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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

For the week of Sept. 11-17
 

Ocean: Offshore action continued to provide very good catches. Anglers out of Hatteras caught their limits of dolphin along with moderate amounts of citation-size wahoo, a few blackfin tuna, and assorted billfish. Nearshore anglers had sporadic success with Spanish mackerel and amberjack. Anglers fishing the Gulf Stream out of Oregon Inlet caught their limits of dolphin, citation-size bigeye and yellowfin tuna, a few blackfin tuna, and wahoo. Billfish catch and release action was nothing short of fantastic. White marlin was the most commonly caught with slightly fewer blue marlin and sailfish. Nearshore fishing was fair, but diversity was good. Anglers caught moderate amounts of Spanish mackerel, triggerfish, black seabass, and little tunny.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers fishing between Hatteras and Oregon Inlet caught their limits of spotted seatrout and red drum of all sizes on most trips, along with moderate amounts of bluefish. Anglers fishing north of Oregon Inlet primarily targeted spotted seatrout and caught their limits with relative ease. Increased numbers of keeper flounder were caught. Red drum, weakfish, black seabass, pigfish, pinfish, sea robin, puffer, kingfish, croaker, black drum, striped bass, and lizardfish were all added to the bounty.

Piers/Shore: A noted improvement was observed over previous weeks. Red drum arrived and anglers caught moderate numbers up and down the coast. Many were keepers, but there were an equal number of over-the-slot giants. Pompano were still hanging around due to the warm water temperatures. Anglers also caught black drum, sheepshead, kingfish, spot, pinfish, lizardfish, puffer, striped burrfish, skates and stingrays.


Central District Fishing Report

For the week of Sept. 11-17


Offshore: The big offshore swell from storms kept most of the fleet tied to the dock. The few fishermen that made it out were rewarded with quality wahoo fishing and a few dolphin and blackfin tuna catches. Offshore bottom fishing produced catches of black sea bass, triggerfish, vermilion snapper, grouper, and amberjack. Spanish mackerel and bluefish fishing along the Carteret County beaches was good, but not many boats were able to go out after them in the big swell. Schools of little tunny were seen busting tiny baitfish around Cape Lookout. Fishermen targeting flounder had success using live mullet on Carolina rigs over the nearshore artificial reefs.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays:
The red drum bite on the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound was outstanding. Anglers throwing popping corks and fishing with dead bait on the bottom caught high numbers of over-the-slot fish. Fishermen targeting smaller drum had luck using top-water lures, soft plastics, and live bait in area marshes. They also caught spotted seatrout and flounder. Anglers specifically targeting flounder had the best luck fishing around the N.C. Port wall. Those bottom fishing in the port turning basin caught croaker, pigfish, weakfish, and pinfish, while those fishing area structures, such as bridge pilings, caught sheepshead using fiddler crabs as bait.

Piers/Shore:
Anglers throwing plugs from area piers had some luck catching Spanish mackerel and bluefish, although muddy water limited the success. Bottom fishing anglers caught decent numbers of pompano and a handful of sea mullet. Surf fishermen caught red drum and black drum using live and dead bait. Most of the red drum were caught at Fort Macon State Park.


Southern District Fishing Report

For the week of Sept. 11-17


Ocean: Offshore wahoo fishing continued with anglers typically catching two to six fish a trip and some of the fish weighing up to 70 pounds. Anglers also caught good numbers of sailfish and some dolphin. Bottom fishing was outstanding in wasters 40 to 45 miles from shore. Anglers caught their limits of huge vermilion snapper, triggerfish, and scamp groupers. Closer to shore, in the 15- to 25-mile range, the fall gag grouper bite was excellent, and anglers caught lots of nice size fish weighting between 75 and 85 pounds. Fishing on nearshore reefs produced outstanding gulf flounder catches along with some big Spanish mackerel and red drum.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers continued to catch solid numbers of trout, drum, and flounder. The jetties at Masonboro Island and Little River was the hot spot for over-the-slot red drum, but the spotted seatrout were biting in the Cape Fear River north of Snow’s Cut. The lower Cape Fear River between Snow’s Cut and Southport was the place to find flounder. Good numbers of black drum showed up in area creeks and bays around docks and oyster rocks. The highest numbers came from the bays behind Bald Head Island and in lower Brunswick County around the Sunset Beach Bridge. Sheepshead were biting well around the ADM Dock and the Hole in the Wall in the second bay at Fort Fisher.

Piers/Shore: Fishing improved over previous weeks, and anglers caught sea mullet, pompano, bluefish, red drum, black drum, and some keeper flounder. There were a few king mackerel caught on area piers in Oak Island. Surf fishing produced similar catches with pompano, sea mullet, and both species of drum dominating.

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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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