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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 July 9-15

Ocean: Rough seas kept many boats at the dock. Those that did make the trek offshore were rewarded with double digit numbers of dolphin, although they were on the smaller side. Mixed in with the dolphin were wahoo and blackfin tuna. Those fishing the bottom saw solid catches of black sea bass, amberjack, grouper and vermilion snapper. King mackerel were caught in all size classes; the larger fish were caught by drifting dead bait on the east side of Cape Lookout. Spanish mackerel fishing was still going strong, and anglers trolling the Carteret County beaches caught their possession limits of nice-eating sized fish. Larger Spanish mackerel were caught by live-lining finger mullet over the nearshore artificial reefs. Live mullet on the bottom on a Carolina rig caught flounder.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays:
A handful of large red drum were caught in the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound. Slot-sized red drum, speckled trout, and flounder were caught by those fishing the main points and creek mouths in the Neuse. The Haystacks are of the Newport River and Core Creek gave up some red drum, but the action seemed a little more sporadic than in previous weeks. Anglers fishing area structure with fiddler crabs and sea urchins caught sheepshead and black drum; the crabs caught more fish, but urchins lured the large ones. Anglers fishing jigs and live bait against the State Port wall landed flounder.

Piers/Shore: Anglers fishing the jetty and the surf at Fort Macon State Park landed a few keeper black drum and red drum, as well as some bluefish. Anglers throwing plugs on area piers had some success with Spanish mackerel, but had to be there early in the morning to catch the fish. Those fishing the bottom caught a typical summertime mix of croaker, pinfish, pigfish, small sharks, and stingrays.


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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