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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. 13-19

Ocean: Offshore anglers experienced a good week of fishing. Fair numbers of dolphin were landed out of Oregon and Hatteras inlets. The yellowfin tuna bite improved out of Oregon Inlet. Anglers landed large yellowfin tuna in the 40- to 70-pound range. Anglers also landed blackfin tuna and wahoo. The best wahoo action came out of Hatteras. Anglers caught their limits of nice wahoo on a fairly regular basis. Anglers landed a few blue and white marlin. Sailfish were released on occasion. Bottom fishing produced good numbers of blueline tilefish and triggerfish. Amberjacks were plentiful on most any offshore structure. Anglers fishing along the shore landed good numbers of bluefish.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inlet anglers reported good fishing over the past week. Flounder fishing remained good. With favorable water conditions anglers landed a good number of legal sized flounder. Live bait fished on a Carolina rig produced the best catches. Anglers concentrating their efforts around high tide landed the bulk of the fish. Red drum were caught around the inlets. Anglers should concentrate their efforts around shallow water shoals. Cut mullet and menhaden were the bait of choice. Bottom fishing produced catches of sea mullet and spot. Oregon Inlet bridge anglers landed sheepshead and black drum. Swan Quarter-area anglers landed nice-sized flounder.

Piers/Shore: Pier and surf anglers experienced a fair week of fishing. Anglers caught bluefish and Spanish mackerel around the Cape Point area. Low light conditions were the best time for Spanish mackerel fishing. Lead jigs were the go to lure for bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Pier anglers fishing on the bottom were rewarded with good catches of sea mullet and spot. Surf casters caught good numbers of sea mullet over the past week. Rodanthe to Hatteras areas produced the best catches. Sand fleas were the preferred bait of choice for the larger fish. Red drum and speckled trout were landed in the surf zone from Carova to Hatteras. Citation-sized red drum were landed on all piers over the past week.


Central District

For the week of Sept. Oct. 13-19

Ocean: Offshore anglers reported large seasonal catches of wahoo. A few dolphin, blackfin tuna and skipjack were in the mix, as well. Bottom anglers reported plenty of large vermilion snapper, gray triggerfish, black sea bass, amberjack, gag grouper and spottail porgy. Near shore, anglers caught Spanish mackerel, with plenty of bluefish and little tunny. Anglers fishing for king mackerel did very well around AR-315, the sea buoy and Dead Tree Hole.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers reported an increase in the number of flounder caught around the N. C. Port wall, all caught on live mullet. Speckled trout were biting consistently, with anglers reporting their best luck on live shrimp in the area creeks. Red drum were also reported from the haystacks, and a few area creeks. Sea mullet were landed on the Radio Island pier, and around the N. C. Port turning basin. Gray trout fell for lead jigs near the Coast Guard station, and around large docks in Bogue Sound. The spot bite was going strong, with the best catches concentrated in the N. C. Port turning basin and Gallants Channel. Anglers reported their best luck on live bloodworms.

Piers/Shore: Shore fishing was a bit slow, thanks in part to heavy surf and high winds. There were still many reports of spot, croaker, pompano, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, black drum, northern puffer, red drum and flounder. Cut shrimp or bloodworms fished on the bottom was the go to bait. The flounder bite really picked up in the breakers, on everything from cut bait to live mullet.


Southern District

For the week of Oct. 13-19

Ocean: Unfavorable weather conditions last week kept most boats fishing inshore waters. The wahoo bite has been outstanding over the last month and should stay good over the next couple of weeks. The fall king mackerel bite has been very good, as well, with the Cape Fear River channel producing lots of fish in the 20- to 30-pound range and larger. Look for the king bite to move a little offshore now that the water has cooled some. The Fairway ledge has historically always been a great place to fish after the king mackerel have moved off the beach. Near shore, flounder and gray trout were caught on artificial reefs and ledges in the one to three-mile range. There has been a good red drum bite along the south beaches of Brunswick County with anglers fishing buck tails tipped with menhaden around pods of menhaden just off the beaches.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore, anglers reported good catches of red drum and flounder, along with a few spotted sea trout. The best fishing has been the inshore waters down south around the Ocean Isle-Sunset Beach area, as well as the bays and creeks behind Bald Head Island. The Little River Rock Jetty was good last week with anglers catching lots of red drum in the 20- to 30-pound range.

Piers/Shore: Area piers saw the best fishing of the year last week with large crowds and large catches of spot. Mixed in with the spot catches were sea mullets, pompano and lots of bluefish. When weather conditions allowed, surf fishermen reeled in lots of bluefish, with a few flounder, sea mullets, pompano and some slot-sized red drum.


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

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