North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Reports – 6/1/2008

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Northern District  Dare, Hyde, Currituck, & Beaufort Counties

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 are still catching plenty of yellowfin and blackfin tuna, along with some nice dolphin in the 30 to 40 lb. range.  Wahoo, little tunny, amberjack, Atlantic bonito, and assorted sharks were also caught in.  Billfish catches have increased somewhat.   Mid-range anglers continue to have success with striped bass and red drum in the 1.5 to 2-mile range in a concentrated area from Kitty Hawk southward to Pea Island.  A few bluefish and weakfish were also caught in this same area.  Inshore anglers continue to have success with plenty of bluefish and nice spotted seatrout in the near-shore surf zone (when they are accessible).

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Spotted seatrout continue to be the primary target of most anglers in these waters, with specimens of 3 to 4 lbs. being common.  Oregon Inlet has yielded the bulk of them in the early morning hours, and again at dusk.  The Melvin Daniels “Little Bridge” has also been a promising spot for both spotted seatrout and red drum.  Flounder catches have improved throughout the area (sound, inlets, bays) with most specimens being legal size. 

Piers/Shore: Bluefish have been most prevalent, with 1.5 to 2 lb. specimens being caught throughout the day with little effort.  Spotted seatrout, croaker, kingfish, silver perch, and assorted sharks and rays have all been caught with increased regularity.  Cobia have been caught off all the local piers during late evening and nigh time hours.. 

General Overview: Water temperatures in the surf continue to fluctuate in the lower 60s throughout the Outer Banks with favorable weather conditions allowing anglers to participate in all modes of fishing with moderate-good success rates.  Conditions are predicted favorable for the coming week.    
 

Central District  Pamlico, Craven, Carteret, & Onslow Counties

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:  Last week, someone said “even anglers that don’t know how to fish are catching dolphin.”   Dolphin and Spanish mackerel are the prime catch around here. Spanish are thick from the Cape Lookout area, down to the Sheraton Pier. They are in Beaufort and Bogue Inlets and off the beaches and piers of Topsail  Island  .  Headboats are catching lots of triggerfish, and a few black sea bass and vermillion snapper. There have also been a few American red snapper along with some good-sized groupers. Bluefish are everywhere.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Speckled trout are in the rivers. Redfish are still hiding in the creeks and marshes around Swansboro and Bear Island . Small sheepshead were caught in the Turning basin of the state port along with fair-sized pigfish. Beaufort Inlet continues to have good sized sea mullet  along with the blues and Spanish.

Piers/Shore:  Sea mullets, small shark and small croaker can be hooked from the beach. Piers report the same, along with pigfish, bluefish and Spanish. 

Southern District  Pender, New Hanover, & Brunswick Counties

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, fishing has been outstanding. Plenty of large gaffer dolphin along with some nice wahoo. Boats fishing a little deeper recorded some blue marlin releases. Plenty of red grouper in the 45 to 50-mile range along with some gags and scamps. Closer to shore there are some good king mackerel catches coming along the beaches of Topsail Island. There were some cobia being caught as well.  There are lots of Spanish mackerel along the area beaches.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing was decent last week. The trout are biting well around Bald Head Island and the Little River rock jetty. Early morning hours have been the best time to fish. It’s a little early, but the flounder fishing seems to be a little better then the last couple of years. There were fish up to 8 pounds caught last week. The Cape Fear River, and the creeks and inlets of Brunswick County are producing fish right now.

Piers/Shore: Most area piers had an outstanding week. The wind finally laid down some and fishing was good to excellent. Plenty of Spanish mackerel were reported, with the Topsail Island piers really getting them along with some outstanding king mackerel catches. New Hanover piers saw good Spanish catches along with some cobia, and Brunswick County piers reported good catches of trout in the morning along with some outstanding Spanish mackerel catches. Shore fishermen are reporting large blues and pompano along with some sea mullets and black drum.