Central District Fishing Report — Contact: Jesse Bissette (Jesse.Bissette@ncdenr.gov)
Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow Counties
For the week of Sept. 19-25 Offshore: Wahoo fishing was very good. Many boats landed double-digit numbers of fish, and some were big enough for citations. Mixed in with the wahoo were some dolphin, blackfin tuna, and a few yellowfin tuna. Anglers landed a good number of sailfish, as well. Those fishing the bottom caught grouper, amberjack, vermilion snapper, triggerfish and black sea bass. Spanish mackerel and king mackerel were caught along Bogue Banks. Anglers who drifted live or dead bait caught the largest fish, but trolling brought in the best numbers. Little tunny (false albacore) were seen busting bait around Cape Lookout.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The old red drum bite in the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound seemed to slow, but there were still fish to be caught. The most productive technique was to use cut bait on the bottom. Anglers caught slot-size and under-the-slot-size red drum in the marshes. Live bait consistently caught the most, but artificial bait lured its share, as well. Mixed in with the red drum were good numbers of spotted seatrout and flounder, although most of the flounder from the marshes were small. Anglers fishing at the State Port wall landed the larger flounder. Those bottom fishing in Beaufort Inlet and in the port turning basin caught bluefish, pigfish, croaker and gray trout.
Piers/Surf: Anglers fishing the surf caught red drum of all sizes, including many over-the-slot-limit fish. Those fishing at Fort Macon State Park had the most success with the red drum, although they were caught up and down the coast. Mixed with the drum were bluefish, black drum, pompano and small flounder. Anglers throwing plugs at the piers caught Spanish mackerel, bluefish and a few little tunny. The best action for pluggers came early in the morning and late in the evening.
For the fishing year, all owners/operators of vessels recreationally fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Angling permit. This permit has replaced the Atlantic tunas Angling category permit. In North Carolina, additional Highly Migratory Species harvest reporting requirements are also in place. To obtain a permit go to: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/compliance/permits_reporting/index.html
Report a tagged fish
Please note: Anglers sometimes confuse small king mackerel with Spanish mackerel. King mackerel and spanish mackerel have different size and catch limits. Make sure you properly identify the mackerel you are catching. (Tips here)
A recreational fishing license went into effect Jan. 1, 2007 for all of the state's coastal and ocean waters.
Click here for the latest seasons, size and bag limits.
Please note: New reports are usually posted by early Monday afternoon.