09/11/09 — N.C. fishing report

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N.C. fishing report

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on September 11, 2009 1:47 PM

Northern District

Dare, Hyde, Currituck

& Beaufort Counties

Ocean: Offshore anglers were happy with a week of improved fishing.

Plenty of wahoo were caught -- a few weighed more than 50 pounds. There were some good catches of dolphin, amberjack, little tunny, atlantic bonito, along with skipjack, yellowfin and blackfin tuna. Billfish catches slowed somewhat, but catches of sailfish and both blue and white marlin are still occurring on a fairly consistent basis.

Midrange fishing was slow, with the exception of king mackerel in the 15- to 20-mile range. The mackerel catches were short term, yet high-volume with some very large specimens landed. Artificial reefs provided low to moderate success rates with spadefish, tautog, black drum, sheepshead and triggerfish being most common.

Nearshore anglers experienced a modest improvement and had some nice catches of bluefish along a few Spanish mackerel.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Anglers saw a slow week with low-moderate amounts of a mixed bag of species. Flounder and spotted seatrout were most prevalent but most specimens were undersize. Bridge structures at all locations offered catches of black drum and sheepshead when little else was available.

Piers/shore: Anglers continued to catch plenty of spot and croaker and hooked some very large specimens of both. Two-pound croakers were not uncommon and a few spot weighed in at the one-pound mark. Catches of bluefish and Spanish mackerel experienced by the nearshore boaters were also available for both pier and shore anglers on a fairly consistent basis.

Central District

Pamlico, Craven, Carteret

& Onslow Counties

Ocean: Offshore fishermen are still reeling in billfish and wahoo on a regular basis. Many Morehead City-based boats returned with more than one billfish flag flying at the end of their trips again this week. A few citation-size king mackerel were also brought in from offshore along with a number of false albacore.

The currents this past weekend made bottom fishing a bit tough, but for those who could get on the fish it proved to be worth the work. Most of the vermillion snapper brought back were still weighing between 2 and 2 1/2 pounds. Triggerfish were also coming up large and in huge numbers with a number of people reaching their daily limit of 20.

For those who were fishing inshore just off the beach, the Spanish were hardly scarce. Up and down the beaches outside of Beaufort Inlet many people returned to shore with their limit on Spanish, of which many weighed around three pounds.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore fishing seemed to do pretty well this week. There are lots of Spanish in and around Beaufort and Bogue inlets, some of them weighing over three pounds. Those trolling for spanish also had good luck with large blues -- some as large as four pounds.

In the Morehead City area, a number of legal flounder were caught around the high-rise bridges, a huge improvement from past weeks where the number of throw backs outweighed the number of keepers. Grey trout have started to show up in the inlets on the outgoing tide now that the water temp has dropped a bit.

Piers/shore: The surf and pier fishing has finally picked up. Both the pier and beach fishermen have begun to catch a few fish to put in their coolers. Most of the Spanish at the piers weighed at least two pounds but many were closer to three. Good numbers of pompano, whiting, spadefish, and blues were also caught. The blues were good sized fish with many weighing between one and two pounds.

Southern District

Pender, New Hanover

& Brunswick Counties

Ocean: No recent reports from offshore due to gusty NE winds over last week, but the fishing was getting pretty good. Wahoos, dolphin, blackfin tuna, and sailfish were being caught in fair numbers. Typically the biggest and best wahoo fishing of the year happens in the fall so fishing should only improve.

Bottom fishing, especially for gags, is also good in the fall along with scamps and reds.

Near/shore fishing improved this week. There were some kings being caught at Southport. No real big fish or numbers of fish, but the fishing is improving. Flounder fishing on the near/shore reefs was decent last week with fish being caught along Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick County AR's and ledges. Large drum are also being encountered by people targeting flounder on these reefs. Spanish mackerel fishing has been decent all week along area beaches.

Lots of mullet are moving down the beaches right now.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing has really improved in the inside waters. Flounder, drum, and trout are being caught throughout the area. The Oak Island/Southport area seems to be producing the best, but I've heard of good catches of all three all the way to Wilmington in the river. The Southern part of Brunswick County is producing some big flounder and some nice catches of puppy drum as well.

The cooler weather and the NE winds have really got the mullets moving and fishing should stay good for weeks to come.

Piers/shore: Fishing improved here as well. The cooling water temperature and NE wind had large schools of mullet moving down the beaches. Big bluefish and big Spanish mackerel were caught by pier anglers along with some sea mullets, pompano, and a few spots.

Flounder fishing also seemed to improve this week as well.

Surf fishermen are having luck catching pompano and sea mullets out of the surf. Sand fleas and fresh shrimp are the two best baits to fish for these great-eating fish.