Southern District Fishing Report —
Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties
Contact: Dennis Trowell (Dennis.Trowell@ncdenr.gov)
For the week of Sept. 19-25
Ocean: Offshore fishing was good. Boats caught a good amount of wahoo along with some sailfish and blackfin tunas. Bottom fishing was slow, though. Anglers caught a few red, scamp, and gag groupers, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, black sea bass and a wide range of other reef fish. Closer to shore the king mackerel started biting in the river channel, as well as near the beaches of Topsail Island and Carolina Beach. The large red drum showed up along the beaches of Brunswick County. Anglers targeted them by fishing around the bait balls with large buck tails tipped with menhaden. The tarpon fishing remained excellent on the shoals off Bald Head Island.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing in these waters improved over the previous weeks as water conditions got better after the storms and rainfall. Finger mullets were really on the move and really kicked the fall fishing in gear with the flounder, drum and trout feeding heavily on them. Anglers caught some nice flounder and trout in the lower Cape Fear River and the rock jetties at Little River Inlet were the spot for large, over-the-slot red drum. Sheepshead and black drum were caught in good numbers, especially at the ADM dock in the lower Cape Fear River.
Piers/Shore: Area piers had their best week of fishing this year. Lots of Spanish mackerel, bluefish and little tunny were caught by anglers throwing plugs. Anglers caught red and black drum, along with some keeper flounder, by fishing live minnows on Carolina rigs. It was a good week for king mackerel; some of the kings weighed in the 25- to 35-pound range. There were also a few tarpon. Surf fishermen caught red and black drum, bluefish and sea mullets.
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.