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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 Oct. 20-26

Ocean: Offshore anglers experienced a fair week of fishing. A few dolphin were landed out of Oregon and Hatteras inlets. The yellowfin tuna bite was fair, as well. Anglers landed a few yellowfins in the 20-pound to 40-pound range. Anglers also landed blackfin tuna and wahoo. The best wahoo action was out of Hatteras. Anglers caught and released a few blue and white marlin. 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 bluefish by trolling small spoons.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inlet anglers reported fair fishing. Flounder fishing was fair. Anglers landed good numbers of flounder, many of legal size, using live bait fished on a Carolina rig. Red drum were caught around the inlets by fishermen using artificial jigs and cut bait. The best red drum catches came to anglers who concentrated their efforts around the shallow water shoals. Bottom fishing produced catches of sea mullet and spot. Anglers fishing at Oregon Inlet bridge landed sheepshead and black drum. Speckled trout were caught throughout the sounds, and anglers reported more keeper-sized fish.

Piers/Shore: Pier and surf anglers experienced another good week of fishing. Anglers caught lots of bluefish on clear water days using metal jigs. Anglers fishing on the bottom were rewarded with great catches of spot. Citation-sized red drum were landed from the ends of the piers, and anglers fishing the surf zone and the beaches caught red drum and speckled trout. Surf casters also caught good numbers of sea mullet and spot, and a few pompano were landed.


Central District

For the week of Sept. Oct. 20-26

Ocean: Plenty of wahoo were still being landed at the Morehead City waterfront; however, there was a noticeable reduction in numbers from previous weeks. A few dolphin were trickling in, mixed with skipjack tuna, blackfin tuna, king mackerel and Spanish mackerel. Offshore bottom-fishing anglers caught gag grouper, vermilion snapper, white grunt, spottail pinfish and amberjack. Near-shore anglers saw large Spanish and king mackerel catches, with plenty of bluefish and little tunny in the mix.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers started to report sporadic catches of speckled trout from Bogue Sound, but most catches were still coming from the area creeks. A few anglers reported speckled trout catches from Radio Island beach, mostly in the morning hours. Anglers fishing at Bear Island pulled in large catches of red drum from the inlet and along the bank. Flounder were still biting in decent numbers in the sounds; however, anglers a fair number of them were undersized fish. Spot fishermen had an excellent week at Gallant’s Channel, Radio Island beach, the N.C. Port turning basin and the highway 58 bridge in Emerald Isle. Sea mullet were also caught in decent numbers from the turning basin, in Core Sound and in Beaufort and Bogue inlets. Gray trout were just about everywhere, and plenty of the trout were available in Bogue Sound, the turning basin and area inlets.

Piers/Shore: At area piers, fishermen saw large catches of spot, along with with sea mullet, northern puffer, croaker, pinfish, flounder, red drum and black drum. Flounder and red drum were biting on live mullet in the surf. The spot were biting on cut shrimp or squid, but most catches came off live or artificial bloodworms. A few lingering Spanish mackerel were still caught, along with plenty of bluefish.


Southern District

For the week of Oct. 20-26

Ocean: Offshore the wahoo bite continued to be great, and most boats caught their limits of fish in the 30-pound to 50-pound range. Anglers targeting bottom fish in water depths of 100 feet to 120 feet reported lots of vermilion snapper, along with triggerfish, red porgies and some gag, red, and scamp groupers. Closer to shore, the king mackerel fishing was hot, and anglers caught their limits in the of 70-foot to 80-foot water depth range.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing really picked up for anglers targeting spotted seatrout and red drum. The hot drum bite was, again, down south at the Little River Rock Jetty. Fish in the 30-inch to 40-inch class were caught. Another good spot was Rich inlet and along Lee Island where anglers were sight fishing for drum in the white wash from boats. Fishermen saw nice catches of spotted seatrout at Green Channel, as well.

Piers/Shore: Overall, fishing slowed some on area piers compared to prior weeks that saw some good runs of spot. Anglers still caught spot, pompano and sea mullet using blood worms and shrimp for bait. Fisherman using live bait, such as live finger mullet and shrimp, did well catching good numbers of flounder, including a few keepers. Red and black drum and some trout were caught, as well. Anglers fishing from the surf saw much of the same, with red drum, flounder and bluefish dominating 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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