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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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

Marine Fisheries

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Central District —
Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow Counties

Contact: Scott Smith (Scott.Smith@ncdenr.gov)

Owners/operators of vessels recreationally fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) (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 (HMS) Angling permit. This permit has replaced the Atlantic tunas Angling category permit. In North Carolina, additional HMS harvest reporting requirements are also in place. To obtain a permit go to: http://www.hmspermits.gov..

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. Be SURE to properly identify the mackerel you are catching. (Tips here)

A recreational Recreational Fishing License went into effect Jan. 1, 2007 for all of the state's coastal and ocean waters.

Please note: New reports are usually posted by early Monday afternoon.


Central District Fishing Report

For the week of July 20-26


Ocean: Offshore anglers had a decent catch of dolphin, wahoo, barracuda, amberjack and yellowfin tuna. The yellowfin tuna were spread out, but a few boats managed to catchh upwards of 50 pounds. Bottom fishing anglers caught large vermilion snapper, black sea bass, gray triggerfish, whitebone porgy, scup, amberjack, gag grouper, scamp and sand tilefish. Near-shore fishing really started to heat up with king mackerel working throughout the shipping channel and out on the east side of Cape Lookout shoals. Large Spanish were also reported in the 5- to 10-pound range, mixed with some large schools of bluefish. Flounder fishermen saw great catches along the near-shore reefs using live mudminnows and bucktails for bait.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Red drum catches really picked up. Anglers reported catches from Stones Bay, on the New River, up to Oriental on the Neuse River. Some anglers started fishing for the big fall drum, but there weren’t been many of the monster fish yet. Flounder fishing was really good on the back side of Shackleford Banks, in Taylor's Creek and in the N.C. Port turning basin. Live mullet or mudminnows fished near structure produced the most fish. Shark anglers were still reporting great catches around Beaufort Inlet and Carrot Island. Sheepshead fishing was shaping up to be a banner year, with large fish continuing to come from the port wall and the Morehead City to Radio Island bridge.

Piers/Shore: Anglers plugging for Spanish mackerel reported a busy week, with a majority of catches coming in the evening hours. Fish were caught at any time, however; and plenty of 4 pound and larger fish were caught midday on plugs. Bluefish, pinfish, northern puffer, pigfish, flounder, pompano and sea mullet were in the mix as well.


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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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