Recreational Fishing Report 29 Aug 16 #OBXFishing

Recreational Fishing Report 29 Aug 16 #OBXFishing

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

One species reclassified in 2016 Stock Status Report

One species reclassified in 2016 Stock Status Report

Release: Immediate

Contact: Patricia Smith

Date: July 1, 2016

Phone: 252-726-7021


One species reclassified in 2016 Stock Status Report 

MOREHEAD CITY – The stock status of most coastal fish did not change in the 2016 Stock Status Report, released today by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. Only one species was reclassified from the 2015 report. 

Summer flounder moved from “viable” to “concern.” The change was based on a 2015 National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center benchmark stock assessment for U.S. waters north of Cape Hatteras. The assessment indicated the stock was not overfished but overfishing was occurring.

As a result of the stock assessment, federal fisheries authorities lowered the allowable biological catch by 29 percent, which lowered the state-by-state commercial quotas proportionately. North Carolina receives the highest commercial quota share at 27.4 percent.

The division annually classifies the status of important marine finfish, shellfish, shrimp and crabs as viable, recovering, concern, depleted or unknown. Definitions of these categories can be found at
Stock Status Categories and Definitions. Concern Stocks designated as CONCERN are those stocks that exhibit increased effort, declining landings, truncated age …

The annual classifications are based on biological and statistical data from the prior year and serve as a barometer of the overall health of the state’s fishery resources. They are used to prioritize development of state fishery management plans.

New this year, the online table that summarizes the report includes information about which fisheries management authorities manage the stock in parenthesis under each species name.

The complete 2016 Stock Status Report can be found on the division’s website at:

For more information, contact division Fisheries Biologist Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734, ext. 222 or[email protected]

Coastal recreational fishermen hooked more fish in 2015

Coastal recreational fishermen hooked more fish in 2015

Release: Immediate

Contact: Patricia Smith

Date: June 21, 2016

Phone: 252-726-7021


Coastal recreational fishermen hooked more fish in 2015 

MOREHEAD CITY – Coastal recreational fishermen hooked more fish in 2015 than they did in 2014.

Anglers brought an estimated 10.2 million fish to the docks in 2015, an increase of 6.8 percent over 2014. The estimated weight of these landings rose by 32 percent to 11.6 million pounds. Anglers also released 6 percent more fish in 2015 than in 2014.

The top five recreational species harvested, by pounds, were dolphin, bluefish, yellowfin tuna, cobia and wahoo. Landings increased for three of these five species.

The number of dolphin taken increased by 132 percent over the previous year to 430,296 fish (3.2 million pounds), the highest since 2011. Recreational wahoo and cobia harvest rose, as well. Anglers hooked 66 percent more wahoo (19,284 fish or 534,787 pounds) and 62 percent more cobia (15,875 fish or 675,859 pounds). Cobia harvests were the highest since 2013 and the average weight of the cobia nearly doubled from 2014 (a fluctuation that is not uncommon from year-to-year).

A likely reason dolphin, wahoo and cobia harvests rose was that fishermen redirected efforts to catch them in the absences of yellowfin tuna harvests. Anglers brought 10.7 percent fewer yellowfin tuna to the docks (24,205 fish or 723,127 pounds).

Rounding out the top five recreational species, bluefish harvests decreased by16 percent to 911,983 fish (769,262 pounds)

Also notable in recreational fisheries, estimated spotted seatrout harvests for 2015 were the lowest on record. One likely contributing factor to the low catches was the back to back cold stuns in 2013 and 2014. The Division of Marine Fisheries closed spotted seatrout harvest Feb. 5 to June 15 in 2014 to allow the fish that survive the cold stun event the maximum chance to spawn in the spring. Another factor may have been the abnormal amount of rainfall in eastern North Carolina in the fall and winter of 2015 that flushed the creeks with freshwater, causing fish to move to higher salinities.

Even though catches were very low, spotted seatrout remained the second highest target species following flounder. Also, while spotted seatrout harvest was down in 2015, estimates of recreational released catch (undersized) were at near record levels.

The Division of Marine Fisheries estimates recreational fishing harvests through broad-based intercept surveys, where port agents talk to fishermen on the beach, at the piers and at boat ramps, and through mail surveys to license holders.

For a full landings report, click on the 2015 Annual Fisheries Bulletin link at
Division of Marine Fisheries Harvest Statistics Overview. The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries obtains statistics on recreational and commercial harvest of finfish …
Outer Banks Fishing Report 18 Jun 16

Outer Banks Fishing Report 18 Jun 16

OCEAN:  Anglers out of Hatteras had decent offshore catches but success rates have taken a modest step backwards as compared to the previous weeks catches, a few dolphin were caught-some being very large specimens along with scattered wahoo and both yellow & blackfin tuna.  Billfish catches continue to improve with releases of sailfish, white and blue marlin.  Bottom fishing in deep water was a bright spot with much diversity including  grey triggerfish, vermillion snapper, greater amberjack, snowy and yellowedge grouper, blackbelly rosefish, and spinycheek scorpionfish.  Nearshore fishing was awesome and was almost exclusively bluefish and spanish mackerel-both being caught in very high numbers.    Fishing out of Oregon Inlet yielded very good offshore catches with limits of dolphin on most outings along with some very large bigeye and yellowfin tuna.  Scattered catches of wahoo and blackfin tuna were also noted.  Billfish release’s were plentiful.  Nearshore action was similar to that of Hatteras anglers with bluefish and spanish mackerel being most common along with the addition of moderate amounts of king mackerel and amberjack, scattered catches of cobia and undersize striped bass were also recorded.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS:  Fishing out of Hatteras was fair but continues to improve with weakfish and spotted seatrout being most prevalent , bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and “in-slot” red drum rounded out the catches.  Fishing in the Northern area offered a very diverse mix of species all caught in moderate amounts including bluefish, spot, kingfish, croaker, flounder, black seabass, hake, silver perch, pinfish, pigfish, and atlantic  cutlassfish (ribbonfish).  Anglers fishing around the Oregon Inlet bridge pilings caught some very large sheepshead and black drum.

