Northern District — Contact: Brian Melott (Brian.Melott@ncdenr.gov)
Dare, Hyde, Currituck and Beaufort Counties
For the fishing year, all owners/operators of vessels recreationally fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling permit. This permit has replaced the Atlantic tunas Angling category permit. In North Carolina, additional HMS harvest reporting requirements are also in place. To obtain a permit go to: http://www.hmspermits.gov.
Report a tagged fish
Please Note: Anglers sometimes confuse small king mackerel with Spanish mackerel. King mackerel and spanish mackerel have different size and catch limits. Make SURE you properly identify the mackerel you are catching. (Tips here)
A recreational Recreational Fishing License went into effect Jan. 1, 2007 for all of the state's coastal and ocean waters.
Click here for the latest seasons, size and bag limits.
Please note: New reports are usually posted by early Monday afternoon.
Northern District Fishing Report
For the week of May 16-22Ocean: Fishing success was moderate in most cases. Offshore trips out of Hatteras and Ocracoke offered plenty of citation-size "gaffer" dolphin and blackfin tuna. There were also a few wahoo, amberjack, cobia and Atlantic bonito. The billfish bite out of Hatteras was excellent. Anglers caught and released good numbers of sailfish, as well as a few white and blue marlin. Nearshore action was very good with anglers catching red drum of all sizes. Anglers caught bluefish and Spanish mackerel in good amounts, too, along with a few weakfish and Atlantic bonito. Fishing out of Oregon Inlet resulted in lots of large dolphin hitting the docks. Yellowfin tuna catches increased – many weighing 40 pounds or more – and there were a few scattered blackfin tuna and Atlantic bonito. The billfish catch out of Oregon Inlet also improved. Nearshore anglers had moderate success with spotted seatrout. They also caught undersize striped bass. Flounder fishing improved, and there were a few keepers. Anglers also caught croaker, pigfish and pinfish.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Catches continued slowly improving from previous weeks. Anglers out of Hatteras hooked many bluefish, along with a few weakfish. Anglers fishing out of Oregon Inlet and northward saw improving flounder catches. While they landed only a few, most were keepers. Small black seabass were plentiful along with moderate numbers of croaker, pigfish, and pinfish.
Piers/Shore: Fishing success from piers and the surf was up and down, depending on the weather. Anglers had good days on the southern beaches catching very large pompano and puffers along with a few over-the-slot limit red drum and dogfish. On the northern beach, catches consisted primarily of bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Also, decent numbers of very large kingfish (sea mullet) were caught.
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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632