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 Fishing Report
For the week of Nov. 23-29
Ocean: The weather element continued to be a limiting factor impacting anglers. Offshore anglers out of Hatteras continued to catch high numbers of blackfin tuna, along with moderate amounts of citation sized wahoo and king mackerel. Offshore anglers also caught a few dolphin, barracuda, little tunny and amberjack. Anglers fishing out of the marinas from Oregon Inlet had success, as well, with plenty of citation sized wahoo, along with decent catches of both yellow and blackfin tuna. Nearshore action out of Hatteras was awesome with limits of red drum and spotted seatrout on most outings. Anglers from Oregon Inlet northward landed the same species, just not as many.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: These anglers reported inconsistent catches with some days yielding limits of several species and other days not even getting a bite. Hatteras fishermen enjoyed a good week of fishing with limits of red drum and spotted seatrout on most trips, along with a few bluefish and flounder mixed in. Anglers fishing around Manteo primarily targeted striped bass with very good success rates in most cases. Croatan and Roanoke sounds continued to be the traditional high volume producers with Mann’s Harbor and the Washington Baum Bridge being the “hotspots” with early morning and late evening yielding the best catches. Moderate amounts of spotted seatrout were caught throughout the region.
Piers/Shore: Very large kingfish (sea mullet) were caught on adverse weather days when little else was available. Favorable days produced plenty of flounder and spotted seatrout, however, most were undersized. A mixed bag of species was also caught in low amounts including red and black drum, silver perch, puffer, smooth and spiny dogfish, pinfish, pigfish, skates and stingrays.
Central District Fishing Report
For the week of Nov. 23-29
Ocean: Almost no boats made it offshore, but the couple of boats that did had good catches of wahoo and blackfin tuna. Anglers targeting reef fish reported landing black sea bass, vermilion snapper, grouper and amberjack. The king mackerel bite slowed considerably, although some were still brought in from the Big 10/Little 10 areas. Bluefin tuna made a good showing with multiple fish landed most days last week. Good numbers of little tunny (false albacore) were seen busting bait off Atlantic Beach, and anglers targeting them had no problems hooking up.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Spotted seatrout were caught all around the area. Most were small, but quite a few keepers were mixed in, and even a few citation-sized fish were brought to the dock. Red drum were caught in the same general areas as the spotted seatrout. Weakfish (gray trout) were caught in large numbers by those jigging in the N.C. State Port turning basin and beside the Atlantic Beach Bridge. Angler’s bottom fishing in the N.C. State Port turning basin reported great catches of sea mullet and pufferfish, along with a handful of pigfish. Flounder fishing seemed to cool off, although the N.C. State Port wall gave up a few quality fish to those using live mullet.
Piers/Surf: Little tunny were still being caught by anglers throwing plugs on area piers last week. There weren't quite as many fish as in previous weeks, but there were definitely enough to keep pluggers interested. Spotted seatrout were caught by those targeting them on both the pier and in the surf. Most of the trout were under-sized, but a few anglers were able to find enough keepers for a limit. Bottom fishermen were able to fill coolers with sea mullet and puffers, with most of the puffers being good-sized fish. A small number of legal black drum were also landed.
Southern District Fishing Report
For the week of Nov. 23-29
Ocean: Offshore anglers did well with the wahoo's when the weather allowed for the long run offshore. Most fish were in the 40- to 50-pound range, but fish much larger were brought to the docks. Closer to shore, the king mackerel were biting well in the 20- to 30-mile range, along with plenty of gag grouper and black sea bass. Near-shore reefs produced gray trout and some really good late season flounder catches. The best flounder catches came offshore of New Hanover and Pender County beaches.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore fishing has been great over the last few weeks. Anglers caught spotted sea trout, red and black drum, along with some late season flounder. The best fishing has been down south in Brunswick County, but anglers caught fish throughout the area. Anglers targeting trout in Pender and New Hanover waters reported lots of undersized trout with some keeper sized fish mixed in. Anglers targeting striped bass in the Cape Fear River did well fishing the waters around downtown Wilmington.
Piers/Shore: Area piers reported anglers catching decent numbers of red and black drum, along with some spotted sea trout by anglers fishing with live shrimp. Anglers fishing on the bottom with fresh shrimp caught good numbers of sea mullets and puffers off the ends of the piers. Surf fishermen did well with the black drum and slot size red drum.
|N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632