10/30/09 — Fishing Report

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Fishing Report

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on October 30, 2009 1:46 PM

Northern District

Ocean: Offshore anglers reeled in some very good catches of blackfin tuna in the 15- to 20-pound range. A few yellowfin and shipjack tuna, along with wahoo, dolphin, amberjack, atlantic bonito, little tunny and a few assorted billfish were also caught.

Midrange fishing improved and there were some large striped bass caught in a very narrow region in the 16- to 18-mile range. Anglers should note that striped bass caught beyond three miles are unlawful to possess and must be released. A few red drum and king mackerel were mixed in.

Anglers fishing artificial reefs experienced modest improvement -- catching moderate amounts of tautog, triggerfish, sheepshead, black drum and blueline tilefish. Inshore anglers targeting red drum in the near shore surf zone had little success due to very rough seas.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Red drum catches around and just inshore of Oregon Inlet Bridge were very good, with most anglers catching a legal specimen in the 18-inch to 27-inch slot range and releasing many more.

Striped bass catches continued to improve throughout the area with much better keeper ratios. Spotted seatrout catches improved somewhat with the Roanoke Sound producing most of the fish. Anglers fishing the Melvin Daniels (Little Bridge) and underneath of the Washington Baum Bridge reported good catches in the early-morning hours and then again around dusk. A few flounder and croakers were also caught in this same.

Piers/shore: Anglers had to deal with very rough seas and windy conditions on most days. Those that braved the elements were rewarded with very high volume catches of red drum, and almost everyone caught themselves a legal keeper and released even more. Other fish that were caught included flounder, spotted seatrout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, black drum, spot, croakers, puffers, kingfish, sheepshead, skates, rays and assorted sharks.

Central region

Ocean: This past weekend wahoo were caught off the east side of the Cape. Some caught around the Atlas tanker weighed more than 50 pounds. Fishing for kings and amberjacks has been good out at northwest place and continues to pick up.

Bottom fishing has been tough as of late. The strong currents have made it hard to stay on the fish. Those who did attempt the bottom fishing offshore and were lucky enough to bring anything back had a few good sized sea bass, small triggers, grunts and beeliners. There were a few keeper grouper caught too, but they were far and few between.

The Spanish have been running thick off the beaches out near the Cape, some people came in from their day of fishing with their limits on them.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: A few grey trout and flounder are still turning up in the inlets, but only about one out of every five flounder has been of legal size. Anglers casting a line in the Bay River area and in the waters around Bath have had good luck with speckled trout.

There are still a few sheepshead in and around the high-rise bridges in the Morehead area, but they are starting to thin out. Large whiting (Virginia mullet) were caught in the Bogue Sound area.

Spot fishing has finally picked up and over the past week cooler full after cooler full have been taken home by anglers fishing in the ICW. Hot spots for them seem to be around the Emerald Isle high rise bridge, the Gallant Channel draw bridge in Beaufort, and near the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort. This year, in comparison to past years, the spot seem to overall be larger although they are not typically the large "fall spot" that we may see occasionally.

Piers/shore: The surf and pier fishing has been hit or miss over the past weeks. People who were catching good numbers of pompano, whiting, spadefish, lots of puffers, blues and decent numbers of good sized spot one day had no luck with anything -- even pin fish -- the next day.

Fishing for blues has been better this week than in the past weeks from the shore/piers. Although they are not huge, the numbers have been good.

Southern District

Ocean: The wind really blew pretty much all week. When the weather lays down there should be some good wahoo fishing and bottom fishing for those wanting to make the run.

Near/shore the king mackerel fishing has been fantastic. The river channel and lighthouse rock were the two hot spots last week, but there were fish caught on most near/shore ledges and inlets. Most of the kings were in the mid 20s with some fish in the 40-pound range caught.

The water temperature has really fallen -- look for the fish to move offshore next week. The Fairway ledge should be a good place to find them. The near/shore artificial reefs and ledges are producing flounder, gray trout, and some large red drum.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing has been decent the last few weeks.

Flounder, drum and trout are being caught in the river. There are some trout starting to show up around Rich's Inlet, Greens channel and around Masonboro, but most of the fish are still coming from the river, and creeks behind Bald Head. With the water temperature falling fast, they should show up on the rock jetties at Masonboro soon.

Flounder fishing should remain good for a few more weeks. This time of year is a good time to catch a trophy flounder out of Snow's Cut. Spot fishing picked up some this week around Southport and Holden Beach, but fishing still seemed slow.

Piers/shore: Fishing has been good. There were several strong runs of big spots this week on all area piers. Night time seemed to be the best, but early morning was good, also. Lots of pompano and some sea mullets were also caught.

Flounder fishing was good except most fish were under size.

There were also some good catches of king mackerel on some area piers with one fish going 43 pounds. Surf fishermen enjoyed a good week catching sea mullets, flounder, pompano and drum.