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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

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 April 18 - 25

Ocean: This spring has been tough on offshore anglers, as well as anglers in general due to the frequency of adverse weather. Angling success rates improved last week across the board in all fisheries. Offshore anglers out of the Hatteras marinas caught citation size blackfin tuna in good numbers with relative ease, some fish were just shy of 30 lbs. (large for this species of tuna).  Backfin tuna dominated the charter catch through the week. A few yellowfin tuna, Atlantic bonito, dolphin, wahoo and amberjack were also observed. Anglers fishing from Oregon Inlet northward had good success with catches consisting primarily of yellowfin tuna. Limits of yellowfin tuna were caught by most anglers. A few blackfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin and one sailfish release were also reported. Nearshore fishing out of Hatteras yielded some nice triggerfish and black seabass.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing in this area reflected a modest improvement with anglers in Hatteras catching lots of bluefish and little else. Catches were very good some days with anglers landing large numbers of fish. The northern region catches also consisted of plenty of undersized striped bass with the occasional large spotted seatrout.

Piers/Shore: Rough surf limited fishing. Puffers and kingfish (sea mullet) made up the bulk of the catches from north to south with very large fish reported. Moderate amounts of bluefish were also caught along with a few flounder, weakfish, dogfish and some very large cownose rays.


Central District Fishing Report

For the week of April 18 - 25

Offshore: Strong winds kept most of the offshore fleet at the dock last week, but some boats were able to make it out a few days. Blackfin tuna were the predominant catch, along with good numbers of dolphin, wahoo and even a few yellowfin tuna. Anglers targeting reef fish had solid catches of black sea bass and vermilion snapper, as well as some triggerfish. Fishermen fishing for flounder at the nearshore artificial reefs reported landing some flounder using jigs and live bait.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The sea mullet bite has been outstanding in the N.C. State Port turning basin. Anglers using shrimp had the most success. Pigfish, croakers and northern puffers were mixed in with the sea mullet. Weakfish (gray trout) were caught by anglers fishing jigs in Beaufort Inlet and beside the Atlantic Beach Bridge. Good numbers of bluefish were reported by anglers fishing in Beaufort Inlet and the turning basin. A few red drum, black drum and spotted sea trout have been caught by anglers fishing the area marshes, but catches haven't been too consistent.

Piers/Surf: Sea mullet were the predominant catch for anglers fishing the piers, along with a handful of pompano and some decent sized black drum. Shrimp and bloodworms were the bait of choice. A few keeper flounder were reported, as well. Fishermen throwing plugs had good catches of bluefish, although the majority of them were fairly small.


Southern District Fishing Report

For the week of April 18 - 25

Offshore: Anglers caught a few wahoo, lots of blackfin tunas and a few sailfish. A few boats fished father offshore in water depths around 800 feet and were able to locate some weed lines and had some really big catches of dolphin. Dolphin fishing should really heat up over the next few weeks. Not many boats targeted bottom fish right because of the grouper spawning closure, but anglers caught triggerfish, black sea bass, vermilion snapper and a wide assortment of other reef fish. Anglers fishing along the area beaches out to a couple of miles caught a few Spanish mackerel, Atlantic bonita and lots of bluefish.

Bays/Sounds/Rivers: Inshore fishing was productive with anglers targeting spotted sea trout and red drum. Fish were caught throughout the area from Brunswick County to Onslow County. Area hot spots were the Little River Rock Jetty, the bays and creeks behind Baldhead Island, the lower Cape Fear River around Southport and New River, to name a few. Anglers targeting sea mullet in the mouth of the Cape Fear River did well.

Piers/Shore: Area piers reported sea mullet, puffers, bluefish and black drum. Surf fishermen caught much the same with some really nice black and red drum being caught along area beaches.


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

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