North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Reports – 6/23/2008

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Kure Beach Pier Flounder
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 moderate-good, with limits of dolphin, along with some yellow and blackfin tuna, amberjack, wahoo, king mackerel, and assorted sharks. Billfish catches were much improved, with nice specimens of blue and white marlin being caught. A few sailfish were also caught.  Midrange catches consisted of amberjack in the 30-35 lb. range along with large quantities of blueline tilefish and triggerfish.  These fish were all caught in the same general area – about 4 miles offshore near the artificial reef AR-160 (Zane Gray). Black seabass, red drum, and striped bass were also caught in these same waters.  Inshore action was somewhat slow, but nice catches of bluefish and spotted seatrout were caught in the near-shore surf zone when it is accessible on calm days.   

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Spotted seatrout and red drum were the most abundant species throughout the area with early morning hours at the Melvin Daniels Bridge being the best time to catch them.  Flounder catches were much-improved throughout these waters with some citation size specimens caught in the shallow waters around the islands and land masses at Oregon Inlet.  Keeper ratios were very good with well over 50% of them being legal keeping size.  There were some nice catches of spotted seatrout and weakfish in this same area. 

Piers/Shore: Spanish  mackerel and bluefish catches were nothing short of fantastic if you are were at the right time for some short-term/high-volume action.  I observed limits of both caught by anglers in less than 20 minutes in one location, where all those with a line in the water caught them.  These fish were caught by pier and shore anglers using assorted spoons and jigs.  Most were hooked in the near-shore surf zone on.  Atlantic croaker, kingfish, puffers, flounder, burrfish, weakfish, spot, and assorted others were also caught. 

General Overview: Favorable weather conditions allowed anglers to have fair-good success rates in all the fishing zones.  Water temps in the surf are in the mid-70’s throughout the Outer Banks.  Weather 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:  Dolphin and king mackerel were found at Buoy #14, West Rock, Big 10-Little 10, 240 Rock and the Atlas tanker. Dolphin were thick in the Gulf Stream – ( both gaffers and shingles).  Quite a few billfish were reported.  Headboats caught seabass, snapper and grouper. The Cape Lookout Shoals were thick with Spanish and, of course, bluefish are everywhere.  Chopper blues are still around the Beaufort Inlet and off Shackleford.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing the inside waters was rather slow. Anglers looking for sea trout had a hard time, and most came in with one or none at all.  The same goes for the flounder fishermen.  There were many released, undersized flounder reported. The Turning Basin at the port saw some nice sized pigfish and  an occasional sea mullet. This area is also full of lizardfish and small shark. Red Drum and a few spotted seatrout were found at the east and west end of Bear Island, and Eastman’s Creek

Piers/Shore:  Tarpon were caught off the piers at Topsail along with blues and Spanish. In Carteret County there are small spot, croaker, sea mullet and pompano. Blues and Spanish can be hooked at the far 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: Fishing has really slowed down. Not much was caught in the stream last week. It has been a good year on the dolphin and wahoo, but the tuna were a no-show this year. Bottom fishing has been good the last couple of months. Plenty of red groupers, along with some scamps and gags. The reds are biting from 30 to 55-mile offshore while the gags can be found much closer. Most ledges and wrecks in the 15 to 20-mile range are holding amberjack, king mackerel, and some nice gags. The dolphin have really moved closer to the beach with some gaffers as close as 8 miles out. The shark hole gave up some big king mackerel last week, and earlier in the week there was a decent bite at Yaupon. Speaking of Yaupon, the flounder should start showing up there in the next 2 to 3 weeks. Spanish have been biting well along the area beaches.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Not much change from last week. Flounder are still being caught in the Cape Fear as well as Lockwood. Sight fishing for drum around Topsail has been outstanding with the clear water conditions, and some nice trout are still coming from the creeks and bays around Bald Head Island and Oak Island. Early and late have been the times to catch the trout.

Piers/Shore: Brunswick County piers are doing outstanding on the trout in the morning hours. Live shrimp is the hot bait. Along with the trout there are some keeper flounder, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, pompano, spots, and sea mullet. New Hanover and Pender County piers are doing well on the Spanish mackerel, pompano, sea mullet, some keeper flounder, and they also had some king mackerel catches as well. Surf fishing is yielding some sea mullet and pompanos.