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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.

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Northern District Fishing Report

For the week of Oct. 8-14

Ocean: Hurricane Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it made to eastern North Carolina, but still limited fishing efforts for a few days. Following the storm, very large, citation-sized wahoo made up the bulk of the catches for those who fished offshore out of Hatteras. They also caught a few scattered king mackerel, dolphin, yellowfin tuna and blackfin tuna. Nearshore activity remained uneventful. Anglers fishing offshore via Oregon Inlet caught their possession limits of dolphin on most outings and a few blackfin tuna and yellowfin tuna. Anglers also saw a modest improvement in billfish catches, mostly white marlin. Nearshore, anglers caught lots of Spanish mackerel, including some very large fish approaching the state record of 13 pounds. A few bluefish were caught, as well.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers fishing in the Hatteras area caught red drum of all sizes, but with less regularity than the previous week. Cobia made a bit of a resurgence, and bluefish, weakfish, and spotted seatrout were caught in moderate amounts. Fishing in waters from Oregon Inlet northward produced catches of large Spanish mackerel, similar to those caught by the nearshore ocean anglers. Flounder catches improved with a more favorable keeper ratio than in previous weeks. Spotted seatrout were caught in high numbers, but most of the fish were undersize. Assorted other species, including kingfish, striped bass, pigfish, pinfish, black seabass, and weakfish were caught in moderate quantities.

Piers/Shore: Seas finally calmed down late in the week allowing anglers to try their luck. Catches on the beaches north of Oregon Inlet were dominated by high numbers of mostly undersize spotted seatrout. Anglers also caught moderate amounts of pompano, kingfish, black drum, and spot using sand fleas (mole crabs) in the near-shore surf zone. South of Oregon Inlet, beach anglers caught plenty of 1- to 2-pound bluefish when they were lucky enough to be there when they were biting. They also caught over-the-slot red drum in moderation, along with a few pompano, kingfish, flounder, and assorted sharks.


Central District Fishing Report

For the week of Oct. 8-14

Ocean: Wahoo fishing was spectacular! Many boats brought back double-digit numbers of fish, including some absolute monsters. Mixed in with the wahoo were some blackfin tuna and even a handful of dolphin. A few Spanish mackerel were caught by anglers targeting them, but that fishing started to taper off. Little tunny were seen chasing schools of baitfish from Beaufort Inlet to Cape Lookout, with the highest concentration around the cape. Some bluefish were caught by those targeting little tunny, as well.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers fishing the area marshes had decent catches of red drum. Most of the drum were keepers, but a few were over-the-slot fish. Spotted seatrout fishing began to pick up. Good numbers of fish were caught by anglers fishing in the Haystacks area of the Newport River and at the Radio Island jetty; unfortunately, most of the fish were small. Spot fishing was still hit or miss, but some anglers fishing in the State Port turning basin and in Gallants Channel were able to fill their coolers. Good numbers of flounder were brought back to the docks, mostly caught around the NC State Port wall and the Coast Guard Station at Fort Macon.

Piers/Shore: Pier fishing was still limited due to storm damage, but those who tried were rewarded with a handful of spot and pompano, as well as some bluefish and even a few red drum. Anglers surf fishing at Fort Macon landed both keeper and over-the-slot red drum, as well as a few flounder.


Southern District Fishing Report

For the week of Oct. 8-14

Ocean: Offshore fishing remained somewhat slow for this time of year. The fall wahoo fishing was a little off, with most boats catching from one to three fish per trip, along with a few blackfin tuna and sailfish releases. Bottom fishing was off a little, as well, but there were some nice catches of vermilion snapper and black sea bass, along with a few gag, scamp, and red groupers. Closer to shore, the king mackerel fishing was non-existent. Anglers were unable to find any fish from the beaches out to the 20-mile range. Spanish mackerel and bluefish were being caught along area beaches. Flounder were caught on the nearshore reefs.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing in these waters improved. Anglers caught good numbers of large drum at the Masonboro and Little River rock jetties. Some spotted seatrout were starting to show up in the usual places for this time of year, such as Greens Channel and Carolina Beach Inlet. Sheepshead and black drum were caught around docks and jetties. The ADM Dock in the lower Cape Fear River was a good spot for both. Flounder were biting, as well. The best catches came from the Intracoastal Waterway from Topsail to Carolina Beach.

Piers/Shore: Weather conditions due to the remnants of Hurricane Michael slowed fishing and even damaged a few piers. Anglers caught a few spots, along with some nice sea mullet and pompano. When the water conditions were favorable, a few pier anglers saw good catches of Spanish mackerel. Anglers fishing from the surf had good catches of sea mullets, along with some big pompano, and a few 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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