Recreational Fishing Report 25 Oct 15

OCEAN: Favorable weather conditions have finally let anglers access most water’s with good results in most cases. Offshore catches were good out of the north beach marina’s with high numbers of both blackfin & yellowfin tuna along with a few large wahoo and scattered dolphin, billfish releases were few. Hatteras/Ocracoke marina’s had a diverse assortment with plenty of large size blackfin tuna and amberjack, moderate amounts of citation size wahoo, and a few dolphin, yellowfin tuna, and occasional billfish. Anglers fishing deep water on bottom caught porgy, vermillion snapper, triggerfish and blackbelly rosefish. Nearshore/midrange fishing out of north beach marina’s continues to be good with plenty of bluefish being caught on most days, large specimens of striped bass and sheepshead were reported also along with moderate amounts of large over-slot red drum with a few large black drum mixed in as well. Assorted others were caught in low-moderate amounts including little tunny, black seabass, and spotted seatrout. Hatteras/Ocracoke fisherman have been delighted with the recent increase in spotted seatrout catches with favorable keeper ratios in most cases along with moderate amounts of weakfish mixed in on most outings. Flounder, bluefish, and puffers were also caught in low-moderate amounts.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: Anglers in these water’s have primarily been targeting striped bass and spotted seatrout throughout the area with much improved success rates as compared to previously. Hatteras anglers are catching plenty of spotted seatrout in the sound”extending” in to the ocean with the best results in quite some time . Oregon Inlet northward offered some nice spotted seatrout action as well with the Roanoke sound once again producing the bulk of the catches in the early morning hours, red drum and legal size striped bass were also caught with much improved regularity. A host of others were caught in low amounts.

PIERS/BEACH: Most of these anglers have been trying to catch red drum with good results most of the time, small undersize up to large over-slot giants have been caught from Corolla to Ocracoke on a regular basis this past week with a few large black drum mixed in. Decent catches of bluefish, kingfish, puffer, spot, pinfish, pigfish, and silver perch offered fare for the dinner table when little else was available. Skates, rays, and both smooth & spiny dogfish were also reported.
Brian A. Melott
NCDENR
Marine Fisheries Tech II

NCDENR Outer Banks Fishing 19 Sep 15

OCEAN: Offshore fishing remains good in most cases/locations. Anglers fishing out of the north beach marinas had limits of dolphin on most outings along with moderate amounts of both yellowfin & blackfin tuna. Billfish catches have remained consistent with white marlin constituting most of them, a few sailfish, blue marlin, and spearfish were also reported. Hatteras marinas have had plenty of nice size wahoo hitting the docks making up the bulk of the offshore catches, assorted tuna’s, dolphin, and amberjack were caught in low-moderate amounts. Bottom fishing was good yielding plenty of triggerfish and vermillion snapper along with a few tripletail, porgy, almaco jack, and blackbelly rosefish. Midrange/nearshore action continues to be moderate-good throughout the region with high numbers of bluefish and spanish mackerel being caught by those lucky enough to be there for their short-term blitzing. Little tunny (false albacore), triggerfish, and black seabass were also caught in much lesser amounts. Hatteras marinas had decent red drum catches this previous week but most were over-slot one’s.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: This fishing is finally starting to improve with some nice catches of both weakfish and spotted seatrout. Roanoke Sound anglers have experienced the best success rates off of the causeway- “Little Bridge” and underneath of the “Washington Baum Bridge with early morning hours producing the most fish. Shallow water areas at Oregon Inlet did yield a few nice keeper flounder- the bridge pilings produced some nice sheepshead, black drum and spadefish. Bluefish, spanish mackerel, black seabass , searobin, and croaker were caught in moderation throughout the area along with assorted others in low amounts.

PIERS/SHORE: Success rates have been poor-moderate in most cases, the bluefish/spanish mackerel blitzes experienced by the nearshore boaters have also offered P/S anglers some nice catches on a few occasions. Water temps remain in the upper 70’s keeping the pompano in the surf zone later in the season than normally with some moderate catches using sand fleas as the preferred bait. Kingfish (sea mullet), croaker, black & red drum, silver perch, sea robin, flounder, pinfish, pigfish, striped burrfish, smooth & spiny dogfish, skates and stingrays were also caught in varied amounts.

Brian A. Melott
NCDENR
Marine Fisheries Tech II

NCDENR Fishing Report 30 Aug 15

OCEAN: Limits of dolphin were had by most anglers heading offshore this previous week, billfish catches have improved significantly with some boats returning with a “Grand-Slam” catch of sailfish and both blue & white marlin. The Hatteras offshore action has picked up with citation size wahoo and plenty of blackfin tuna along with lesser amounts of other assorted tuna’s. Midrange/near shore trips have yielded a few over-slot red drum along with high volume catches of both spanish mackerel & bluefish.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: Anglers struggled to catch much of anything in these waters, most reported not even getting a bite or at best a few undersize flounder & trout. Spot, croaker, pigfish, and sea mullet were caught in moderation offering something for the dinner table when little else was available. Manns Harbor/Mashoes anglers caught a few undersize striped bass. Anglers fishing the Roanoke Sound in the early morning hours did manage to catch a few keeper spotted seatrout & weakfish but this has dropped off as well.

PIERS/SHORE: Fishing success rates have been moderate in these waters with a mixed bag of species caught, beaches from Avon southward have produced some decent catches of spanish mackerel & bluefish for those fortunate enough to be there for the short -term blitzes. Pompano & sea mullet are still available in the near shore surf zone with sand fleas being the bait of choice, a host of others were caught in lesser amounts including lizardfish, black drum, sheepshead, dogfish sharks, pinfish, spot, pigfish, croaker, blue runner, silver perch, cutlassfish, puffer, weakfish, spotted seatrout, skates & assorted rays.

Brian A. Melott
NCDENR
Marine Fisheries Tech II

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