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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

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

Marine Fisheries

Northern District Fishing Report —
Dare, Hyde, Currituck and Beaufort Counties

8-point rule

 

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

For the week of May 15-21

Ocean: Offshore catches out of Hatteras continued to be bountiful and varied. Billfish hookups significantly increased. Both blue and white marlin hookups came in regularity, along with a few sailfish. Dolphin of all sizes and citation-sized blackfin tuna were caught on almost all trips, as were a few wahoo. Bottom fishing in deep waters produced triggerfish, blueline tilefish and an assortment of grouper. Nearshore anglers had nice catches of red drum of all sizes, cobia and, occasionally, Atlantic bonito. Anglers fishing out of Oregon Inlet had plenty to be happy about, as well. Some caught their limits of dolphin and yellowfin tuna. A few bigeye tuna, weighing around 130 pounds, were also seen, and billfish catches improved. Nearshore anglers continued to focus effort on cobia with very good success. Catches of flounder, kingfish and red drum improved, as well.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers fishing in the sound behind Hatteras regularly caught their limits of weakfish. There were also moderate catches of bluefish in the 1-to-2-pound range, along with kingfish and spot. Fishing in the more northern areas produced a few cobia. Spotted seatrout catches decreased a bit but legal-sized fish were caught in most cases with only few undersize trout reported. Inside catches also included red drum, flounder, croaker, kingfish, pinfish, pigfish and undersized striped bass.

Piers/Shore: Coastal fishing from north to south was moderate, and no species stood out. From Avon southward, big chopper blues were caught in the surf, as were small, 1-to-2-pounders. Additionally, anglers caught red drum and kingfish in low to moderate numbers. Catches along the northern beaches were more consistent. Anglers caught large, citation size kingfish, small bluefish and spotted seatrout. Timing was the most important factor to success, because the fish showed for short-term visits. Pier fishermen also caught sea mullet on a semi-regular basis, and striped burrfish, puffers, pigfish, pinfish, skates and assorted rays kept poles bending when little else was available.

For the fishing year, all owners/operators of vessels recreationally fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (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 Angling permit. This permit has replaced the Atlantic tunas Angling category permit. In North Carolina, additional Highly Migratory Species harvest reporting requirements are also in place. To obtain a permit go to: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/compliance/permits_reporting/index.html

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 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.

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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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