06/19/09 — Fishing report

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Fishing report

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on June 19, 2009 1:46 PM

Northern District

Ocean: Offshore catches remain good with limits of dolphin by almost everyone targeting them. There were some very good catches of wahoo, king mackerel, blueline tilefish, greater amberjack, yellow and blackfin tuna; and assorted groupers and snappers.

Billfish catches continued to improve, with sailfish and both blue and white marlin being caught by anglers targeting them.

Midrange fishing improved over last week's dismal catches. Anglers fishing the artificial reefs caught some large triggerfish with tautog and black seabass mixed in. Large King mackerel were caught in a very narrow range around 12 miles offshore.

Nearshore catches were a little slow, with the exception of some short-term/high volume bluefish and Spanish mackerel being caught by those who were in the right place at the right time.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Flounder, spotted seatrout, and red drum were the primary targets of these anglers, and for good reason. Catches of all three species had been limited to certain hot spots, but anglers managed to catch them throughout the area this week. Anglers fishing the Rose Bay/Swan Quarter area caught the bulk of the spotted seatrout with some very large specimens being caught this week. Striped bass fishing was slow, with most of those caught being undersized.

Piers/Shore: Lots of diversity, but not a lot of any particular type is the best way to sum up this fishing. Croaker, kingfish, spot, puffers, pigfish, pinfish, burrfish, hake; and assorted skates and rays kept anglers occupied most of the time.

Short-term/high-volume catches of bluefish and Spanish mackerel are still happening with moderate regularity. Cobia catches continued to improve, with some very large specimens being caught this week. There were some nice catches of red drum from Rodanthe southward to Ocracoke.

Central region

Ocean: The 51st Big Rock tournament came to an end on Saturday afternoon, and the winning blue marlin weighed in at 466 pounds. Although only a few fish were weighed in this year, the billfish bite was steady and there were plenty of blues, whites and sails released.

In the gamefish category, the winning yellowfin tuna weighed in at 98 pounds and the winning dolphin and wahoo were just under 60 pounds.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: The flounder bite is picking up, both nearshore and in the rivers and sounds. Most of the fish we saw this week were just an inch or two above legal, and anglers also released many undersized fish. Farther inshore, anglers reported seeing a lot of muddy water following this week's thunderstorms.

Successful anglers found that it was worthwhile to scout out areas of clear water. Lots of speckled trout were spotted this weekend, ranging from just legal to over three pounds. Closer to Morehead City, some nice gray trout were spotted.

Piers/Shore: Although we didn't see many Spanish this week, the bottom fishing continues to be productive -- black drum, spots, croakers and a few spadefish and pompano. Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle had a great week for the big fish and weighed in a 32-pound King mackerel and a 27-pound cobia.

Southern Region

Ocean: Offshore, stream fishing is starting to wind down. Boats that fished last week still caught plenty of gaffer dolphin along with some wahoo and a few billfish releases. It has been a great spring for dolphin catches.

Boats targeting bottom fish are having some luck. Big red groupers are biting in the 40- to 50-mile range, along with some scamps and gag groupers. King mackerel fishing has been productive in the 10- to 20-mile range.

Amberjacks, gag groupers, cobia and dolphin are also being caught by fisherman targeting king mackerel. Large schools of menhaden are all along area beaches, and several boats reported catching some nice cobia and king mackerel close to the menhaden.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Not much has changed in the last couple of weeks. Flounder fishing has been fair so far this year. The best catches continue to come out of the Cape Fear River, Lockwood Folly River, and Tubbs Inlet. Live menhaden fished on a Carolina rig is your best bet right now.

Piers/Shore: Pender and New Hanover piers reported sea mullet, pompano, blues, and a few Spanish mackerel last week. There were also a few king mackerel landed.

Brunswick County piers are doing fair on the trout along with some pompano, sea mullet and bluefish. Oak Island piers had another good week on the kings, not as good as last week, but still good fishing.