N.C. Regional Saltwater Fishing Reports

No Gravatar

Northern District  Dare, Hyde, Currituck, & Beaufort Counties

Contact: Brian Melott April 27, 2008

For the 2008 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.

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. Tagged Red Drum: Download PDF with reward details.

Ocean: Offshore anglers continue to have moderate-good success rates.  Most prevalent were yellow and blackfin tuna, wahoo, king mackerel, amberjack, Atlantic bonito, little tunny, and assorted sharks.  Several bluefin tuna were caught out of the Hatteras marinas this week.  There were very few billfish catches. 

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Modest improvements gave anglers some hope as compared to the previous week’s poor fishing trends. Spotted seatrout in the 2.5-3 lb range were caught throughout the area with most of them being caught in Oregon Inlets “Green Island Slough.”  Triggerfish and sheepshead were caught with increased regularity near the pilings of the bridge at this location as well.  Striped bass were caught at Manns Harbor, but most were undersize. 

Piers/Shore: Spotted seatrout and bluefish were the primary catch of these anglers.  Spotted seatrout were caught from early to mid-morning, bluefish were caught throughout the day in short term but high volume blitzes.  Dogfish sharks, skates, and stingrays remain plentiful.  Red drum catches from the beaches between Rodanthe to Avon were somewhat improved. 

General Overview: Success rates have improved in all modes of fishing this week.  Water temps are on the rise with upper 50s in the surf throughout the Outer Banks.  Weather conditions are predicted favorable for the coming week. 

Central District  Pamlico, Craven, Carteret, & Onslow Counties

Contact: Suzanne Hill April 27, 2008

For the 2008 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.

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.

Tagged Red Drum: Download PDF with reward details.

Ocean:  Headboats are having good catches of vermillion snapper, grouper, ( red, gag and scamp ) black sea bass, grunts and banded rudderfish. They are also bringing in Hatteras blues and dolphin. A cobia was hooked on the Captain Stacy. Charter boats are having a great time catching large and small dolphin and nice sized wahoo. Flounder in the 4-pound range are being hooked on the wrecks. The Hatteras blues are from the shore to 10 miles out. Right whales were sighted about one mile off the beach.  Anglers are looking hard for Atlantic bonito- they have been reported off Bogue Inlet.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Sheepshead are plentiful under the Atlantic Beach Bridge. Plenty of folks are out on a pretty day searching for sea mullet. There were a few lucky anglers catching them in the Beaufort Inlet. Fishing the inside waters has not yielded much – a few puffers, small croakers and bluefish.  A cobia, approximately 25 pounds, was caught about 2.5 miles off Atlantic Beach but jumped off the hook. There are lots of small shark reported.

Piers/Shore:  Fishing is slow. There are bluefish and shark reported.

Southern District  Pender, New Hanover, & Brunswick Counties

Contact: Dennis Trowell April 27, 2008

For the 2008 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.

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.

Tagged Red Drum: Download PDF with reward details.

Ocean: Offshore things are a little slow. The yellowfins have not made a showing but there still are some fish being caught – blackfin tuna, wahoo and dolphin. The dolphin fishing should really get good over the next couple of weeks. There were a good many blue marlin releases reported last week. Closer to shore, kings are being reported around the Wr4 and they showed up last Thursday on the beaches of Brunswick County. I’ve also heard of some Spanish mackerel being caught as well. The Atlantic bonito are being caught in good numbers around divers rock, but won’t be around too much longer with the warming water temperature. This is the time of the year when cobia start showing up along the beaches and inlets. One was lost off of an area pier last week. Offshore, the red, gag, and scamp groupers are biting well in the 40 to 50-mile range.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays:  Not much change. There are some decent trout catches coming out of the river still. Live shrimp fished under a float has been the key. Along with the trout there are some drum. The sea mullet fishing slowed considerably last week.

Piers/Shore: The big news this week was the first kings of the year were caught on the Oak Island Pier. Ocean Crest Pier caught some Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A New Hanover pier had a large cobia on but it got away. Area piers saw blues and sea mullets mostly, but there were a few large pompano reported as well. The Spanish mackerel should show any day now.