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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - RecFishReports

Marine Fisheries

Recreational Fishing Reports

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries interviews anglers throughout coastal areas to estimate the marine recreational fishing catch. The following regional fishing reports are updated weekly and compiled by DMF port agents as they observe and interview fishermen at access sites along the coast — more than 500 anglers are interviewed each week.

Please note: New reports are usually posted by early Monday afternoon.

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Northern District Fishing Report

For the week of May 11-17

Ocean: Offshore fishing was great. Hatteras anglers reported good blue marlin fishing. Several fish around 500 pounds were landed during the Hatteras Village Tournament. Gaffer dolphin fishing was good out of Hatteras and Oregon Inlets. Anglers trolling along weed lines and temperature breaks landed fish up to 40 pounds. Yellowfin tuna action remained good out of Oregon Inlet. Anglers landed limits to near limits of nice yellowfin on a daily basis. Anglers trolling also reported a few blackfin tuna and wahoo. Bottom fishing produced good catches of sea bass and triggerfish. Amberjacks were available on most offshore structures. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel were landed along the beaches. Cobia fishing improved daily. Sight casters landed good numbers of fish from Hatteras.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing around the inlets was good. Red drum were landed in fair numbers around Oregon and Hatteras inlets. Anglers landed red drum of all sizes on cut bait and artificial jigs. Most fish were caught along the edges of shallow shoals. Bluefish were caught in good numbers everywhere. Anglers trolling small spoons caught all the bluefish they wanted in the 1- to 4-pound range. Speckled trout fishing improved daily. Anglers reported catching speckled trout from most sound waters. Little Bridge anglers landed a few nice speckled trout in the early morning and late evening hours. Oregon Inlet Bridge anglers reported good catches of bluefish and sea mullet. Black drum and a few sheepshead were landed by anglers fishing around the pilings.

Piers/Shore: Surf and pier fishing was good. Surf casters fishing on the bottom reported great catches of sea mullet. Anglers casting metal from the surf reported lots of bluefish. Plenty of bluefish were reported up and down all the beaches. Cape Point anglers landed red drum of all sizes. Most fish were landed on cut menhaden and mullet. Anglers also landed lots of large sharks in the same area. A cobia was landed from the beach at Cape Point. Pier anglers reported great catches of sea mullet. Blow toads and spot were landed in lesser numbers. A handful of nice black drum were landed from all piers. Anglers using lures caught lots of bluefish. Puppy drum and speckled trout showed up in the surf zone on most all the piers.


Central District Fishing Report

For the week of May 11-17

Ocean: Offshore anglers kept themselves busy with dolphin this week, and multiple boats filled their ice boxes. There were lines of dolphin waiting to be cleaned at the Morehead City waterfront, with blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna and wahoo mix. Cobia were still coming in from offshore, and there were a number of fish caught along the beach, especially around Cape Lookout. Live eels and menhaden seemed to be the most popular baits. Spanish mackerel and bluefish were caught from Beaufort Inlet down to Bear Island. Offshore bottom-fishing anglers caught gag grouper, graysby, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, red porgy, amberjack and blue runner. A few anglers caught flounder from the near-shore reefs, fishing with bucktails.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishermen were catching sea mullet, bluefish, black drum, croaker, pinfish, and gray trout in the N.C. Port turning basin and Beaufort Inlet. Anglers were watching the inlets for cobia, and there was one report of a hookup inside Barden’s Inlet at Cape Lookout. Anglers fishing for sheepshead along area bridges had mixed results, but a few filled their coolers. The best bait for sheepshead was live urchins or fiddler crabs fished against the structure.

Piers/Shore: Those fishing with plugs off the ends ocean piers had excellent catches of bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Anglers who fished with bottom rigs caught sea mullet, red drum, bluefish, croaker, pompano and black drum using cut shrimp for bait.


Southern District Fishing Report

For the week of May 11-17

Ocean: Offshore anglers brought back good catches of dolphin, along with some blackfin tuna and a few wahoo. Closer to shore, boats targeting bottom fish brought back good numbers of black sea bass, vermilion snapper and triggerfish, along with lesser amounts of red, gag and scamp groupers. Anglers slow trolling live bait.in the 5- to-10- mile range caught king mackerel and cobia. Near-shore reefs started yielding flounder, spadefish and some large over-the-slot limit red drum.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Muddy water conditions from a Tropical Storm Ana hampered fishing early in the week. Fishing improved later in the week and into the weekend. Some decent flounder catches came out of the Cape Fear River. Trout were caught in good numbers at the Little River Rock Jetty, as well.

Piers/Shore: Shore-based and pier anglers reported low catches of red and black drum, along with some bluefish and sea mullet. Again, muddy water conditions slowed fishing. Improving water conditions over the weekend paved the way for some good Spanish mackerel and spotted seatrout catches along the Brunswick County beaches.


N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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