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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

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

Marine Fisheries

Southern District Fishing Report —
Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties

Contact: Dennis Trowell (Dennis.Trowell@ncdenr.gov)

For the week of June 20-26

Ocean: Offshore high winds and rough sea conditions limited fishing. The winds finally fell out by the weekend and boats were able to make it offshore. Catches included a wide range of species from wahoo, blackfin tuna and dolphin to African pompano, rainbow runners and huge catches of vermilion snapper. Anglers targeting grouper had some luck with some boats catching limits that consisted of rockhinds, graysbys, scamp, yellowmouth, red and gag groupers. Nearshore king mackerel and some cobia were caught from the beaches out to the 10-mile range with most anglers slow trolling live bait such as menhaden or cigar minnows. The dolphin moved inshore with a few fish being caught in the 8- to 10-mile range. Fishermen targeting flounder in the ocean caught some big gulf flounder in the 3- to 5-mile range using bucktail jigs or live bait fished around ledges and artificial reefs. The tarpon have started to show with some fish seen and caught along the Brunswick County beaches.

Inlet/Sounds/Bays:  Inshore fishing has slowed somewhat over the last couple of weeks. Anglers targeting flounder, drum and trout caught some fish. The best locations were the lower Cape Fear River and the Little River Rock Jetty for all three species over the last couple of weeks. Sheepshead fishing has begun to heat up with some big fish starting to show up in anglers’ coolers. Area bridges, rock jetties and channel markers were good places to with most anglers using fiddler and mud crabs for bait.

Piers/Shore: Area piers reported your typical summer time mixed bag of fish with low amounts of spot, croaker and sea mullet being caught by anglers fishing two hook bottom rigs. When the water conditions were favorable, anglers caught some Spanish mackerel and bluefish with the best catches early in the morning hours. Anglers targeting flounder, drum and trout caught some keepers using live shrimp and minnows fished around the pilings on Carolina rigs. Anglers fishing from the surf had limited success due to the high winds and surf. When conditions were right, anglers fishing with mole crabs just behind the breakers caught red and black drum, along with some nice size pompano and sea mullet.


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.


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

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