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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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

Marine Fisheries

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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.


Southern District:

For the week of Aug. 18-24

Ocean: The Wahoo fishing was fantastic. Bottom fishing anglers caught vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish and some groupers. King mackerel fishing improved with the best catches coming from water depths in the 70- to 80-foot range. Near-shore reefs produced some good catches of flounder, along with some gray trout and large red drum.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing was good overall despite the large amounts of rainfall. Anglers targeting spotted sea trout did well fishing the lower Cape Fear River and along the Little River rock jetty. Red drum were caught in good numbers in the same general areas, as well. Sheepshead fishing was very good with the ADM dock in the Cape Fear River producing some outstanding catches.

Piers/Shore: Anglers fishing on area piers saw typical summertime catches that included sea mullets, pompano, spots and some black drum caught on bottom rigs baited with shrimp or bloodworms. When water conditions were good, some nice runs of Spanish mackerel took place on most piers. Surf fishermen caught much the same with sea mullets, bluefish and some red drum making up most of the catches.


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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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