NCDMF District Fishing Reports

For the week of September 11, 2010

Report Credit
NC Division of Marine Fisheries - 3441 Arendell Street - Morehead City, NC 28557 
 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

Northern District
For the week ending October 17

Ocean: Offshore anglers continued to have good results in most outings with a variety of tunas caught, including yellowfin, blackfin, skipjack and some bluefin and bigeye. Dolphin, wahoo, amberjack, and Atlantic bonito were all caught in moderate amounts. Bottom fishing out of Hatteras and Ocracoke yielded high numbers of gray triggerfish and black seabass with a few vermillion snapper, blueline tilefish and both yellowedge and snowy grouper. Billfish catches were few and far between. Midrange fishing was slow with very little to report except a few sheepshead and tautog off of the artificial reefs. Near-shore anglers experienced a notable increase in success rates for striped bass with some nice, 28-inch and larger fish caught in the 1- to 2-mile range from Oregon Inlet northward to the Virginia line. Bluefish in the 8- to 10-pound range showed up and were caught in this same region with increased frequency.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers saw much improved flounder keeper ratios. Oregon Inlet yielded the most consistent catches, while shallow waters around the islands produced most of the fish. Spotted seatrout catches dropped off, but nice catches continued in the early morning hours and in the early evening hours. Roanoke Sound continued to produce the bulk of them. Large spot, kingfish and croaker were caught throughout Pamlico Sound.

Piers/Shore: Anglers in these waters caught some nice striped bass, a moderate amount of which were 28 inches and larger. Anglers should note that these fish must be tagged and have a catch card filled out for them. Red drum catches made a modest improvement from Avon southward. Surf fishermen started to catch a few of the larger 8- to10-pound class bluefish off of the northern beaches. Assorted other species were caught in low-to-moderate amounts, including spot, croaker, kingfish, flounder, pinfish, pigfish, silver perch, black drum, skates, rays and sharks.

Central District:
For the week ending October 17

Ocean: Anglers fishing in the Gulf Stream continued to catch sailfish, dolphin and large wahoo with a number of citation sized catches. Blackfin tuna were also caught in record numbers, with one boat reporting 16 hookups on a single trip. King mackerel were caught closer to shore, with a few reported from Cape Lookout. The offshore bottom fishing produced gray triggerfish by the hundreds, with a number of amberjack, vermillion snapper, pink and whitebone porgies, sand tilefish and some large gag grouper.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The sounds were still trying to work out all of the rainwater from a few weeks ago, and most bottom anglers reported slow fishing. The fish that were caught included some flounder, pigfish, gray trout, black and red drum, occasional spot and a few sea mullet. The red drum were caught in the inlets on fish finder rigs with an added cork before the hook and live bait; others had better luck sight casting gulp baits sweetened with shrimp. The haystacks, near Morehead City, and places in the New River started to produce some nice speckled trout, caught on either live bait or soft plastics. The trout fishing should get better as the temperatures continue to drop.

Piers/Shore: The water temperature fluctuated in the low 70s, but the shore fishing picked up. Anglers fishing on Bogue Banks piers reported large Spanish mackerel, false albacore, bluefish and a few king mackerel. The bottom fishermen saw a number of pompano, kingfish, croaker, pigfish, and spot. A number of anglers reported schools of spot moving up and down the beach, and a few were able to fill their coolers. The bluefish were all over the surf and hit just about anything thrown at them.
Southern District:

For the week ending October 17

Ocean: Boats offshore targeting wahoo did well with most fish in the 30- to 50-pound range. Scattered catches of dolphin and blackfin tuna were reported, along with some sailfish. Boats targeting bottom fish caught limits of grouper and vermilion snapper fishing in water depths from 100 to120 feet. Boats fishing closer to shore found plenty of action with king mackerel. Most fish were caught close to shore along area beaches and inlets. Fish in the 20-pound class range were common, but fish up in the 40-pound range were landed also. Near-shore reefs produced a good number of gray trout, along with a few flounders and some very large red drum.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore fishing was good for the most part. Speckled trout, red drum and flounder were biting in area creeks, bays and rivers. Some of the most productive spots were Carolina Beach Inlet, the Cape Fear River near Baldhead Island and the Little River rock jetty. Live shrimp fished under a float was the most productive method for the trout and drum, and live mullet or menhaden fished on a Carolina rig enticed the flounders. Spot fishermen fishing around Southport and the Holden beach area did not have much luck with the spots. Bluefish, sea mullet, gray trout, croaker and some pigfish were what most spot fisherman caught.

Piers/Shore: Anglers were lining up along area piers looking for spots, but fishing was off for them. Fishermen caught good numbers of pompano with some fish up to 4 pounds. Sea mullets were also biting well with some fish up to 2 pounds caught. Flounder fishing was productive, with fish up to 5 pounds caught on area piers. The big news of the week was the great fall king mackerel fishing on piers in Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick counties. Lots of fishermen caught their limits, while some piers boasted upwards of 20 fish a day. Fish up to 40 pounds were landed with lots of 20-pound class fish caught. Surf fishermen caught some very nice pompano and sea mullets out of the surf on fresh shrimp and mole crabs. The beaches of Surf City seemed to be the most productive areas to surf fish.