North Carolina Regional Saltwater Fishing Reports – 6/8/2008

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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 catches were more diverse, with moderate-good catches of dolphin, wahoo, king mackerel. amberjack, little tunny, Atlantic bonito, and both yellow and blackfin tuna.  Billfish catches increased.  Midrange anglers continued to catch striped bass and red drum about two miles offshore from Kitty Hawk southward to the Pea Island area, but with less regularity than previously.  Anglers fishing the artificial reef AR-160 (Zane Gray) caught plenty of gray triggerfish and black seabass. Inshore catches consisted of  bluefish and spotted seatrout with a host of others mixed in.  Bluefish were caught throughout the day with short-term/high-volume catches being had by all anglers who are there at the right time.  Spotted seatrout catches were very good in the early morning hours in the near shore surf zone when it was accessible.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Spotted seatrout and red drum were the most abundant species caught in these waters.  Catches of both, that were previously concentrated near the Melvin Daniels Bridge/Roanoke Sound area, were made throughout the area with increased regularity this week.  Flounder catches improved modestly with well over 50% of them being legal keeping size.  Sheepshead and tautog were caught near the bridge pilings at Oregon Inlet on a regular basis.
Piers/Shore: Catches of bluefish and spotted seatrout shared with the inshore boat anglers were most common, with a host of others thrown in.  Cobia catches off of the local piers continued to be very good, especially at night.   

General Overview: Record high temps and smoke from ongoing wildfires caused anglers to limit their fishing efforts somewhat, but those who toughed it out had moderate-good success rates in all modes of fishing most of the time.  Water temps in the surf throughout the Outer Banks continue to rise, with upper 60s-lower 70s at all locations.   
 
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:  Dolphin and kings can be found at the 90 Foot Drop and Northwest  Places. Good sized wahoo are around Buoy 14. Kings can also be found at AR 355 and the Xmas Rock along with amberjacks.  There seems no shortage of dolphin – like the bluefish –  they are found everywhere.  Headboats are continuing to do well with snapper, grouper, sea bass, grunts and triggers. Spanish mackerel are around both Beaufort and Bogue Inlets and down the beaches in all directions. They are in 10 to 20 feet of water.  There are reports that chopper blues are still here. Sailfish have been hooked and released this past week.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: All the Spanish and blues you could wish for are around the Inlets.  Anglers are looking for cobia. Nice sea mullet are scattered in the Turning Basin and around the Cape Lookout Shoals. One or two red drum have been hooked from the Swansboro area and the Newport River. Anglers are also catching a good-sized trout here and there. One angler had three nice flounder caught somewhere east of Beaufort, along with about 15 undersized released flounder.

Piers/Shore:  Spot, pigfish, sea mullet, croaker, have been hooked along with sharks. There are also many sharks in the Intracoastal Waterway off Swansboro.  Bluefish and Spanish continue to be caught from the end of the piers.  

 

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, it was another banner week for the dolphin. Along with the dolphin there were some decent wahoo catches. Large red grouper continue to bite well in the 45 to 55-mile range. Closer to shore, school size king mackerel are biting well on most ledges in the 10 to 30-mile range. These same areas are producing amberjacks, gags, and the occasional cobia. The Spanish mackerel have been thick along area beaches of late.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Trout fishing seem to slow some last week. Best catches are coming in the morning hours. Fish are being caught on live shrimp, top water, and D.O.A shrimp. Flounder fishing has been better so far this year than last, with fish over five pounds being seen at area ramps. Carolina Beach Inlet and the Cape Fear River have been producing the bigger flounder of late.

Piers/Shore: Fishing has been good. Topsail Island piers reported several tarpon catches last week. They also caught some kings and a few cobia as well. Spanish fishing has been outstanding at times. Spanish were reported on the New Hanover piers as well, and Brunswick County piers are doing good on the trout. Live shrimp has been the ticket.