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
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
Marine Fisheries Tech II
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
Marine Fisheries Tech II