Recreational Fishing Report 6 Dec 15

OCEAN:  The weather element continues to be an ongoing factor this time of year limiting fishing effort.  Hatteras anglers fishing offshore had moderate  success on favorable days with yellowfin & blackfin tuna being most prevalent along with a few scattered wahoo, king mackerel, and dolphin.  Bottom fishing was good with grouper, vermillion snapper, triggerfish, and blackbelly rosefish, nearshore activity was very low with little or nothing reported.  Northern marinas had similar results with the same species caught in lower amounts, a bright spot was three swordfish caught by one boat on an overnight trip.  Nearshore action was sparse with a few red drum, striped bass, and assorted others in very low amounts.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS:  Hatteras anglers are still catching a few red drum, flounder, and spotted seatrout but this has dropped off considerably and activity is low.  Anglers from Oregon Inlet northward continue to make striped bass their primary target with good results in most cases, keeper ratios are very much improved  as compared to the previously  mostly  undersize ones.  Roanoke & Croatan Sound catches are still the most consistent but a noted improvement has been experienced throughout the region.  Spotted seatrout catches have been fair, time of day is crucial with early morning hours yielding the bulk of the catches.  Black drum were caught around the pilings of the Oregon Inlet bridge when little else was available, a mixed bag of species was caught in low amounts throughout the area.

PIERS/SHORE:  Most of the piers are now closed for the season, anglers fishing from the shore had a tough time due to rough surf conditions. Anglers  targeting red drum have had a few good days from Avon southward-but this has been very limited due to unfavorable weather conditions.    Moderate amounts of spotted seatrout were caught on favorable  days- however most were undersize ones, scattered catches of black drum, bluefish, kingfish, skates and stingrays were also reported. 

Brian A Melott

Recreational Port Agent

Division of Marine Fisheries

NC Department of Environmental Quality

Outer Banks Recreational Fishing Report 29 Nov 15

OCEAN:  The weather element continues to be a factor in all modes and at all locations, favorable days however were productive in most cases.  Offshore anglers out of Hatteras locations continue to catch high numbers of blackfin tuna along with moderate amounts of citation size wahoo & king mackerel, scattered dolphin, barracuda, little tunny, and amberjack were also reported.  Offshore fishing out of the marinas from Oregon Inlet northward had success as well with plenty of citation size wahoo being reported along with decent catches of both yellow & blackfin tuna.  Nearshore  action out of Hatteras was awesome with limits of red drum and spotted seatrout on most outings, anglers from Oregon Inlet northward caught the same species but in much lesser amounts.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS:  These anglers have reported inconsistent catches with some days yielding limits of several species and other days not even getting a bite.  Hatteras fisherman had similar success to the nearshore anglers with limits of red drum and spotted seatrout on most trips along with a few bluefish and flounder mixed in.  Anglers fishing from Oregon Inlet northward have been  primarily targeting striped bass with very good success rates in most cases, Croatan & Roanoke Sound continue to be the traditional high volume producers with Manns Harbor and the Washington Baum Bridge being the epicenters of this fishery, early morning and late evening have yielded the best catches.  Moderate amounts of spotted seatrout were caught throughout the region along with a host of others in low amounts.

PIERS/SHORE:  Nothing in particular/everything in general is the best way to describe this fishing.  Very large kingfish (sea mullet) were caught on adverse weather  days when little else was available.  Favorable days produced plenty of flounder and spotted seatrout however most were undersize, a mixed bag of species was also caught in low amounts including both red & black drum, silver perch, puffer, smooth & spiny dogfish, pinfish, pigfish, skates, and stingrays.


Brian A Melott

Recreational Port Agent

Division of Marine Fisheries

NC Department of Environmental Quality

Recreational Fishing Report 18 Oct 15

OCEAN:  Offshore action has been diverse, North beach  anglers caught very high numbers of blackfin tuna along with scattered catches of dolphin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and atlantic bonito.  Billfish catches were few.  Hatteras fishing yielded limits of dolphin and very large specimens of both wahoo and amberjack, lesser amounts of assorted “tuna’s” were also reported along with a few sailfish releases.  Midrange/nearshore success  out of north beach marinas has been fair with bluefish making up the bulk of the catches, Spanish mackerel, little tunny, and red drum of all sizes were also reported.  Anglers fishing these waters out of the Hatteras marinas had very poor success rates.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS:  Success has been moderate at best with a  variety  of species reported.  Spotted seatrout keeper ratios have shown signs of improvement throughout the area with Roanoke sound anglers catching the bulk of them. A host of others were also caught including puffer, weakfish, flounder,  kingfish, pinfish, pigfish, black seabass, and spot.

