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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 Sept. 22-28

Ocean: Offshore anglers experienced a fair week of fishing. Dolphin fishing was fair out of Oregon and Hatteras inlets. The majority of the dolphin were school-size fish, with a few gaffer-size fish mixed in. The yellowfin tuna bite was fair, as well. Anglers landed yellowfins in the 40- to 60-pound range. Anglers also landed blackfin tuna and wahoo. The best wahoo action came out of Hatteras. Billfish action was good. Anglers caught and released blue and white marlin on a daily basis. Sailfish were also released on a daily basis. Bottom fishing produced good numbers of blueline tilefish and triggerfish. Amberjacks were plentiful on most any offshore structure. Live bait and vertical jigs were the baits of choice. Anglers fishing along the shore landed good numbers of Spanish mackerel and bluefish by trolling small spoons.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers reported catching good numbers of flounder, and quite a few fish were keeperl size. Live bait fished on a Carolina rig produced the best catches. Anglers also landed fish using Gulp bait. Red drum were still being caught around the inlets using artificial jigs and cut bait around shallow water shoals and grass beds. Bottom fishing produced catches of sea mullet and croaker. At the Oregon Inlet bridge, anglers landed sheepshead and black drum. Speckled trout were caught throughout the local sounds, and many of them were keeper sized fish.

Piers/Shore: Pier and surf anglers had a good week of fishing. Surf anglers landed good numbers of nice spot and sea mullet. Red drum were landed on all beaches. Anglers using Gotcha plugs and sting silvers landed Spanish mackerel and bluefish. The best catches came at dawn and dusk. Bottom fishing on the piers produced great catches of spot and sea mullet. Anglers also landed a handful of nice-sized flounder. Citation-sized red drum were landed on all the piers.


Central District

For the week of Sept. 22-28

Ocean: The weather didn’t cooperate, but those anglers that found a window to run offshore reported great wahoo action around the Big Rock. Some small dolphin and blackfin tuna were in the offshore mix, as well. Near shore, the king and Spanish mackerel bite did really well. Anglers caught Spanish and kings off the beaches, around Beaufort Inlet and around Cape Lookout. Anglers also reported schools of little tunny feeding along the beaches, found by watching for feeding birds.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The local inlets held large schools of Spanish mackerel and bluefish on high tide, and there were a few reports of king mackerel, as well. Gray trout were caught around the Coast Guard station at Fort Macon and around the N.C. Port turning basin. Bottom-fishing anglers caught spot, puffers and sea mullet at the Beaufort drawbridge and along the Radio Island beach access. There were a few reports of speckled trout in the Neuse River, especially around Oriental, caught on top-water artificial baits.

Piers/Shore: Shore fishing really heated up. Bottom-fishing anglers caught spot, sea mullet, Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, red drum, bluefish, pompano and little tunny. Anglers casting plugs saw large schools of Spanish mackerel and bluefish that swam by a few times an hour.


Southern District

For the week of Sept. 22-28

Ocean: Offshore, high winds and seas kept the fishing fleet close to shore. Near shore, the fall king mackerel fishing started with good catches coming around Topsail and Carolina Beach inlets. The best bite occurred down south off Oak Island, around the second pier, about a mile off the beach. Large Spanish mackerel, in the 5- to 8-pound range, were caught, as well, with Yaupon Reef producing impressive catches.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Overall, flounder, trout and drum fishing was good. The best catches continued to come down south around the Ocean Isle/Sunset Beach area and at the Little River Rock Jetty. Sheepshead fishing has been very good of late, as well. The ADM Dock in the lower Cape Fear River produced good numbers of fish in the 4- to 8-pound range.

Piers/Shore: Fishing was outstanding on most area piers. Spanish mackerel, bluefish and spot dominated the catches, but fisherman also reeled in good numbers of pompano, sea mullet and red and black drum as well. Anglers targeting kings on the end of piers had a good week with fish in the 20- to 30-pound range. With gusty Northeast winds conditions were not favorable for fishing from the surf.


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

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