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 Fishing Report For the week of May 11-17
Ocean: Offshore anglers kept themselves busy with dolphin this week, and multiple boats filled their ice boxes. There were lines of dolphin waiting to be cleaned at the Morehead City waterfront, with blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna and wahoo mix. Cobia were still coming in from offshore, and there were a number of fish caught along the beach, especially around Cape Lookout. Live eels and menhaden seemed to be the most popular baits. Spanish mackerel and bluefish were caught from Beaufort Inlet down to Bear Island. Offshore bottom-fishing anglers caught gag grouper, graysby, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, red porgy, amberjack and blue runner. A few anglers caught flounder from the near-shore reefs, fishing with bucktails.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishermen were catching sea mullet, bluefish, black drum, croaker, pinfish, and gray trout in the N.C. Port turning basin and Beaufort Inlet. Anglers were watching the inlets for cobia, and there was one report of a hookup inside Barden’s Inlet at Cape Lookout. Anglers fishing for sheepshead along area bridges had mixed results, but a few filled their coolers. The best bait for sheepshead was live urchins or fiddler crabs fished against the structure.
Piers/Shore: Those fishing with plugs off the ends ocean piers had excellent catches of bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Anglers who fished with bottom rigs caught sea mullet, red drum, bluefish, croaker, pompano and black drum using cut shrimp for bait.
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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632