Southern District —
Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties
Contact: Dennis Trowell (Dennis.Trowell@ncdenr.gov)
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 Sept. 21-27
Ocean: Few boats were able to venture offshore due to bad weather, but typically, October is a great month to catch wahoo off southern North Carolina. Fishermen also typically see good numbers of sailfish at times. Bottom fishing is typically good in water depths of 120-feet to 140-feet and yields catches of vermilion snapper, large triggerfish, scamp, red groupers and some large gag groupers. Closer to shore, in the 10-to-20-mile range, gag groupers bite. There was some king mackerel caught off Southport, the majority of which were caught just offshore of Ocean Crest Pier. Large red drum were caught in good numbers fishing around bait balls off the Brunswick County beaches as well as the near-shore reefs down there last week.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing was limited due to gusty winds and heavy rains, but there was a great drum bite at the Little River rock jetty. Anglers caught fish measuring 30-to-40 inches. Red and black drum, trout, flounder and sheepshead were caught in fair numbers when anglers were able to get a small weather window to fish.
Piers/Shore: Fishing on area piers was somewhat slow, as the water temperature along the beaches was somewhat warm for this time of year. Lots of bluefish were caught along with low numbers of spot, pompano, sea mullets and red and black drum. Some king mackerel were landed on Oak Island piers. Strong northeast winds made unfavorable conditions for surf fishing, but a few anglers caught good number of bluefish and red and black 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