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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

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

Week of Aug. 3-9

OCEAN: Offshore fishing out of Hatteras remained somewhat slow. There were a few wahoo, dolphin, blackfin tuna, and yellowfin tuna, along with scattered billfish releases. Bottom fishing in deep water was quite the opposite, consistently offering high numbers of vermilion snapper, tilefish, triggerfish, blackbelly rosefish, and black seabass. Nearshore catches were fair with inconsistent catches of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and spotted seatrout. Offshore fishing via Oregon Inlet was a bit more productive. Anglers caught the same species as their Hatteras counterparts in slightly higher amounts. Anglers caught their possession limits of blueline tilefish, which to some degree made up for low amounts of traditional offshore fare. Billfish catches modestly improved in frequency. Nearshore anglers could not avoid cutlassfish (ribbonfish) along with a few Spanish mackerel, red drum, and little tunny (false albacore).

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: Fishing from Hatteras to Oregon Inlet offered resurgent catches of spotted seatrout and weakfish when almost everyone with a line in the water caught their limits. Plenty of red drum were caught, including some giant over-slot ones. From Oregon Inlet north, anglers continued to catch their limits of spotted seatrout but with somewhat less frequency than their Hatteras counterparts. Assorted other species were caught in low amounts.

PIER/BEACH: Anglers fishing the southern area beaches caught keeper cobia in the surf zone on a semi-regular basis. They also caught seemingly endless amounts of juveniles red drum. Pompano and croaker were caught in moderation, along with a host of other species in low amounts. Catches along the northern area beaches continued to be dominated by high volume amounts of spot along with moderate amounts of silver perch, kingfish, croaker, sheepshead, flounder, and assorted skates and rays. A mixed bag of other species was also caught in low amounts.


Central District Fishing Report

Contact: Andrew Valmassoi or Travis Williams (Andrew.Valmassoi@ncdenr.gov / Travis.Williams@ncdenr.gov)

Week of Aug. 3-9

OCEAN: Fishing was slow at the beginning of this week due to inclement weather. Later in the week, anglers trolling saw catches of wahoo, king mackerel, and a few dolphin, tunas, and billfishes. The Spanish mackerel bite was slow, but some anglers managed to find them. Those bottom fishing offshore had good catches of gray triggerfish and vermillion snapper, along with the typical mix of grunts, porgies, and sea bass.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: Fishing success was mixed after the storm passed. Anglers were able to find some spotted seatrout, black drum, and sheepshead. The red drum bite was good, and some anglers reported catching “bull" red drum in the Pamlico Sound. The flounder were starting to bite just in time for the season to open on Aug. 16.

PIER/BEACH: The bite was slow most of the week but picked up slightly on the weekend. Some good-sized Spanish mackerel and king mackerel were caught on the piers. Those fishing the bottom caught black drum, spotted seatrout, sea mullet, Atlantic croaker, pompano, and pigfish.


Southern District Fishing Report

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

Week of Aug. 3-9

OCEAN: A hurricane passed through the area earlier in the week, but fishing started to pick up over the weekend. Offshore boats did well on the bottom fish and brought back limits of big vermilion snapper along with some nice gag, red and scamp groupers. Boats fishing in the Gulf Stream reported catching a few wahoo and blackfin tunas. Closer to shore, fishing was much slower and anglers had a hard time catching king and Spanish mackerel. There was a good king mackerel bite 30 miles offshore of Topsail Island over the weekend at an area fisherman call Cripple Rock. Anglers caught lots of kings in the 20 to 40-pound range there.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: Overall, fishing was not bad considering a hurricane made landfall earlier in the week. Anglers caught good numbers of red drum and black drum throughout the area along with some nice speckled trout. They were caught in the lower Cape Fear River and at the Little River Rock Jetty. Large adult red drum were starting to show at the ends of both the Masonboro and the Little River jetties.

PIER/BEACH: There was very little fishing in these modes last week due to the impacts of Hurricane Isaias. Some areas saw heavy damage like the beaches of Brunswick County. Towards the weekend fishing started to pick up and most piers that were not damaged began to reopen.


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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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