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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

For the week of Aug. 18-24

Ocean: Offshore anglers experienced a fair week of fishing. Anglers fishing from Oregon and Hatteras inlets caught a decent number of dolphin. The majority of the dolphin were school sized with a few larger fish mixed in. The yellowfin tuna bite was slow. Anglers landed a handful of yellowfin tuna in the 40- to 60-pound range. Anglers also landed blackfin tuna and wahoo. The best wahoo action was out of Hatteras. Billfish action was good. Anglers caught and released blue and white marlin on a daily basis. Sailfish were also released on a daily basis. Bottom fishing produced good numbers of blueline tilefish and triggerfish. Amberjacks were plentiful on most any offshore structure. Live bait and vertical jigs were the baits of choice. Anglers fishing along the shore landed good numbers of Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Trolling small spoons produced the best catches.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inlet anglers reported good fishing. Anglers landed good numbers of flounder, and quite a few fish were legal size. Live bait fished on a Carolina rig produced the best catches. Anglers also landed fish using Gulp bait. Red drum were caught around the inlets. Artificial jigs and cut bait produced the bulk of the catches. Anglers landed red drum around shallow water shoals, as well as around grass beds. Bottom fishing produced catches of sea mullet and croakers. Anglers fishing at the Oregon Inlet bridge landed sheepshead and black drum. Speckled trout were caught throughout the local sounds. Anglers reported more keeper sized fish. Swan Quarter area fishermen reported good flounder fishing. The majority of the fish were caught by anglers using Gulp bait rigged on a jighead.

Piers/Shore: Pier and surf anglers had a good week of fishing. Surf anglers landed good numbers of nice sea mullet. Sand fleas proved to be the best bait for the larger fish. Pompano and red drum were also landed. Anglers using Gotcha plugs and sting silvers landed Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Anglers landed better catches around daylight and dusk. Bottom fishing on the piers produced fair catches of spot and sea mullet. Anglers also landed a handful of nice sized flounder. Live bait anglers reported a few cobia and king mackerel, as well as large false albacores.


Central District

For the week of Aug. 18-24

Ocean: Anglers fishing offshore had big catches of wahoo with some dolphin in the mix. The king mackerel bite took off, and there were plenty of large Spanish mackerel and bluefish, as well, around Artificial Reef 315 and along the beach. Anglers fishing the bottom offshore reported catching vermilion snapper, black sea bass, tomtate, gray triggerfish, amberjack, gag and red porgy. Closer to shore, bottom-fishing anglers decent catches of flounder on the artificial reefs using live mullet and bucktails.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The big drum bite was pretty solid around Oriental, with some anglers reporting more fish towards the mouth of the Neuse. Cut menhaden fished on the bottom at night produced the biggest fish. The flounder bite was solid, with anglers reporting catches from Taylor’s Creek, the N.C. Port turning basin, the Newport River and Bogue Sound using live mullet for bait. The sheepshead bite was strong along the port wall and the local bridges. Bottom-fishing anglers reported catching pigfish, pinfish, red drum and croaker.

Piers/Shore: Pier anglers had an excellent week of fishing for king mackerel and large Spanish mackerel. Bluefish, spot, croaker, pompano, flounder and sheepshead were reported by bottom-fishing anglers.


Southern District

For the week of Aug. 18-24

Ocean: The Wahoo fishing was fantastic. Bottom fishing anglers caught vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish and some groupers. King mackerel fishing improved with the best catches coming from water depths in the 70- to 80-foot range. Near-shore reefs produced some good catches of flounder, along with some gray trout and large red drum.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing was good overall despite the large amounts of rainfall. Anglers targeting spotted sea trout did well fishing the lower Cape Fear River and along the Little River rock jetty. Red drum were caught in good numbers in the same general areas, as well. Sheepshead fishing was very good with the ADM dock in the Cape Fear River producing some outstanding catches.

Piers/Shore: Anglers fishing on area piers saw typical summertime catches that included sea mullets, pompano, spots and some black drum caught on bottom rigs baited with shrimp or bloodworms. When water conditions were good, some nice runs of Spanish mackerel took place on most piers. Surf fishermen caught much the same with sea mullets, bluefish and some red drum making up most of the catches.


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

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