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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Central District

Marine Fisheries

Central District Fishing Report —
Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow Counties

8-point rule


Contact: Jesse Bissette (Jesse.Bissette@ncdenr.gov)

For the week of May 7-13

Offshore: Dolphin fishing offshore was absolutely on fire! Many boats caught their limits or came very close to it, and a large portion of the dolphin were nice fish. Some wahoo, blackfun tuna, and yellowfin tuna were also caught. Offshore bottom fishing produced catches of grouper, black sea bass, and vermilion snapper, as well as a handful of cobia. Anglers caught a good amount of chopper bluefish by casting to busting fish around Cape Lookout. Spanish mackerel were caught by anglers casting lures and by those trolling the beaches. A few Atlantic bonito were mixed in with the Spanish mackerel. Fishermen targeting flounder on the nearshore reefs started to see good catches, as well.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays:
Anglers fishing Beaufort Inlet and around the Morehead City Port turning basin landed a scattering of sea mullet. Some boats caught a good mess of fish, while others only managed to get a few. Hogfish, pufferfish, and weakfish (gray trout) were all mixed in with the sea mullet. The area marshes gave up a few slot-sized red drum to those fishing with live bait and soft plastics.

Piers/Shore: Bluefish were still the main catch on the area piers, with the sizes ranging anywhere from under a pound to well over 10 pounds. Anglers throwing plugs early in the morning and late in the evening had the most success. Some Spanish mackerel were caught by the pluggers, as well. Anglers fishing the bottom caught decent numbers of sea mullet, along with a few keeper black drum, red drum, and sheepshead. Anglers fishing the surf also caught some pompano.


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.

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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