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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

Contact: Brian Melott (Brian.Melott@ncdenr.gov)

For the week of Sept. 9-15

Ocean: Post Dorian recovery limited fishing to some extent, but anglers managed to test the post-storm waters. Offshore activity out of Hatteras was low, but the few that went had decent catches. Moderate amounts of dolphin and citation-sized wahoo were the most prevalent, along with a few scattered yellow and blackfin tuna and assorted billfish. Nearshore activity was very low and uneventful. Offshore access via Oregon Inlet was a bit more productive with limits of dolphin being caught. Wahoo were caught in moderation with plenty of citation-sized fish caught. Billfish catch and release action showed marked improvement with plenty of sailfish and blue and white marlin being caught. Nearshore action for these anglers was much better than their Hatteras counterparts, with most species being caught in low to moderate amounts, but variety was diverse including cutlassfish, triggerfish, red drum, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pinfish, croaker, kingfish and sheepshead.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Hatteras northward to Oregon Inlet experienced low activity due to post storm recovery, the few that did venture out had decent catches of spotted seatrout, along with a host of other species in low amounts. Oregon Inlet northward offered limits of spotted seatrout. Moderate amounts of Spanish mackerel and bluefish were a daily staple, along with much improved catches of very large weakfish and over-slot red drum.

Piers/Shore: South beach anglers caught some very large Spanish mackerel with bluefish mixed in on most occasions. Kingfish (sea mullet) and pompano were also caught on a semi-regular basis. North beach success was good for spotted seatrout with timing being most important. They were a bit more predictable early morning and just before nightfall yielding the bulk of the catches. Bluefish and large spot were also caught with increased regularity.


Central District Fishing Report

Contact: Jesse Bissette (Jesse.Bissette@ncdenr.gov)

For the week of Sept. 9-15

Ocean: Boats trolling offshore saw great catches of wahoo, with many boats bringing back double-digit numbers of fish, including some nice 40+ pounders. Dolphin and blackfin tuna were caught, as well. Bottom fishermen landed grouper, gray triggerfish, amberjack and vermilion snapper. King mackerel fishing took a turn for the worse, although a handful were still landed on the east side of Cape Lookout and around the Northwest Places. Anglers casting to schools of Spanish mackerel feeding on bait had good luck, while those trolling didn’t have too much success. Most of the Spanish came from around Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout. A few small schools of little tunny (false albacore) were seen busting bait along the Crystal Coast Beaches.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The old drum bite was still in full swing on the Neuse River. Anglers soaking dead bait on the bottom saw the most consistent action, although popping corks fished around schools of bait caught fish also. Spotted seatrout and smaller red drum were caught by those fishing the area marshes. Top water lures fished early in the morning worked well, while live bait and soft plastics on popping corks worked better as the day progressed. Most of the drum were too small to keep, but many of the trout were nice sized keepers. Some weakfish (gray trout) came from beside the Atlantic Beach bridge, but not as many as in previous weeks. Atlantic croaker and pigfish were caught by anglers bottom fishing in the N.C. State Port turning basin.

Piers/Surf: High numbers of red drum were caught by anglers fishing on the area piers and in the surf with live mullet. The majority were undersized, but a few were slot-sized fish. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel were caught by anglers throwing plugs. Catches were scattered throughout the day, although early morning was better than later in the day. Bottom fishermen reported catching a mixed bag of croaker, pompano, pufferfish and small black drum.


Southern District Fishing Report

Contact: Dennis Trowell (Dennis.Trowell@ncdenr.gov)

For the week of Sept. 9-15

Ocean: Offshore, the wahoo fishing has been good since after the storm. Most of the wahoo were in the 35- to 40-pound range, but there were some big fish over 70 pounds being caught. Closer to shore in the 35- to 45-mile range the bottom fishing was good with lots of vermilion snapper and triggerfish being caught, along with some scamp, Gag and red groupers showing up in the mix. Nearshore, king mackerel showed up in the 8- to 10-mile range with lots of Spanish mackerel along all area beaches.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Near shore, the fishing has been pretty good overall since the storm. Good numbers of spotted seatrout showed up throughout the area with most fish being in the 2- to 3-pound range. Good numbers of red and black drum, along with some sheepshead were caught along area oyster rocks, bridges and docks. Tarpon fishing has been good along the shoals off the tip of Bald Head Island.

Piers/Shore: Area piers saw a vast improvement in fishing since the storm. Lots of mullet were moving down the area beaches and lots of Spanish mackerel and bluefish were feeding heavily on them. Bottom fishermen catches picked up with increased numbers of spot, sea mullet and croaker. Good numbers of slot-sized red and black drum, along with some nice size sheepshead were observed. Several big king mackerel were decked on Topsail and Wrightsville Beach piers.

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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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