Recreational Fishing Reports

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries interviews anglers throughout coastal areas to estimate the marine recreational fishing catch. The following regional fishing reports are updated weekly and compiled by DMF port agents as they observe and interview fishermen at access sites along the coast — more than 500 anglers are interviewed each week.

Please note: New fishing reports are posted each week during the height of fishing season.

Interested in fisheries statistics, including updated recreational tuna and billfish landings? Learn more on the Fisheries Statistics page.

Regional Reports

Northern: Dare, Hyde, Currituck, and Beaufort Counties

Northern: Dare, Hyde, Currituck, and Beaufort Counties

For more information regarding the Northen District Fishing Reports, please contact Brian Melott.

October 5 - October 11

Ocean

Offshore action out of Hatteras saw low-moderate amounts of dolphin, blackfin tuna and wahoo. Bottom fishing in deep waters produced vermilion snapper and triggerfish, along with moderate amounts of black seabass, tilefish and blackbelly rosefish. Nearshore anglers saw a few bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Offshore catches out of Oregon Inlet produced moderate amounts of dolphin, and both black and yellowfin tuna. Nearshore catches continued to be dominated by cutlassfish (ribbonfish) with very high numbers caught. Moderate amounts of moonfish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and little tunny (false albacore) were also caught.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays

Fishing from Hatteras northward to Oregon Inlet saw limits of spotted seatrout and red drum. Oregon Inlet northward produced similar results with red drum and spotted seatrout being caught in high numbers. Striped bass catches improved with the recent opening of the season with Roanoke Sound locations producing most of them.

Pier/Shore

South beach anglers experienced some very productive days with Spanish mackerel in the surf zone on a fairly consistent basis. Low-moderate amounts of pompano, kingfish (sea mullet), croaker and assorted sharks and rays were also caught.  Large 8- to 10-pound bluefish were also observed. North beach catches were slow with a few assorted species caught in low amounts including croaker, kingfish, bluefish and red drum.   

Central: Pamlico, Craven, Carteret, and Onslow Counties

Central: Pamlico, Craven, Carteret, and Onslow Counties

For more information regarding the Central District Fishing Reports, please contact Andrew Valmassoi or Amanda Mullikin.

October 5 - October 11

Ocean

Anglers caught wahoo and king mackerel, with a few dolphin and tuna in the mix. There were some large wahoo and king mackerel caught, but the overall number of fish caught wasn’t high. Offshore bottom fishing remained steady. People brought home good catches of triggerfish, black sea bass, porgy, grunt and an occasional grouper. The Spanish mackerel bite picked up. The number of Spanish mackerel caught is still lower than in the summer, but we're seeing much larger fish caught now. Anglers found good numbers of black drum and red drum in the nearshore waters.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays

Bad weather restricted fishing on some days to the creeks and tributaries. A few "old" drum were caught, but most have seemed to move on. Anglers found good numbers of slot-sized red drum in the flats and coastal creeks. The spotted seatrout action picked up in the coastal rivers. As we move further into fall the bite is only going to get better. Anglers fishing the bridges, walls and submerged structures caught good numbers of black drum with a few sheepshead in the mix.

Piers/Shore

Spanish mackerel and king mackerel provided plenty of action on the piers. Several large mackerel were caught over the weekend. The piers produced black drum, spotted seatrout and a couple of large red drum. The spot bite is beginning to pick up, but the bite hasn't been consistent each day. Anglers fishing the bottom caught kingfish (sea mullet), pompano, pigfish and Atlantic croaker.

Southern: Pender, New Hanover, and Brunswick Counties

Southern: Pender, New Hanover, and Brunswick Counties

For more information regarding the Southern District Fishing Report, please contact Dennis Trowell.

October 5 - October 11

Ocean

Offshore, a few boats caught a handful of wahoo, sailfish and dolphin. Closer to shore, the fall king mackerel fishing started to heat up with some nice catches coming out of the river channel and light house rock. Fishing should only get better along the area beaches for both Spanish and king mackerel as the water temperatures slowly begin to cool.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays

There was a good drum bite at both the Little River rock jetties and the Masonboro Rock jetties. Spotted seatrout are showing up more and more every week as the nearshore water temperatures cool to the mid-70's. Good numbers of slot-sized red and black drum, along with some nice sheepshead were caught in area creeks, bays and docks.

Piers/Shore

Fishing has been good of late on area piers. Good numbers of Spanish and king mackerel were caught, as well as an improvement in the numbers of spot, sea mullet and pompano caught on the bottom. Anglers using live bait such as shrimp and mullet minnows did well on the slot-sized drum and sheepshead. Surf fishing improved with some nice catches of red and black drum, as well as some really big pompano.