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Thread: Topsails Piers from the Past?

  1. #1
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    Topsails Piers from the Past?

    OK.. I didn't ever go to topsail as a child or even have an inkling to go, But this summer i went down for my first time, and boy was i taken back.

    Topsail is an awesome beach, and i found out it used to have alot of piers on it.. Like six or something, quite a few.. any how my interest was sparked in these old piers after seeing a satelite immage of the beach.. i noticed in two areas between surf city pier and seaview there were sets of pilings going out in the water.. one set was more obvious than the other it being around Carver rd. and the other near dolphin st.

    Any ways wich piers were these? do they still get fished from the surf? and how accessable are they? just curious..

    Drumbeater

  2. #2
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    I think that they were Barnacle Bills,Scotch Bonnett,or Ocean City.I used to catch alot of fish on Ocean City.Before Seaview opened it was the furthest north.When I first started going to topsail,most all of the northern part of the island was undeveloped.There was a pier above Seaview called New River Inlet Pier,but that was over 30 years ago.Topsail will always have a special place in my heart.

  3. #3
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    Why werent they rebuilt? i know some may have fallen to development but there is one that looks as tho the lot in front of it is still vacant and there are still pilings out in the ocean!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by clean one View Post
    I think that they were Barnacle Bills,Scotch Bonnett,or Ocean City.I used to catch alot of fish on Ocean City.Before Seaview opened it was the furthest north.When I first started going to topsail,most all of the northern part of the island was undeveloped.There was a pier above Seaview called New River Inlet Pier,but that was over 30 years ago.Topsail will always have a special place in my heart.
    Barnacle Bill, Scotch Bonnet and Dolphin Pier. I fished the first 2, Dolphin Pier was already gone in the early 90's.

    Scotch Bonnet was one of my favorite piers. The owner was in his 70's and ready to retire when hurricane took it out. Guess he figured that was the Lord's way of telling him time to retire and not spend his retirement on rebuilding again.

    Topsail/Wilmington area is probably the most susceptible area for hurricanes on the East coast. Considering piers are not big money makers, and rebuilding is about $1200+ per foot, I guess you reach an age where it's not worth it anymore.

  5. #5
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    I found some old google earth satelite immages and according to the 1993 photo there were still 6 piers so they must have fallen not to long ago.. its a shame though.. i love a good fishing pier.. and i would be at home on any but im gonna try surf fishing this october and i was just curious if they were still accessable.. im hoping they are and i dont have to lug all of my stuff down the beach lol.. i just really like fishing man made structure, i all ways have great luck on piers, jettys and wrecks, but im gonna try and read the water this year.. and find holes and try those as well.. i just cant belive there were five piers in 5 miles thats pretty cool kina like how atlantic used to be!

  6. #6
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    That area is actually "Surf City" just north of Topsail. I spent one year fishing Barnacle Bills because my Aunt and Uncle "Leased the pier" for a year. So I got a nice discount! However, I grew up on Scotch Bonnet.... It was a family pier for sure. It had a large arcade and the teens and young adults would hang out there in the evenings. The pier was really nice as well. I started in the early 80's as a kid that loved fishing but was more than happy to go get my dad/grand dad a coffee so I could check out the ladies in bikinis! Then as I reached my later teen years I was more than happy to go get my dad/grand dad coffee so I could check out the ladies in bikinis! After I joined the army (1990) and Hurricanes Bertha and Fran came in a matter of 2 weeks and destroyed it.... So now I go to Kure Beach pier... I always think of those piers though and the memories. I spent every weekend of the summers down there fishing. Shucks I spend a lot of Spring and Fall there too, nothing beats skipping school and fishing!
    JB

  7. #7
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    I grew up a few blocks from the Scotch Bonnet. As a kid I used to buy condoms from the machine in the restroom and make water balloons out of them. My friends house was one of the ones that washed away and the property was no longer allowed to be rebuilt on because of lack of solid ground for pilings or something like that. We visited the island in the spring and drove down the road. Those lots are still empty on the beachfront so I guess it worked out for the second row folks. I'm glad Topsail is still pretty low key. Love the more oldschool flavor of the mellow beaches. Oak Island still feels laid back in that way.

  8. #8
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    South end Jolly Roger still there

    Middle of Topsail Beach Dolphin, burn early 90's if memory serves correctly

    Surf City proper Surf City pier, still there

    North end of Surf City Barnacle Bill Fran took it

    Start of N Topsail Scotch Bonnet, was rebuilt just before Fran took it

    Just north of there Ocean City pier, Fran took it

    North Topsail Salty's Pier, Fran took most of it, was rebuilt as Seaview pier still there

  9. #9
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    Thats great info guys thanks,

    Fran was bad i remember going down to the coast after it happened and we were at OIB i think and there was damage there too..

    So do any of you surf-fish these Piers Remains?

