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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 July 21-27

Ocean: Offshore, anglers brought in a wide assortment of reef fish, such as black sea bass, vermilion and red snapper, gag, red and scamp groupers and some big hogfish. Live bait fishing in the 10- to 20-mile range produced king mackerel, amberjacks, cobia and a few sailfish. Near-Shore reefs produced some really good catches of flounder, along with some large red drum.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore fishing slowed down somewhat due to the heavy rainfall the area experience. The good flounder bite that was happening in the Cape Fear River in prior weeks was non-existent with the unfavorable water conditions. Best catches came between the Sunset Beach area and the state line. Sheepshead and black drum were caught around docks and bridge pilings, with the Little River rock jetty producing some nice catches. Red drum and some spotted seatrout were caught in the lower Cape Fear River and the bays and creeks behind Bald head Island.

Piers/Shore:
Ocean pier fishermen reported catching sea mullets, pompano and some spots on shrimp and blood worms. Red drum, spotted seatrout and some keeper flounder were caught by anglers using live bait, such as finger mullet or shrimp. Black drum and sheepshead were caught by anglers fishing the pilings with barnacles and mole crabs. Some king mackerel were landed, as well, on the Oak Island piers. Surf fishermen caught drum, pompano and some sea mullets using mole crabs and fresh shrimp for bait.


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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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