09/04/09 — Fishing report

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Fishing report

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on September 4, 2009 1:46 PM

Northern District

Ocean: Offshore fishing slowed considerably this week. Anglers caught a few dolphin, wahoo, greater amberjack, yellow and blackfin tuna. Billfish catches were fair with sailfish, and both blue and white marlin being released this week.

Midrange fishing was fair. Anglers returning from unsuccessful offshore gulfstream trips managed to catch moderate amounts of very large king mackerel in the 15- to 20-mile range along with a few triggerfish.

Nearshore catches were very slow and there was little to report.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers in these waters had nice catches of spotted seatrout and flounder throughout the area. There were some very good catches of flounder and night seemed to be the time to reel them in. Spotted seatrout catches were best in the early-mid morning hours.

Piers/shore: Anglers filled coolers with spot and croakers this week. Other fish caught in low-moderate amounts including Spanish mackerel, weakfish, flounder, spotted seatrout, banded rudderfish, bluefish, spadefish, pompano, pinfish, pigfish, black and red drum, skates and assorted rays and sharks.

Central region

Ocean: The billfish, mostly sailfish, and wahoo bite is still doing well for offshore fisherman. Many Morehead City-based boats have been returning with more than one billfish flag flying at the end of their trips. Bottom fishing offshore was great this week. The vermillion snapper were coming up between 2 and 3 1/2 pounds.

Other large fish caught included sea bass, triggerfish, gags, scamps, barracuda, grunts and porgy. Recreational anglers should be aware that new snapper/grouper regulations went into effect at the end of July.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers fishing the Neuse and White Oak rivers were catching decent numbers of keeper flounder while anglers fishing the Pamlico Sound and lower Neuse are still reporting mixed success with the big red drum. The Spanish are still around, though more anglers are targeting flounder and trout these days.

Piers/shore: The surf and pier fishing has been very slow lately. The storm that came through last week created some very muddy water which made for poor fishing. There have been some pinfish and hogfish, and lots of anglers released small flounder. The piers are still seeing strong runs of Spanish, including large fish in the 3 to 5-pound range, as well as an occasional king.

Southern District

Ocean: Offshore, boats brought back some nice wahoos last week. While it's a little early for the the best wahoo fishing, which takes place in the fall, it's not too early to catch a few. Dolphin, blackfin tunas and some sailfish were caught as well.

Bottom fishing seems to be picking up some. Boats brought in red, scamp and gag last week with some nice catches of vermilion snapper. African pompano were caught at Frying Pan Tower and nearby ledges.

Nearshore fishing was decent with Spanish mackerel, flounder and spadefish being caught in fair numbers. Over-the-slot red drum are being caught on the nearshore reefs off of Brunswick County.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing hasn't been red hot over the last two weeks, but some fish are still being caught. Flounder and trout are being caught around Southport and Bald Head Island. Top-water lures are catching a fair amount of trout in Cape creek and Slit creek early in the morning hours along with some nice red drum.

Flounder fishing in the Cape Fear River is somewhat slow right now, but fishing should improve in the coming weeks. Sheepshead and black drum are being caught in good numbers at the ADM dock and Snow's cut.

Piers/shore: Fishing has slowed. Bottom fishermen are catching a few spot, sea mullet, and pompano. Spanish mackerel fishing on some of the area piers has been real good over the last week or two, with fish up to 5 pounds being caught. No kings have been landed on any area piers in several weeks now.

The change in wind direction got some mullets moving down the beaches so maybe fall fishing is not too far away.