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.
For the week of Oct. 13-19
Ocean: Unfavorable weather conditions last week kept most boats fishing inshore waters. The wahoo bite has been outstanding over the last month and should stay good over the next couple of weeks. The fall king mackerel bite has been very good, as well, with the Cape Fear River channel producing lots of fish in the 20- to 30-pound range and larger. Look for the king bite to move a little offshore now that the water has cooled some. The Fairway ledge has historically always been a great place to fish after the king mackerel have moved off the beach. Near shore, flounder and gray trout were caught on artificial reefs and ledges in the one to three-mile range. There has been a good red drum bite along the south beaches of Brunswick County with anglers fishing buck tails tipped with menhaden around pods of menhaden just off the beaches.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore, anglers reported good catches of red drum and flounder, along with a few spotted sea trout. The best fishing has been the inshore waters down south around the Ocean Isle-Sunset Beach area, as well as the bays and creeks behind Bald Head Island. The Little River Rock Jetty was good last week with anglers catching lots of red drum in the 20- to 30-pound range.
Piers/Shore: Area piers saw the best fishing of the year last week with large crowds and large catches of spot. Mixed in with the spot catches were sea mullets, pompano and lots of bluefish. When weather conditions allowed, surf fishermen reeled in lots of bluefish, with a few flounder, sea mullets, pompano and some slot-sized red drum.
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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632