08/06/06 — N.C. fishing report

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N.C. fishing report

Published in Sports on August 6, 2006 2:10 AM

Northern District: Dare, Hyde, Currituck and Beaufort Counties

Charterboats: Offshore activity remains fair -- good with dolphin and yellowfin tuna being caught on a regular basis. Bigeye tuna have been caught in good numbers, with very large ones showing up this week. Sailfish, blue marlin, and white marlin have been caught most of the time by anglers targeting billfish. Wahoo, king mackerel, Atlantic bonito, little tunny, and skipjack tuna have also been caught. Midrange activity is slower than previously, but nice catches of tautog, blueline tilefish, black seabass, and grouper are still being caught.

Headboats: Fishing has improved somewhat, with a mixed bag of species including, pigfish, pinfish, croaker, spot, skate, shark, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, kingfish, seatrout, puffer and spadefish.

Private Boats: Fishing success has been similar to that of charter boats with the exception of the inshore success. Anglers with small boats are happy to have the advantage catching nice spotted seatrout and flounder in the very shallow waters of Oregon Inlet. The majority of the spotted seatrout have been caught in the Green Island Slough and most of the flounder have been caught in the shallows of the Off Island area. Large specimens of black drum and sheepshead are still being caught near the bridge structure at Oregon Inlet. Bluefish, spanish mackerel, croaker and spot have been caught

Piers: Success here still remains one extreme or the other with some nice spotted seatrout catches in the mornings. Short-term blitzes of bluefish and Spanish mackerel have been passing through, making for great fishing for the lucky anglers who are there to experience the quick 20-30 minutes of steady activity. Fishing in this mode is a little "hit or miss" and only the anglers whom are patient and persistent are reaping the benefits of a good catch

Shore: Fishing success similar to that of piers with a few exceptions. Pompano are being caught in the near-shore surf zone using mole crabs (sand fleas). Flounder and spotted seatrout have been caught with increased regularity this week. Red drum and very large croaker are being caught with increased regularity from Rodanthe southward.

General Overview: Fishing in most modes is consistently fair to good. Patient and persistent anglers run a good chance of nice catches.

Central District: Pamlico, Craven, Carteret and Onslow Counties

Headboats: Local boats are out fishing just about every day. Half-day trips are bringing in spottail pinfish and black sea bass. Light liners on board are catching kings and small dolphin. The full day trips are going strong. The grunts are over a pound. The gag are running from 14 to 17 pounds. There are decent sized black seabass, but not too many are keepers. White grunts are out numbering all other fish caught.

Charter Boats: Dolphin and wahoo with an billfish every now and then.

Private Boats: Kings and dolphin are still being caught around Buoy 14. Nice kings are reported around the hook at Cape Lookout and the jetty. Ar 315 and Ar 320 are covered up with flounder. Divers are reporting tons of shark around the wrecks and hesitate to spear flounder. They are seeing big tigers and nurse sharks. Hammerheads are reported on the surface of the water by boaters. Smaller sharpnoses are reported everywhere from shore to offshore. There are good flounder catches in the mouth of Beaufort Inlet and around the closer buoys of the Inlet. Anglers are reporting many undersized flounder. Spotted seatrout catches are picking up. Speckled trout are also in the Haystacks along with redfish. Anglers are reporting many undersized red drum -- more than usual. Bear Island also has redfish, but the fish have been there all year. Sheepshead are thick at the State Port.

Piers/Shore: Small pompano, tiny croakers, undersized flounder, very small kingfish and the good old pinfish are being caught amid shark after shark after shark.

Southern District: Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties

Headboats: Full-day trips are doing well. Catches are consisting of grunts, porgies, groupers, snappers and amberjacks. Half-day trips are producing black sea bass and some keeper flounder.

Charter Boats: Full-day trips are catching groupers, king mackerel, dolphin, and some sailfish. Half-day trips are catching some Spanish mackerel, and inshore charters are doing well, with catches of flounder, spadefish, sheepshead, trout and some drum.

Private Boats: Offshore, bottom fishing remains good in the 35 to 45 mile range for red and scamp groupers. Sailfish are showing up in good numbers close to shore, there were several caught around 23-mile rock, Schoolhouse, and at Dallas rock. There are some larger king mackerel starting to show up on area beaches. Carolina Beach Inlet, the river channel, and Yaupon reef has produced a few nice fish over the last couple of weeks. Inshore and near-shore have seen the biggest improvements. There is a pretty good speckled trout bite around the Bald Head/Southport area, along with improving flounder fishing as well. There were a good many citation-size flounder reported last week. The Cape Fear River, and near-shore reefs are producing the best right now. Sheepshead and black drum are biting well. The ADM dock, Snow's cut, and the jetties at Masonboro would be good places to try.

Piers: Summer-time fishing. There have been some king mackerel landed on Pender, New Hanover, and Brunswick county piers last week, along with some tarpon landed, and many more lost. Bottom fishing is slow on most piers, with a few spot, sea mullet, and pompano. There are some nice flounder being caught as well as some sheepshead.

Shore: Slow summertime fishing. There were some drum reported at the point at Bald Head.

Courtesy N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries