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