OCEAN: The previous week’s fishing success was good across the board in all modes for the most part. Anglers fishing offshore out of Ocracoke/Hatteras had the best wahoo catches in quite a while with plenty of citation size specimens hitting the docks along with limits of bailer dolphin on most outings, a few yellow & blackfin tuna were also caught. Billfish catch and release action has picked up with mostly sailfish being reported and a few scattered blue & white marlin. Bottom fishing was dominated by blueline tilefish for the most part with a few assorted others in much lesser amounts. Inshore anglers kept busy reeling in limits of both bluefish and spanish mackerel on most trips along with a moderate amount of over-slot red drum. Gulfstream access via Oregon Inlet yielded limits of dolphin also along with moderate amounts of black seabass, blueline tilefish, and assorted “tunas”. Anglers targeting billfish were very pleased with the recent increase in activity with “Grand Slam” catches of sailfish, blue & white marlin being almost routine this previous week. Inshore catches were very good indeed with limits of citation size spotted seatrout caught on a somewhat regular basis, cobia catches made a resurgence this past week along with a few little tunny, amberjack, and moonfish.
INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: Fishing activity levels in these waters have been low and uneventful for the most part with a variety of species caught in low amounts, most anglers instead have fished the nearshore Ocean region with much better results as noted above. Northern region catches have been very diverse, flounder catches continue to be the most noteworthy news with Oregon Inlet anglers that were able to access the very shallow water areas near land masses catching limits with relative ease & reporting very few undersize specimens for a change of pace. A host of others were caught in low-moderate amounts including spadefish, weakfish, spotted seatrout, black seabass, croaker, puffer, kingfish, pinfish, pigfish, and cutlassfish.
BEACH/PIER: Things have finally improved for these fisherman after a slow time for several weeks from North to South. South beach anglers are once again catching those big pompano in the back wash of the surf zone with sand fleas being the bait of choice along with moderate amounts of puffers and sea mullet mixed in , short term bluefish and spanish mackerel catches were also experienced by those lucky enough to be there at the right time. North beach anglers were able to catch the spanish & blue’s as well on given occasions, the arrival of the very large spot in high numbers was the big news with fisherman exiting the beach and piers with coolers over- flowing to their delight.
Brian A Melott
Recreational Port Agent
Division of Marine Fisheries
NC Department of Environmental Quality