PIERS/SHORE:  Things have really improved to the delight of these anglers.  Spotted seatrout landings have been very good from both the piers and surf zone, very large spot and seemingely endless amounts of silver perch were also reported along with moderate catches of puffer, bluefish, and kingfish.  Anglers fishing from Avon southward caught red drum of all sizes along with some very large black drum, a few pompano were still being caught  in the surf zone due to unusually warm water temps.  Dogfish and cownose rays were next to impossible to avoid by anyone wetting a line at most locations.


Brian A. Melott
NCDENR
Marine Fisheries Tech II

Fishing Report 13 Sep 2015

OUTER BANKS OCEAN FISHING REPORT:  Offshore anglers had very good success, yellowfin tuna have made their presence known with limits by those fishing out of the northern marinas-with most specimens in the 30-40 lb range.  Citation size bigeye tuna along with blackfin tuna, wahoo, and dolphin were also caught. Billfish action remains impressive with “Grand Slam” catches of sailfish and both blue & white marlin.  Hatteras marina’s  have had similar catches-not as many yellowfin tuna but limits of dolphin & large citation size wahoo.  Midrange/nearshore anglers continue to make bluefish and spanish mackerel their primary target with limits of both being caught on most outings.  Improved catches of king mackerel, black seabass, triggerfish, and little tunny (false albacore) was also noted this past week.

OUTER BANKS INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS FISHING REPORT:  Fishing has been slow & uneventful with a few exceptions.  Spanish mackerel & bluefish have been caught just inside the bridge at Oregon Inlet-but this has been short-term and only available for those fortunate to be their at the right time, the pilings of the bridge did offer some large sheepshead along with a few black drum, spadefish, and needlefish when little else was available.  A few flounder were caught in the shallow water areas near Bodie Island light with favorable keeper ratios in most cases.  Hatteras anglers did manage to catch a decent amount of keeper & over-slot red drum along with limits of bluefish and moderate amounts of flounder.   A host of others were caught in low amounts.

OUTER BANKS PIERS/SHORE FISHING REPORT:  A mixed bag assortment has been caught with no particular species dominating the catches.  Pompano are still being caught in the near shore surf zone due to the water temp still hanging around in the upper 70’s.  Kingfish-(Sea Mullet), spot, croaker, silver perch, blue runner,  pigfish & pinfish were caught in moderate amounts. Anglers fishing the surf zone from Avon southward are still catching large 2lb> pompano along with a few keeper red drum and surprise catches of little tunny (false albacore).

Brian A. Melott
NCDENR
Marine Fisheries Tech II
Recreational Fishing Report 2 Aug 15

Recreational Fishing Report 2 Aug 15

OCEAN:  Offshore anglers struggled this past week, very few tunas of any sort were caught -a bright spot was limits of dolphin caught around 15 miles offshore making for some early returns to the docks.  Billfish catches made a slight increase in frequency.  Midrange success rates have made a marked improvement with high volume catches of both atlantic cutlassfish  (ribbonfish)  and sharpnose sharks-anglers report both of these as good eating.  King & spanish mackerel, little tunny, and cobia were caught in these same waters.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS:  Improving flounder catches have been experienced by anglers fishing the shallow water areas at Oregon Inlet this previous week with much improved keeper ratios .  spoons but this has lessened somewhat.  Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are still being caught by anglers trolling  the surface water with spoons and assorted lures, catches have been short term and limited to anglers being at thr right spot at the right time.  Anglers fishing the Roanoke Sound are still catching spotted seatrout in the early  morning hours and then again just before dark along with a few red drum, croaker, and kingfish mixed in.  The pilings of Oregon Inlet bridge continue to offer sheepshead, black drum, spadefish, and atlantic needlefish.

PIERS/SHORE:  Fishing for cobia/king mackerel off of piers has been excellent this past week by anglers fishing over night into the wee hours of the morning.  Citation size kingfish (sea mullet) are still being caught in the near shore surf zone with sand fleas being the bait of choice. Pompano, spot, croaker, black and red drum, atlantic cutlassfish, puffers, pigfish, pinfish, striped burrfish, bluefish, skates, rays, sharks,  and a host of others were also caught in lesser amounts.

Brian A. Melott
NCDENR
Marine Fisheries Tech II

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