07/18/08 — N.C. fishing report

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N.C. fishing report

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on July 18, 2008 1:36 PM

Northern District

Dare, Hyde, Currituck

& Beaufort Counties

Ocean: Offshore catches improved from last week's slow activity.

Blackfin, yellowfin, bigeye and even a few bluefin tuna were caught this week along with a few dolphin and wahoo. Billfish catches were very good, with sailfish, blue and white marlin being caught on a regular basis.

Midrange anglers caught triggerfish, black seabass, amberjack and increasing numbers of striped bass. Cobia and king mackerel are still being caught about 8-10 miles offshore by anglers returning from gulfstream trips.

Inshore action included bluefish and Spanish mackerel in the near shore surf zone when seas were calm enough to access them. There were some nice catches of flounder.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers were happy with the good flounder keeper ratios of 50 percent or more throughout the area. Spotted seatrout and red drum were caught by early morning anglers at the Melvin Daniels bridge and underneath the Washington Baum bridge opposite Pirates Cove marina.

Green Island slough at Oregon Inlet produced weakfish and spotted seatrout at dawn and dusk.

Piers/Shore: Spanish mackerel catches were very good for both pier and shore anglers. Bluefish offered some short term-high volume action for anglers. A few kingfish, croakers, puffers, burrfish, spot, skates and assorted sharks were caught.

Red drum catches from Avon southward to Ocracoke improved considerably.

Anglers caught cobia while fishing at night from piers.

General overview: Tropical Storm Bertha stirred up seas and had a positive effect on fishing as history has shown from previous storms. Weather conditions are predicted favorable for the coming week.

Central District

Pamlico, Craven, Carteret

& Onslow Counties

Ocean: Summertime slows fishing down.

The heat is here along with the wind. Gaffer dolphin and nice-sized wahoo are still being hooked and billfish are prevalent. Sunday a boat came in with a grand slam -- two blue marlin, three white marlin and a sailfish. Other than that, the waterfront has been quiet.

Spanish mackerel and bluefish are along the beaches and around both Bogue and Beaufort inlets. Kings were reported at the sea buoy about 8 miles out.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: A few redfish were reported in the Topsail Beach area and the Bogue Sound-Newport River and large numbers at Bogue Inlet.

Many undersized flounder were reported caught and released this past week from all waters.

Pigfish can be caught around the Beaufort drawbridge and the turning basin of the state port. Anglers are catching many undersized black sea bass and reporting many sharks.

Piers/Shore: Piers have a mixed bag of croakers, spot, undersized flounder, pigfish and pinfish. Bluefish and Spanish are keeping the fishing active.

Southern District

Pender, New Hanover

& Brunswick Counties

Ocean: Bottom fishing remains a good option this time year.

Red, gag, and scamp groupers are biting on most ledges in the 30- to 50-mile range along with a host of other reef fish. King mackerel fishing was good last week at the shark hole and the dredge wreck. Slow trolling live bait such as cigar minnows and menhaden is the most productive method.

Flounder fishing on the near/shore reefs typically picks up this time of year. The reefs just off the beaches of Brunswick and New Hanover are great places to try. Live bait such as mullet or menhaden fished on a Carolina rig is the ticket.

There should be spadefish on most of the near/shore reefs as well. Tarpon fishing around Bald Head and on the shoals is another option this time of year.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Flounder fishing has been fair. I haven't seen any outstanding catches, but most people are catching a few up to eight pounds.

The near/shore reefs and the Cape Fear River have been producing some fish of late. Trout are still biting in the lower Cape Fear around Southport, and in the waterway around Sunset Beach. Sight fishing for drum in the creeks and bays has been good from Topsail to Bald Head when conditions are right.

Sheepshead and black drum are biting well at the ADM dock and Snow's cut.

Piers/Shore: Typical summertime fishing.

Topsail Island piers reported pompano, sea mullet, and a few keeper flounder. There were a few king mackerel landed last week. New Hanover piers saw much the same, with one pier doing outstanding on the king mackerel.

Brunswick County piers had a good week on trout and pompano. There were a few king mackerel landed as well.