Central District Fishing Report — Contact: Jesse Bissette (Jesse.Bissette@ncdenr.gov)
Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow Counties
For the week of Aug. 15-21Ocean: Anglers that headed offshore brought in good catches of wahoo with a few small dolphin mixed in the catch. A few billfish were also landed. Offshore bottom fishermen saw good catches of white grunt, grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper and triggerfish. King mackerel fishing was decent, but most of the action continued to come from the east side. Anglers drifting live bait over the nearshore artificial reefs landed some nice Spanish mackerel. The Spanish bite was good for those trolling along the beaches and around Cape Lookout, as well. Flounder were caught by those fishing bucktails and live bait on Carolina rigs around the near shore artificial reefs.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The large red drum bite in the Neuse River/Pamlico Sound continued to improve. Many anglers had success casting popping corks and soft plastics, as well as cut bait on the bottom. Red drum fishing remained good in the river and the marshes around Beaufort and Morehead City. Anglers using live bait had the most success, but topwater lures and popping corks fished early or late caught drum, as well. Anglers bottom fishing in the N.C. State Port turning basin reported landing pufferfish, pigfish and a small number of sea mullet. Sheepshead were caught in good numbers by those fishing the area bridges and the N.C. State Port wall. The flounder bite was good with the best bite coming from fishing live bait.
Piers/Surf: Fishing from the piers and surf was typical for summertime activity. Anglers bottom fishing on the area piers reported a mixed bag of croaker, pompano, pigfish, bluefish, flounder and sharks. Anglers throwing plugs reported Spanish mackerel caught early mornings and late evenings. A few red drum were landed from the surf.
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.