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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Northern District

Marine Fisheries

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Northern District —
Dare, Hyde, Currituck and Beaufort Counties

Contact: Brian Melott (Brian.Melott@ncdenr.gov)

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 July 20-26

Ocean: Offshore fishermen caught their limits of bailer dolphin with a few gaffers mixed in the bunch. Wahoo and king mackerel hit the docks with increased regularity, along with a full spectrum of tunas, including blackfin, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, little tunny and Atlantic bonito. A few billfish were caught and released, as well. Midrange anglers were still targeting cobia and having moderate success. Hatteras anglers caught the bulk of them. Fishermen caught greater amberjack on a regular basis around 3 miles offshore. A few triggerfish were mixed in.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing in these waters was inconsistent, and anglers had low to moderate success on most outings. Those who targeted Spanish mackerel and bluefish were the exception. Almost all the catches came from trolling metal spoons on the surface. A few flounder were caught in the shallow areas near land masses, and the keeper ratios were favorable in most of the catches. Oregon Inlet Bridge pilings still offer a black drum, spadefish, sheepshead, needlefish and a few other species in small numbers.

Piers/Shore: Anglers caught some of the largest kingfish (sea mullet) seen in many years. Almost everyone targeting them caught a citation-size fish. Molecrabs (sand fleas) were the bait of choice, and most were caught in the near-shore surf zone. Cobia and king mackerel catches off piers made a notable increase in regularity, and some large fish were reported. A host of other fish were caught, including pompano, black drum, red drum, croaker, spot, pinfish, pinfish, spotted seatrout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, Atlantic cuttlassfish, smooth and spiny dogfish and skates and rays.

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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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