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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 July 13-20

Ocean: It was a windy week, yet offshore anglers still managed a banner week fishing for sailfish. There were plenty of dolphin landed on the Morehead City waterfront, with one decent-size pompano dolphin mixed in, as well. Other anglers reported catching blue marlin, wahoo, amberjack and barracuda. Bottom-fishing anglers reported catches of red and gag grouper, red snapper, triggerfish, vermillion snapper, black sea bass, amberjack and white grunt. Closer to shore, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and little tunny were landed in decent numbers around Beaufort Inlet and out toward Artificial Reef 315. Flounder catches also were landed from the near-shore reefs on live mudminnows and bucktails. Anglers started seeing large sharks around Beaufort Inlet, and there were a few reports of hookups and releases.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The flounder bite was doing well around the N.C. Port turning basin and in Taylor’s Creek, Bogue Sound, Core Sound and the Newport River. Live mullet and mudminnows werel the best baits, and the area creeks were full of both. Bottom-fishing anglers using cut bait landed spot, croaker, bluefish, pufferfish, stingrays and red drum in the sounds. Sheepshead were biting on live urchins around the piers, bridges and structure in the sounds and in the turning basin. Red drum anglers started to see over-the-slot fish in the Neuse, as well as slot redfish in Bogue and Core sounds. There were still fleeting reports of late-season cobia, one from the beach at Fort Macon and one from the port.

Piers/Shore: Shore and pier anglers reported catching bluefish, spot, pompano, croaker and sea mullet while bottom fishing cut bait. Plugging for Spanish mackerel had its highs and lows, but most anglers reported that the cooler times of early morning and late afternoon were the most productive. A few shore anglers also reported success with fishing live mullet on a Carolina rig for flounder in the surf.

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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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