Central District — Contact: Jesse.Bissette (Jesse.Bissette@ncdenr.gov)
Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow Counties
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 Nov. 16-22
Spotted seatrout has been the predominant catch in the central coastal area.
Ocean: Most of the offshore fleet stayed at the dock, but the few that made it out had great catches of wahoo and blackfin tuna, along with a couple of dolphin. Some sailfish were caught and released as well. The king mackerel bite continued to be hot and heavy, although it seemed the fish moved offshore of Northwest Places. Anglers targeting reef fish brought back a good number of black sea bass, triggerfish, vermilion snapper and gag grouper. The first bluefin tuna of the year were seen out of Beaufort Inlet, and multiple fish were landed in the last few days of the week. Little tunny (false albacore) were seen busting bait up and down the central coast, and anglers fishing for them didn't have to work too hard to hook up.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Spotted seatrout continued to be the predominant catch. Most of the fish were still small, although anglers who put the time in were able to bring back their limit of keepers. Good numbers of fish were caught around the jetties and marshes, but the larger fish seemed to come from the marshes. Anglers caught good-sized weakfish (gray trout) on metal jigs tipped with shrimp in Beaufort Inlet and beside the Atlantic Beach Bridge and other structures. Anglers fishing live mullet and mud minnows along the N.C. Port wall had no trouble catching flounder, and a good percentage of them were quality fish. Those bottom fishing in the port turning basin had good catches of puffers, sea mullet and pigfish.
Piers/Surf: The little tunny bite on area piers was as good as it gets. Numerous schools came within casting distance, and anglers throwing plugs were able to hook multiple fish. When the little tunny fishing slowed, pluggers caught bluefish. Those bottom fishing caught red and black drum, including some legal-sized fish of both species. Sea mullet and puffers were landed in good numbers, as well. Surf fishing anglers around Atlantic Beach saw hit or miss spotted seatrout action; one day the fishing would be good and the next the fish would be gone. Most of the fish were undersized.
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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632