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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

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

For the week of Aug. 18-24

Ocean: Anglers fishing offshore had big catches of wahoo with some dolphin in the mix. The king mackerel bite took off, and there were plenty of large Spanish mackerel and bluefish, as well, around Artificial Reef 315 and along the beach. Anglers fishing the bottom offshore reported catching vermilion snapper, black sea bass, tomtate, gray triggerfish, amberjack, gag and red porgy. Closer to shore, bottom-fishing anglers decent catches of flounder on the artificial reefs using live mullet and bucktails.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The big drum bite was pretty solid around Oriental, with some anglers reporting more fish towards the mouth of the Neuse. Cut menhaden fished on the bottom at night produced the biggest fish. The flounder bite was solid, with anglers reporting catches from Taylor’s Creek, the N.C. Port turning basin, the Newport River and Bogue Sound using live mullet for bait. The sheepshead bite was strong along the port wall and the local bridges. Bottom-fishing anglers reported catching pigfish, pinfish, red drum and croaker.

Piers/Shore: Pier anglers had an excellent week of fishing for king mackerel and large Spanish mackerel. Bluefish, spot, croaker, pompano, flounder and sheepshead were reported by bottom-fishing anglers.

Northern District | Central District | Southern District
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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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