SHORE/PIERS:  South beach anglers caught plenty of bluefish and spanish mackerel if they were lucky enough to be there for their short term blitzes, flounder catches have made a marked improvement in frequency this previous week.  Citation size pompano are still being caught on a regular basis.  North beach anglers have been catching the blitzing blues as well along with spanish mackerel mixed in most of the time.  Pompano are being caught but are significantly smaller than the South beach giants, sea mullet, striped burrfish, puffers, pinfish, pigfish, menhaden, dogfish,   and hake have also been caught in moderation.  Cownose rays were thick and almost unavoidable when the school’s passed by.

Fishery Bulletin

Fishery Bulletin

Below is a Southeast Fishery Bulletin recently distributed from
NOAA Fisheries Service that may be of interest. 
To see the complete list of Fishery Bulletins 
visit the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office website at: 
(South Atlantic)

Sustainable Fisheries
June 1, 2016    

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Proposed Management Changes to Black Sea Bass, Blueline Tilefish, and Yellowtail Snapper in the South Atlantic 

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on Regulatory Amendment 25 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 25). The proposed rule for Regulatory Amendment 25 published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2016 (81 FR 34944). The comment period ends on June 16, 2016.
Regulatory Amendment 25 proposes the following changes:
Black sea bass

  • Increase the recreational bag limit for black sea bass from five to seven fish per person per day. The higher bag limit would increase the probability that the recreational annual catch limit is reached.

Blueline Tilefish

  • Increase the annual catch limits for blueline tilefish to 87,521 pounds (commercial sector) and 87,277 pounds (recreational sector).
  • Increase the commercial trip limit from 100 to 300 pounds gutted weight.
  • Increase the recreational bag limit from one per vessel to three fish per person per day for the months of May through August. There would continue to be no recreational retention of blueline tilefish during the months of January through April and September through December, each year.

Yellowtail Snapper

  • Change the yellowtail snapper fishing year start date for both the commercial and recreational sectors from January 1 to August 1, each year. Changing the start of the fishing year to August 1 would benefit both sectors because it would ensure that harvest is open during the winter months when yellowtail snapper obtain a higher price per pound commercially, and during peak tourist season in south Florida where the majority of yellowtail harvest takes place.

Request for Comments
Comments on the amendment must be received no later than June 16, 2016, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries. See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments.
Electronic copies of Amendment 25 may be obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Web site, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at, the Council’s Web site at
You may submit comments by the following methods:

NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
c/o Mary Vara
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

All personal identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Comments received through means not specified in this bulletin may not be considered.
More information, including Frequently Asked Questions for Regulatory Amendment 25 can be found online at:
This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.


  This Fishery Bulletin is forwarded as a courtesy of the
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. 
Questions or comments should be addressed to
NOAA Fisheries using the contact information provided in the Bulletin.
Recreational cobia regulations go into effect Monday 23 May 2016

Recreational cobia regulations go into effect Monday 23 May 2016

Release: Immediate

Contact: Patricia Smith

Date: May 20, 2016

Phone: 252-726-7021 or 252-342-0642

Recreational cobia regulations go into effect Monday

MOREHEAD CITY –The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has issued a proclamation consistent with the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission’s decision to impose restrictions on the recreational cobia fishery. On Thursday the commission voted to impose the following restrictions on recreational cobia: 

  • A 37-inch fork length (measured from the tip of the snout to the fork in the tail) minimum size limit for all recreational fisheries.
  • Anglers fishing from private boats may only fish on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays under daily possession limit of two fish per vessel or one fish per person if only one person is on board.
  • Those fishing from the shore or shore-based structures (pier or surf) may fish seven days a week with a daily possession limit of one fish per person.
  • Those fishing on a for-hire boat (charter or guide) may fish seven days a week with a daily possession limit of four fish per vessel or one fish per person if fewer than four people are on board.
  • Those practicing catch-and-release may fish seven days a week.

The commission’s decision was in response to a federal announcement that, because the annual catch limit was exceeded last year, it intends to close the recreational cobia season in federal waters north of the Georgia-Florida border on June 20. In order to remain consistent with the federal fishery management plan, the federal government encouraged states close state waters for recreational cobia season on June 20. The commission did not approve the division’s recommendation to either close state waters on June 20 or select one of eight size and vessel limit combinations already analyzed by federal government that would have resulted in a lengthened season if adopted by both North Carolina and Virginia.

The commission’s decision to impose these additional restrictions is an effort to extend the recreational cobia season in state waters. These new restrictions go into effect on Monday. The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will submit these new restrictions to the federal government and request an expedited review to determine whether these actions will be sufficient to allow the season to be extended in state waters beyond June 20. If the federal government determines that these restrictions are not sufficient to remain consistent with the federal fishery management plan for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic regions, additional restrictions may be necessary.

For more specifics on the regulations, see Proclamation FF-25-2016 at
Proclamations. Follow this link to Polluted Area Proclamations, which are posted on the website Mon-Fri. 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Any proclamations issued after those …



Website: http://www.deq.


Twitter: http://www/

RSS Feed:

1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699