Outer Banks Recreational Fishing Report 1 Nov 15

OCEAN: Offshore action continues to be good, anglers out of the Hatteras marinas caught plenty of citation size wahoo-one specimen weighed in at 92lbs! with most specimens in the 50lb + category. Moderate amounts of blackfin tuna along with a few scattered dolphin and billfish releases were also reported. Wreck fishing yielded decent catches of triggerfish, vermillion snapper, and blackbelly rosefish. Nearshore anglers caught quite a few red drum but most were over-slot one’s along with spotted seatrout and assorted sharks. Anglers out of the North beach marina’s had similar success with moderate amounts of wahoo hitting the docks, a few citation size ones were reported. Dolphin and both blackfin & yellowfin tuna were caught on a consistent basis along with a few king mackerel on some occasions. Nearshore anglers have been catching plenty of striped bass but keeper ratios have been less than desirable. Large sheepshead and a few little tunny and bluefish were also reported.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS: A mixed bag of species have been caught in these waters, most anglers have been targeting striped bass and spotted seatrout with mixed results. Striped bass catches continue to improve throughout the region with the Roanoke Sound leading the way with the most consistent catches, time of day is crucial with early morning hours being most productive dropping off sharply afterwards. Spotted seatrout catches have followed a similar pattern with early morning & evening proving best, unlike the striped bass catches that were concentrated in one area the spotted seatrout were caught almost everywhere with keeper specimens in most cases. A host of others were caught in low-moderate amounts including flounder, sea robin, puffer, croaker, pigfish, pinfish, and kingfish.

PIERS/SHORE: The red drum catch continues to be good from North to South, anglers from Avon southward caught high numbers of very large over-slot specimens. Large size black drum have been caught in the backwash of the surf zone with plenty of puffers and citation size sea mullet mixed in on most outings. Anglers have reported catching bluefish and spotted seatrout on very productive/ short -term basis if you were lucky enough to have a line in the water when they were biting. A mixed bag of species were also caught in low-moderate amounts.

Brian A. Melott
NCDENR
Marine Fisheries Tech II

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

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

Recreational Fishing Report 10 Oct 15

OCEAN:  Offshore anglers have been denied access for quite a while due to the recent storm, the first few post-storm trips have offered Hatteras fisherman limits of dolphin, citation size wahoo, and scattered black & yellowfin  tuna- along with a few sailfish releases.  The North beach marina’s were glad to be fishing again as well and limits of dolphin along with moderate amounts of both yellow & blackfin tuna .  Inshore fishing offered Hatteras anglers high volume amounts of spotted seatrout, unfortunately keeper ratios were poor.  Red drum catches were very good with a full spectrum of sizes from the very small to the over-slot giants.  Anglers out of the North beach marinas caught high numbers of bluefish along with moderate amounts of Spanish mackerel mixed in, a few spotted seatrout and stingrays were also reported.

INLETS/SOUNDS/BAYS:  Fishing is recovering in these waters as well, recent flooding limiting access.  Post storm trips did offer some satisfaction after a long down- time with a mixed bag of species in low-moderate amounts including some very large kingfish-( sea mullet) along with flounder, black seabass, croaker, spot, and puffer.  Anglers fishing the Roanoke Sound  off of the “Little Bridge” and underneath of the Washington Baum” Bridge caught limits of striped bass along with a few spotted seatrout.

PIERS/SHORE:  Anglers fishing off of beaches were very limited as well, when sea’s subsided by mid-week a varied amount of species were caught- some short-term bluefish blitzes occurred along with some very large black drum and sea mullet.  Fisherman reported a host of other species including spotted seatrout, croaker, puffer, red drum, skates & rays. Pier anglers were the only one’s that did fish during the storm to a small extent-a few red drum & dogfish sharks were caught by those that toughed out the adverse weather conditions, catches after the storm were the same as the surf-casters.


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