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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 July 9-15

Ocean: Success of offshore fishing out of Hatteras slowed. Billfish catches were the most consistent and dolphin catches were hit-or-miss with anglers catching possession limits on some outings and few catches on others. Bottom fishing produced a fair catch of triggerfish and grouper along with a few blueline tilefish and black seabass. Nearshore anglers caught amberjack and almaco jack in moderation. Offshore fishing out of Oregon Inlet was dominated by billfish catches with a few dolphin, similar to Hatteras catches. The tuna bite dropped off, but a few citation size yellowfin were still hitting the dock, as were a few wahoo. Nearshore activity was low.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing between Hatteras and Oregon Inlet offered plenty of bluefish. Also, red drum fishing was fair and catches came in a full spectrum of sizes from “puppy drum” up to over-the-slot-limit giants. A few cobia and Spanish mackerel were caught, as well. From Oregon Inlet north, anglers caught a variety of species including Atlantic cutlassfish, sheepshead, red drum, flounder, kingfish, striped bass, croaker, spot, and weakfish.

Piers/Shore:
Anglers fishing the beach south of Hatteras caught kingfish (sea mullet) and bluefish, along with very large pompano. In more norther areas, beach catches were dominated by bluefish, with red drum, kingfish, croaker, spot, black drum, stingrays, and spadefish caught in moderation.


Central District Fishing Report

For the week of July 9-15

Ocean: Rough seas kept many boats at the dock. Those that did make the trek offshore were rewarded with double digit numbers of dolphin, although they were on the smaller side. Mixed in with the dolphin were wahoo and blackfin tuna. Those fishing the bottom saw solid catches of black sea bass, amberjack, grouper and vermilion snapper. King mackerel were caught in all size classes; the larger fish were caught by drifting dead bait on the east side of Cape Lookout. Spanish mackerel fishing was still going strong, and anglers trolling the Carteret County beaches caught their possession limits of nice-eating sized fish. Larger Spanish mackerel were caught by live-lining finger mullet over the nearshore artificial reefs. Live mullet on the bottom on a Carolina rig caught flounder.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays:
A handful of large red drum were caught in the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound. Slot-sized red drum, speckled trout, and flounder were caught by those fishing the main points and creek mouths in the Neuse. The Haystacks are of the Newport River and Core Creek gave up some red drum, but the action seemed a little more sporadic than in previous weeks. Anglers fishing area structure with fiddler crabs and sea urchins caught sheepshead and black drum; the crabs caught more fish, but urchins lured the large ones. Anglers fishing jigs and live bait against the State Port wall landed flounder.

Piers/Shore: Anglers fishing the jetty and the surf at Fort Macon State Park landed a few keeper black drum and red drum, as well as some bluefish. Anglers throwing plugs on area piers had some success with Spanish mackerel, but had to be there early in the morning to catch the fish. Those fishing the bottom caught a typical summertime mix of croaker, pinfish, pigfish, small sharks, and stingrays.


Southern District Fishing Report

For the week of July 9-15

Ocean: Offshore fishing saw most anglers landing bottom fish, including red, scamp, and gag grouper. Additional landings of reef fish included vermilion snapper, triggerfish, and some big hogfish. Closer to shore, king mackerel fishing was outstanding 10 to 15 miles from shore. Catches included small fish in the 6 pound to 8 pound range, but there were some big fish caught, as well. Fishing on the nearshore reefs produced good catches of flounder, along with some nice Spanish mackerel.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Flounder fishing improved, and anglers landed some nice fish in the lower Cape Fear River. They also caught good numbers of slot-size red drum and a few spotted seatrout. Anglers caught good numbers of black drum and sheepshead around the ADM Dock in the lower Cape Fear River, as well as at the Little River Inlet rock jetty. Finally, tarpon made a showing, and anglers targeted them behind Battery Island and on the shoals off the tip of Bald Head Island.

Piers/Shore: Bottom fishing anglers saw typical summertime catches, which included low amounts of spot, croaker, and sea mullets. Those fishing with plugs caught blues and Spanish mackerel in the early morning hours. There were large king mackerel landed on the piers, including a 44-pound fish, as well as lots of tarpon. Surf anglers used mole crabs to catch red drum and black drum, along with some sea mullet.

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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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