Recreational fishing reports highlight what's biting off the NC coast

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 12:00am

Fishermen are catching blackfin tuna and dolphin fish offshore. From the piers, they’re catching sea mullet.

Want to know what else is biting on the North Carolina coast? There’s an easy way to find out.

Each spring, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries begins posting weekly recreational fishing reports, and continues through autumn. Three reports, one each for the Northern, Central and Southern coastal areas, are posted on Mondays (or Tuesdays, if Monday is a holiday).

Each report goes over the previous week’s catches from the ocean, from the coastal rivers and sounds and from the piers and shore.

The Northern area report sums up catches in Dare, Hyde, Currituck and Beaufort counties; the Central area report gives information about catches in Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow counties; and the Southern area report runs through catches in Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick counties.

The reports are written by division staff in the Coastal Angling Program. Staff in this program interview more than 20,000 anglers per year at boat ramps, on the beach and on the piers to find out what the fishermen caught, what they threw back, where and how long they fished and other information. These statistics are used to estimate the recreational catch to determine the health of fish populations and what size and bag limits and fishing seasons are needed.

Read the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ recreational fishing reports at