OCEAN: Post Tropical Storm Hermine fishing success has been moderate-good across the board in all water bodies and locations. Offshore catches out of Hatteras were very good, citation size wahoo were a daily catch in high numbers. Dolphin were caught in moderation along with a few yellow & blackfin tuna. Billfish catches have improved with mostly sailfish reported. Bottom fishing in deep waters offered triggerfish, vermillion snapper, black seabass, amberjack, and a few assorted groupers. Anglers heading offshore via Oregon Inlet had good success also, limits of dolphin was almost a daily event this previous week along with low-moderate amounts of wahoo, bigeye and both yellow & blackfin tuna’s. Billfish catches were about as good as it gets with plenty of sailfish and both blue & white marlin catch and release action. Nearshore fishing out of the Hatteras region was dominated by spanish mackerel catches with limits caught on some outings, bluefish, red drum, flounder, and spotted seatrout were caught in moderate amounts along with a few king mackerel. Nearshore action out of Oregon Inlet was similar with limits of Spanish mackerel caught on most trips along with moderate amounts of amberjack, bluefish, kingfish, black seabass, and little tunny.
INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: Anglers in Hatteras were very pleased with the improved catches in these water’s after a very slow period previously. Citation size red drum fishing was the” news of the day” with almost everyone catching at least one , a few other assorted species were caught in low amounts. Northern region catches were good with spotted seatrout being the primary target due to the high catch rates, nice specimens were caught almost everywhere with the time of day seeming to be the most important factor – early- mid morning has produced most of the catches dropping off sharply afterwards. A mixed bag of species was also caught in varied amounts including bluefish, red drum, little tunny, weakfish, puffer, pinfish, pigfish, silver perch, and black seabass.
PIERS/BEACH: Catch rates for these anglers has been fair from North to South in most cases, this is an improvement for sure after a slow time due to unfavorable weather conditions. South beach catches were mostly red drum, sea mullet, croaker, bluefish, and pompano. North beach fishing offered more with limits of spotted seatrout on a few occasions along with a moderate amount of over-slot red drum, pompano, sea mullet, bluefish, sheepshead, spot, and little tunny.
Brian A Melott
Recreational Port Agent
Division of Marine Fisheries
NC Department of Environmental Quality