  10. #10
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    There was one more. It was north of Ocean City, across from campground. Paradise fishing pier. I fished there before I started school 40 years ago. Most of my fishing growing up was on Scotch Bonnet. I sterted king fishing there. When we got down my parents would drop me and my poles off. Iwould run a mile and a half down the beach once a day, to take a shower. My mom or my aunt would bring all my food to me. Then they would pick me up to go home, after a weekend or a week.

  11. #11
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    The double hit of Bertha and Fran in 1996 took out most of the piers it was at a time of rising land values and rising construction costs that also played a hand it in. After Bertha some of the piers were scrabling to rebuild for spot season and had just about finished when Fran did them in again. Fran was very damaging because the protective dunes were gone from Bertha. 19 piers had suffered damage by the 2 storms 5 would not be rebuilt. Paradise was lost in a fire in 1985. Dolphin pier closed in the early 80s and reports as late as 88 had them rebuilding and reopening if not for the public just for the Queen's Grant Condos but the couldn't get the sewer.

    If you are interested in finding out more about North Carolina Piers look for the book Walking the Planks: An Incomplete History of North Carolibna Ocean Fishing Piers. It is due out early next year. The History Press is going to publish it.

  12. #12
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    96-99 saw some brutal hurricane activity here. Bertha and Fran in 96 along with at least one strong tropical storm, Bonnie in 98 then Floyd in 99.

    Fran was a nasty storm. 120 mph winds combined with the approach angle really devasted the east facing beaches in SE NC. Wrightsville was hit hard but Topsail seemed to bear the brunt of the storm being on the NE side of the direct hit.

    We lost seveal piers to Fran.

    Tommy

  13. #13
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    HEre is a link to a pic of Fran as she approached:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...ed=0CEMQ9QEwBA

  14. #14
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    How many remember Percy on Scotch Bonnet? Was in his 70's, never wore a shirt and looked 50.

  15. #15
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    I know this thread is old but I just found it while searching and it brought back some relly good memories. I learned to surf at Paradise pier and was out there the day it burnt down. Some of the older than me surfers were paddling out and getting the fishermen who jumped off the pier. It caught fire so quick there was not much time.
    I spent many a night fishing Scotch Bonnet and surfing through the day there. The arcade at SB was the teen hangout. I also remember New River pier on the North end. There was hardly any beach there the surf came almost up to the road at high tide but I remember a large hammer head shark that could be seen quite often in the waves around there. So many memories. Thank you for reminding me.

  16. #16
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    I used to hang out at that arcade. Our place was right between Scotch Bonnet and Barnacle Bill's.

  17. #17
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    I worked at paradise pier in 77,78 and then worked at dolphen in 79,worked for a great guy, Don Banks at both places.Caught lots of big fish at both places.Wathed Don catch the state record tarpon from paradise in 78, think it was 176 lbs.I got my biggest king at paradise in19 77, 53 lb.

  18. #18
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    Nice King

  19. #19
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    This brings back alot of memories I pretty much lived at Surfcity family campground in the summer. And have heard many a fishing story from my pop & grandpa from all the piers. It was amazing how many piers they were and there was the soundside pier on the S end at onetime. My dad talked about a truck my grandpa & his fishing buddy had when he was growing up that had airplane tires on it & would run the beach with it. If I can find them I've got some old pic from back in the day packed away i'll put them up if I can put my hands on them.

  20. #20
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    sound pier

    We used to catch some large speckled trout under the lights at night off of it, also hooked some big cobia at night there,didn't land a lot of them.

  21. #21
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    ...i guess the book "walking the planks" has not been published yet?







    Quote Originally Posted by roadkillal View Post
    The double hit of Bertha and Fran in 1996 took out most of the piers it was at a time of rising land values and rising construction costs that also played a hand it in. After Bertha some of the piers were scrabling to rebuild for spot season and had just about finished when Fran did them in again. Fran was very damaging because the protective dunes were gone from Bertha. 19 piers had suffered damage by the 2 storms 5 would not be rebuilt. Paradise was lost in a fire in 1985. Dolphin pier closed in the early 80s and reports as late as 88 had them rebuilding and reopening if not for the public just for the Queen's Grant Condos but the couldn't get the sewer.

    If you are interested in finding out more about North Carolina Piers look for the book Walking the Planks: An Incomplete History of North Carolibna Ocean Fishing Piers. It is due out early next year. The History Press is going to publish it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by don brinson View Post
    I worked at paradise pier in 77,78 and then worked at dolphen in 79,worked for a great guy, Don Banks at both places.Caught lots of big fish at both places.Wathed Don catch the state record tarpon from paradise in 78, think it was 176 lbs.I got my biggest king at paradise in19 77, 53 lb.
    Thank You for sharing that story!!.. A king weight that most kingers will never see...maybe including myself. Thanks again for the memories.

    Reelturner

  23. #23
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    Wow this got pulled from the depths... LOL

  24. #24
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    There was also a pier north of where the Seaview is currently, about where Marina Way is.

  25. #25
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    In the 60's the northernmost pier was Mcgee's or Mckey's. Anyone remember it? best - glenn

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