Central District Fishing Report — Contact: Jesse.Bissette (Jesse.Bissette@ncdenr.gov)
Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow Counties
For the week of July 11-17 Offshore: The offshore fleet finally had good weather and saw some wahoo and blackfin tuna action. Offshore anglers caught dolphin, as well, but they were fairly scattered. Bottom-fishing anglers caught grouper, amberjack, triggerfish and vermilion snapper. King mackerel made a great showing along the beaches, but most were undersized. Anglers trolling around Cape Lookout saw the most Spanish mackerel, but those drifting live bait over the artificial reefs caught the big ones, including numerous citation-sized fish. Flounder fishing at the same reefs produced decent catches of quality fish.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Red drum fishing in the Neuse River was outstanding. The majority of fish were undersized, but many slot-sized drum were taken, as well. A handful of over-the-slot fish were released. The striper action around New Bern was on fire, although most of the fish were small. Spotted seatrout were landed from area marshes. Those using live shrimp for bait caught the most. Anglers drift fishing in Beaufort Inlet and fishing near the N.C. Port wall caught flounder using live mullet on a Carolina rig. Sheepshead fishing remained strong; the area bridges seemed to hold the most fish.
Piers/Surf: Anglers throwing plugs caught a few blues and Spanish mackerel, but you had to be there early in the morning or late in the evening to get them. Those fishing live mullet on the pier ends caught a few citation-sized Spanish. Bottom fishing anglers caught a mixed bag of croaker, pompano, crevalle jack, bluefish, stingrays and sharks.
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.