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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Central District

Marine Fisheries

Central District Fishing Report —
Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow Counties

8-point rule


Contact: Jesse Bissette (Jesse.Bissette@ncdenr.gov)

For the week of Sept. 3-9

Ocean: Wahoo were the main catch for the boats that made the trip offshore, and there were some citation-sized monsters. Anglers also caught a handful of blackfin tuna and dolphin and released some billfish. Bottom fishing produced good catches of triggerfish, vermilion snapper, amberjack, and black sea bass. King mackerel were caught on the east side of Cape Lookout by those fishing both live bait and dead bait. Anglers trolling the Carteret County beaches put a few Spanish mackerel in their coolers. Schools of little tunny (false albacore) were busting on bait around Cape Lookout, and flounder fishermen using live mullet on Carolina rigs had good luck at the nearshore artificial reefs.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Old drum fishing was still going strong in the Neuse River, although the action was sporadic. Popping corks and dead bait on the bottom both caught fish, but fishing with dead bait was more consistent. Slot-sized red drum were caught in the Haystacks area of the Newport River and in Core Creek. Sheepshead were caught by anglers fishing with fiddler crabs and sea urchins around area structure. Flounder fishermen had success along the State Port wall and on the docks in the Intracoastal Waterway. Live mullet on a Carolina rig produced the most fish. Those fishing the bottom caught some croaker, pigfish, and a few sea mullets.

Piers/Shore: Anglers throwing plugs on area piers caught decent numbers of Spanish mackerel and bluefish late in the evening and early in the morning. Those fishing the surf near Fort Macon State Park with live and cut mullet caught red drum, including some over-the-slot fish. Surf fishermen also caught pompano and sea mullet.


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.

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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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