OCEAN: Offshore fishing out of Hatteras & Ocracoke was fair-good on most outings, moderate amounts of dolphin and blackfin tuna made up most of the catches along with a few wahoo and little tunny. Billfish catches were moderate with mostly sailfish reported. Bottom fishing trips brought the best results with plenty of triggerfish and amberjack along with moderate amounts of vermillion snapper, blackbelly rosefish, and assorted groupers. Nearshore action was dominated by very high numbers of over-slot/ citation size red drum along with decent catches of both spanish mackerel and bluefish on most trips. Offshore success out of Oregon Inlet was very good indeed, limits of yellowfin tuna by most anglers with most specimens in the 50lb range along with a few exceeding the 70lb+ mark! Limits of small dolphin and a few gaffers as well along with a few bigeye tuna and wahoo made anglers very pleased. Nearshore fishing was fair-good with bluefish and spanish mackerel making up the bulk of the catches which varied from day to day with some yielding limits and other’s only offering a few of both. Assorted other species were also caught in low-moderate amounts including king mackerel, amberjack, barracuda, remora, and assorted sharks.
INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: Anglers out of Hatteras had moderate success with some spanish mackeral being caught on most trips along with much improved catches of both spot and sea mullet. Northern area fishing continues to improve with flounder being the primary target of most anglers-and for very good reason, much improved keeper ratios with well over 50% of them being legal specimens as opposed to the previous weeks mostly undersize one’s, shallow water areas near islands & land masses yielded the best results. High numbers of croakers and undersize striped bass along with a mixed bag of species in low-moderate amounts were also caught including kingfish, pigfish, pinfish, puffer, searobin, striped burrfish, weakfish, and spotted seatrout.
PIERS/SHORE: Fishing has been slow-moderate at best, South beach anglers have had a few short term bluefish blitzes yielding plenty of 1-2lb specimens if you are lucky to be their at the right time, sea mullet, Spanish mackerel, flounder, and very large pompano are still being caught on given occasions. North beach success has been similar, kingfish (sea mullet) have been most plentiful with citation size specimens being caught on a daily basis. Croaker, pompano, spot, spotted seatrout, bluefish, spanish mackerel, cownose rays, skate, stingrays, and assorted sharks were also caught in low amounts.
Brian A Melott
Recreational Port Agent
Division of Marine Fisheries
NC Department of Environmental Quality