07/16/06 — N.C. fishing report

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N.C. fishing report

Published in Sports on July 16, 2006 2:09 AM

Northern District

Dare, Hyde, Currituck and Beaufort Counties

Charterboats: (Offshore)Fishing offshore has been fair to good most of the time with yellowfin tuna and dolphin being most prevalent. Wahoo, king mackerel, and billfish have also been caught. (Midrange) Midrange catches continue to be successful with blueline tilefish, black seabass, tautog, grouper, and increasing amounts of king mackerel and cobia. (Inshore) Inshore trips have had fair success with moderate amounts of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and flounder for those with small boats who can access them.

Headboats: Fishing has been fair this past week with a mixed bag being caught. Most prevalent are croaker, pigfish, pinfish, sea trout, dogfish sharks, and a few nice flounder.

Private boats: Catches similar to that of charter boats in described waters with the exception of ever-improving catches of flounder in the shallow waters near the islands at Oregon Inlet. Anglers with smaller boats should concentrate their fishing efforts in these areas while the flounder keeper ratio is well above average. Catches of spotted sea trout, weakfish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and red drum continue to slowly but surely improve.

Piers: Fishing is still one extreme or the other with some days yielding no fish at all, while other days anglers are catching limits of spotted seatrout and large one-pound pompano. There have been isolated blitzes of bluefish and Spanish mackerel.

Shore: Catches similar to piers with those nice specimens of pompano being caught in the near shore surf-zone. Flounder have been caught with increasing regularity using mole crabs (sand fleas) which has also has been the bait of choice for pompano. A few red drum are being caught from Avon southward.

General overview: Most improved fishing this past week was the increased amount of keeper flounder and very large pompano. Water temperatures have fluctuated as much as 15 degrees in 24 hours making fishing quite unpredictable.

Central District

Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow Counties

Headboats: The hot days of July are making the fish fat. We are seeing porgies, huge scup, gag grouper, snapper, big cobia. Half-day boats are catching black sea bass and summer flounder.

Charterboats: Dolphin and billfish. One boat came in with a boat load of Spanish caught off the beach.

Private boats: Spotted sea trout are showing up everywhere from Browns Island ( where a four-pounder was caught ) to Pamlico Sound and the Neuse River where many smaller ones were seen ( although they were all keepers ). Speaking of the Neuse and Pamilco Sound, there are red drum and bluefish and flounder caught -- more we are seeing in Carteret County. Boats are hooking lots of grouper off Topsail Beach. A Pamlico Sound angler saw a huge school of spadefish splashing around the bridge pilings. 240 Rock is covered up with dolphin and kings. Bluefish are in Beaufort Inlet by the thousands. Flounder are being caught in the hook of Cape Lookout. Spanish are running thick down the Atlantic Beach strand.

Piers/Shore: Small sea robins, oystertoads, pigfish, croaker and shark are all around Radio Island and the Beaufort drawbridge.

Southern District

Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties

Headboats: Full-day boats are still catching beeliner, triggerfish, grunts, porgies, and some nice grouper. Half-day trips are catching sea bass and some keeper flounder.

Charterboats: Full-day trips are catching dolphin, king mackerel, grouper, amberjack, and other assorted bottom fish. Half-day trips are bringing Spanish mackerel in, and inshore charters are catching flounder, drum, trout and sheepshead.

Private boats: There are fair catches of dolphin and king mackerel in the 20 to 30 mile range. Kings for the most part are small. Grouper fishing remains very good offshore in the 35 to 45 mile range. Inshore, flounder fishing did improve last week. There were some decent catches both from the Cape Fear River, and on some of the near/shore reefs like Yaupon. There are some nice trout being caught around Oak Island and Southport. Live bait such as shrimp and mullet minnows are producing the best. Sheepshead have been biting as well as black drum around the ADM dock, as well as in Snow's cut. Half of a blue crab or fiddler crabs will catch both.

Piers: Fishing has slowed on most piers. They are catching a little of everything, trout, drum, flounder, sheepshead, sea mullet to name a few. No kings reported last week.

Shore: Slow summer time fishing. Sea mullet, pompano, and drum are being caught. Sand fleas and fresh shrimp seem to be producing the best. Early morning, late evenings and at night seem to be the best times to fish.

Source: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries