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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 Fishing Report:

For the week of May 18-24

Ocean: Offshore fishing slowed somewhat, but boats still caught good numbers of gaffer dolphin, along with some blackfin tuna and wahoo. Anglers targeting bottom fish caught scamp and red groupers in water depths from 110 to 120 feet. They also caught a wide assortment of reef fish. Near-shore fishing really picked up in the 5- to 10-mile range with boats catching king mackerel, cobia and amberjacks. Along area beaches, lots of Spanish mackerel were caught on spoons.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore, fishing was hit or miss for anglers targeting flounder, trout and drum. The best flounder catches came out of the Cape Fear River from Snow's Cut to the mouth of the river. Lots of black drum, along with some red drum, were caught in the bays behind Bald Head Island. Anglers targeting trout did best in the early morning hours fishing top water baits in the lower Cape Fear River.

Piers/Shore: Pier and shore based anglers reeled in bluefish, sea mullet and some black drum. Anglers fishing on the ends of the piers caught some nice Spanish mackerel and a few king mackerel.


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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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