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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - RecFishReports

Marine Fisheries

Recreational Fishing Reports

8-point rule

 

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.

View more pages on your mobile device here.


Northern District Fishing Report

For the week of July 10-17

Ocean: Offshore fishing out of Hatteras was fair. Anglers caught near their limits of dolphin along with a few blackfin tuna and yellowfin tuna. Wahoo were caught with increased regularity, including few citation fish. Billfish catches were few and almost exclusively sailfish. Bottom fishing produced a moderate number of tilefish and assorted groupers. Nearshore fishing was good on some days with anglers catching their limits of king mackerel. Lower amounts of Spanish mackerel, triggerfish, amberjack, red drum, bluefish, flounder, and spotted seatrout kept things interesting. Anglers fishing out of Oregon Inlet had similar results. Offshore catches included just a few wahoo, but most were citation size giants. Moderate amounts of both yellowfin tuna and blackfin tuna were caught along with a few billfish. Nearshore anglers continued to target king mackerel and Spanish mackerel. Amberjack and cobia were caught in moderate amounts.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers fishing the sound from Hatteras to Oregon Inlet had a tough time catching much of anything on most days. Spotted seatrout and red drum were caught in moderation on a few of the morning trips. Fishing the sound from Oregon Inlet northward was a bit more productive. Flounder were caught in the shallow water areas around islands and marshes near the Bodie Island area. Anglers consistently caught sheepshead fishing the south side of the Oregon Inlet bridge next to the pilings. A few spadefish were, caught there, as well. Anglers also landed kingfish, striped bass, red drum, puffer, croaker, spot, pigfish, pinfish, silver perch, and striped burrfish.

Piers/Surf: Fishing remained slow for these anglers. Anglers fishing on the northern beaches caught kingfish, croaker, and a few other fish in low amounts. Those fishing on the southern beaches anglers had just a bit more success. They caught some very large kingfish, a few croakers and spot. Assorted sharks were almost a guarantee with blacktips and spinners being most common.


Central District Fishing Report

For the week of July 10-17
 

Ocean: Offshore boats continued to catch plenty of dolphin, though most were on the small side. A few blackfin tuna and wahoo were caught and a good number of billfish were released, as well. Those bottom fishing offshore brought black sea bass, gray triggerfish, vermilion snapper, grouper, and amberjack back to the docks. Spanish mackerel and bluefish were caught by anglers trolling the beaches. Undersized and barely legal king mackerel were caught, as well. Anglers jigging around nearshore artificial reefs caught flounder.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers fishing very early in the morning using top-water lures saw some great spotted seatrout action in the marshes. There wasn't a huge number of fish around, but those that were caught were very large. Anglers caught red drum in the same areas using both live bait and artificial lures. They caught flounder near the N.C. Port wall and the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Fort Macon. Anglers bottom fishing in the state port turning basin caught croaker, pigfish, weakfish and pinfish. Sheepshead were caught using fiddler crabs and sea urchins around area structure.

Piers/Surf: Muddy water again limited the catches on area piers. Anglers throwing plugs managed to land a few Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Those fishing the bottom caught black drum, pinfish, puffers, stingrays and small sharks.


Southern District Fishing Report

For the week of July 10-17


Ocean:Offshore fishing improved from the previous weeks and included catches of dolphin and good numbers of sailfish releases. Anglers targeting groupers and snappers caught their limits of vermilion snapper along with lesser amounts of scamp, gag, and red groupers. Closer to shore, king mackerel, dolphin, amberjacks and an increasing number of sailfish were caught in the 10-mile to 20-mile range. Nearshore reefs started yielding good numbers of flounder, some over-the-slot red drum and big spadefish. Spanish mackerel were caught along area beaches. Anglers also caught a lot of sharks behind shrimp boats working just off the beaches. Anglers who want to try for tarpon should fish on the shoals just off the point of Bald Head Island at night and in the deeper holes of the Cape Fear River or the channels behind Battery Island.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The bite was good overalldespite the heat wave. The best catches continued to come from the creeks and bays behind Bald Head Island. Anglers reeled in decent numbers of spotted seatrout, red drum and black drum, along with some keeper flounder. Anglers also caught sheepshead and black drum at area jetties, docks, and bridges using fiddler crabs and mud crabs for bait. Some anglers beat the heat by fishing a night under dock and bridge lights. Those doing this caught ladyfish, bluefish, big spotted seatrout, red drum and some flounder.

Piers/Surf: Area piers reported typical summertime catches that included sea mullets, pompano, black drum, red drum and keeper size flounder. The king mackerel and Spanish mackerel fishing slowed some with the heavy rainfall, but pier fishermen still saw some good days catching Spanish mackerel in the early morning. Lots of sharks, mostly black tips and spinners, were caught on the ends of the piers by anglers targeting king mackerels. Those surf fishing on the barrier islands caught much the same, including red drum and black drum.

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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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