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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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

Marine Fisheries

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Southern District Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties

Contact: Dennis Trowell

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.


Southern District:

For the week of Oct. 20-26

Ocean: Offshore the wahoo bite continued to be great, and most boats caught their limits of fish in the 30-pound to 50-pound range. Anglers targeting bottom fish in water depths of 100 feet to 120 feet reported lots of vermilion snapper, along with triggerfish, red porgies and some gag, red, and scamp groupers. Closer to shore, the king mackerel fishing was hot, and anglers caught their limits in the of 70-foot to 80-foot water depth range.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing really picked up for anglers targeting spotted seatrout and red drum. The hot drum bite was, again, down south at the Little River Rock Jetty. Fish in the 30-inch to 40-inch class were caught. Another good spot was Rich inlet and along Lee Island where anglers were sight fishing for drum in the white wash from boats. Fishermen saw nice catches of spotted seatrout at Green Channel, as well.

Piers/Shore: Overall, fishing slowed some on area piers compared to prior weeks that saw some good runs of spot. Anglers still caught spot, pompano and sea mullet using blood worms and shrimp for bait. Fisherman using live bait, such as live finger mullet and shrimp, did well catching good numbers of flounder, including a few keepers. Red and black drum and some trout were caught, as well. Anglers fishing from the surf saw much of the same, with red drum, flounder and bluefish dominating the catches.


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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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