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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

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

Marine Fisheries

Southern District Fishing Report —
Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties

8-point rule

 

Contact: Dennis Trowell (Dennis.Trowell@ncdenr.gov)

For the week of May 15-21


Ocean: Offshore fishing was fantastic! Anglers caught plenty of gaffer dolphin, and there were a lot of blue marlin releases. Anglers targeting bottom fish also had an awesome week. Some boats brought back bag limits of scamp grouper and a wide range of reef fish such as vermilion snapper, white grunt and amberjack. Those fishing 10 to 20 miles from shore found lots of king mackerel, amberjacks, gag grouper and some black seabass. Nearshore anglers caught a few cobia with some really good catches of Spanish mackerel.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Flounder fishing started to pick up and most of the catches were keepers. Catches were best in the lower Cape Fear River from Southport to Snows Cut. The marshes and creeks in lower Brunswick County between Ocean Isle and the South Carolina line also yielded good catches of flounder.  Red and black drum were caught using live and dead shrimp for bait in area creeks and marshes near oyster beds and in deeper holes. Spotted seatrout fishing behind Bald Head Island was good.

Piers/Shore: Pier fishermen saw good catches of Spanish Mackerel along with a few king mackerel and cobia. Brunswick County piers started seeing spotted seatrout in the early morning hours. The were biting on live shrimp. Black and red drum along with a few keeper-size flounder were caught by those fishing live bait on Carolina rigs. Anglers targeting bottom fish using shrimp and blood worms caught a few sea mullet, puffer and pompano. Fisherman also caught a wide range of fish in the surf, including black and red drum, sea mullet, bluefish, flounder and some big sharks.


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.

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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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