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 July 27 through Aug. 2
Ocean: Offshore boats continued to bring in good catches of bottom fish consisting of limits of vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, amberjacks, red porgies and some red, scamp, and gag groupers. Closer to shore, anglers enjoyed great fishing catching king mackerel, dolphin, amberjacks and even some cobia. Near-shore reefs produced flounder, spadefish and some large red drum.
Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore fishing continued to be slow for anglers targeting trout and red drum. The best fishing was in the early morning hours by those using top water baits. The creeks and bays behind Bald Head Island and the grassy island in the lower Cape Fear River were productive. Flounder fishing was hit or miss with the best catches coming off the near-shore reefs. Sheepshead and black drum were biting well, and anglers had good luck fishing area piers, docks, bridges and rock jetties using fiddler crabs and sea urchins for bait.
Piers/Beach: Pier fishermen saw typical catches of spot, croaker, sea mullets and a few pompano, landed on bottom rigs baited with fresh shrimp or blood worms. Anglers targeting king mackerel on the ends of the piers caught several tarpon. Sheepshead and black and red drum, along with a few flounder, were observed, as well. Surf casters caught much the same, including black and red drum, pompano and sea mullets using mole crabs fished just behind the breakers.
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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632