mark has spent his entire life on these waters and he knows where you need to go to catch a handsome supply of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, grouper, or king mackerel for your coffers.

The Boat

The Bad Habit (that would be the boat) is a 2006 Contender that’s 27 feet long and loaded with the latest equipment and electronics designed to keep passengers safe. With her twin Yamaha F250 four stroke engines; she’ll get you there faster than many other charter boats on the market. This gives you more time to fish and enjoy the scenery. You’re sure to enjoy the feeling of wind in your hair when this girl gets going. More importantly, you’re sure to catch a ton of fish.

Vacations to Topsail Beach and Sneads Ferry are just missing something if you don’t take the opportunity to get out on the open water and fish for some of your time. Captain Marc at Bad Habit Sportfishing is ready to help you make that mission possible. Visit today to learn more.

If you are interested in Charter Fishing, here are some more links you may find useful…

>> Topsail Charter Fishing

>> Fishing Topsail With Captain Chip Baker

>> East Coast Sports

Topsail Charter Fishing

Topsail Charter Fishing

Topsail Charter Fishing

When it comes to tackling the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, whether you’re looking for inshore or offshore trips, you can bet you’ll have a load of fun with Topsail Charter Fishing. Located at 409 Roland Ave in Surf City, North Carolina, the captains at Topsail Charter Fishing have decades of experience in the North Carolina waters giving you a better a better chance of finding that next big fish.

Topsail Charter Fishing: Types of Charters

Not everyone wants to spend an entire day out on the water, so Topsail Charter Fishing offers quarter, half and full day trips. You can choose to fish inshore or offshore. If you are more interested in fishing from the surf, feel free to contact a captain to give you a hands-on lesson in the art of surf fishing.

Have a family in tow and still want some time on the water? Family Day Charters are all about combining the love of fishing with family time. You have a full day to do as you please on the open water. You can choose to fish the morning away, then crab for a bit before tubing to your heart’s content. Family Day Charters are priced by the day so you’ll have more than enough time to catch that big fish and if not, there is plenty of fun to be had in the process.

Topsail Charter Fishing: What to Bring on a Charter

Topsail Charter Fishing provides almost everything you need to take in a day of fishing, but there are a few provisions you need to make the day complete. Don’t forget your lunch and something to drink for the entire day. Alcohol is allowed for persons of legal drinking age, but no illegal drugs please. Wear a pair of shoes that will get wet and bring medications for motion sickness if you think that will be a problem. If you catch a big one, you’ll want a camera and you need a cooler to keep that boy cold.

If You Love Fishing, Check Out The Links Below As Well…

Headboat Vonda Kay

East Coast Sports Surf City NC