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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 Aug. 24-30


Ocean: The wahoo bite was outstanding. Numerous fish in the 40- to 50-pound range were brought to the dock, and a few boats came back with their limit. Dolphin fishing was slow, but most boats had at least a couple of bailers mixed in. Blackfin and skipjack tuna made a decent showing offshore. King mackerel fishing was hit or miss. Anglers fishing the East Side seemed to have the most success. Spanish mackerel were thick along the Crystal Coast. Bottom anglers reported good catches of gag grouper, scamp, rock hind, graysby, amberjack, black sea bass, vermilion snapper and triggerfish.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Large red drum fishing was on full steam in the Neuse River/Pamlico Sound. Night time was the most productive, but those fishing during the day were able to hook a few, as well. Anglers bottom fishing in the N.C. State Port turning basin reported catching good numbers of sea mullet, bluefish and Atlantic croaker. Area bridges and other structures gave up sheepshead to anglers using sea urchins and fiddler crabs. The N.C. State Port wall was the go-to flounder spot with live mud minnows and mullet fished on a Carolina rig fooling the most fish.

Piers/Shore: The jumping mullet started running along the area beaches, and as a result the fishing definitely improved. Pier anglers throwing plugs were rewarded with Spanish mackerel, bluefish and crevalle jack, while those using live bait got the larger Spanish mackerel. Early morning was best, but fish hit off and on all day. Bottom fishermen had great catches of black drum, along with a mixed bag of blue runner, croaker, spot and pinfish. Anglers fishing at night reported catching good numbers of sea mullet, including some close to two pounds.


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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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