Restaurant_Pelican185OCEAN:  The offshore catch for the most part has consisted of limits of bailer dolphin with a few gaffers mixed in.  Wahoo & king mackerel  hit the docks with increased regularity this past week along with a full spectrum of tuna’s including blackfin, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, little tunny, & atlantic bonito.  A few billfish were caught & released also.  Midrange anglers are still targeting cobia with moderate success rates-with Hatteras anglers catching the bulk of them, greater amberjack have been caught around three miles offshore on a regular basis with a few triggerfish mixed in.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS:  Unfortunately fishing in these waters has been inconsistent with low-moderate success on most outings this previous week, anglers targeting spanish mackerel & bluefish were the exception with metal spoons trolling on the surface yielding almost 100% of the catches.  A low  amount of flounder were caught in the shallow areas near land masses -but at least keeper ratios were favorable in most cases.  Oregon Inlet Bridge pilings still offer black drum, spadefish, sheepshead, needlefish, and a few other species in much lesser amounts when little else was available.

PIERS/SHORE:  Anglers were very happy catching some of the largest kingfish- (sea mullet) I have seen in many years with citation size specimens caught by almost everyone targeting them, molecrabs- (sand fleas) were the bait of choice with the near shore surf zone yielding most of the catch.  Cobia & king mackerel catches off of the piers have made a notable increase in regularity with large specimens of both reported.  A host of others were caught in low-moderate amounts including pompano, black drum, red drum, croaker, spot, pinfish, pinfish, spotted seatrout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, atlantic cuttlassfish, smooth & spiny dogfish, skates & rays.

Brian A. Melott
NCDENR
Marine Fisheries Tech II

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