12/04/09 — NC fishing report

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NC fishing report

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

Northern Region

Dare, Hyde, Currituck

& Beaufort Counties

Ocean: Offshore anglers had a slow week with only a few tuna and an occasional wahoo and dolphin to show for their efforts. Midrange fishing improved, and anglers landed some very nice catches of king mackerel caught 10 to 12 miles offshore. Offshore anglers returning from unsuccessful gulfstream trips encountered them and limited out in most cases -- a few red drum and large bluefish were mixed in.

Inshore fishing was poor to fair with rough seas limiting access most of the time. Red drum catches around the one-mile range were sometimes good, but catches were very short-term and limited. Spanish mackerel and bluefish were also caught.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Spotted seatrout catches were fair throughout the area, with Roanoke and Croatan Sound anglers catching the bulk of them. Keeper ratios were much improved with anglers reporting catching their limit with very few throw-backs. Striped bass catches continued to improve.

Mann's Harbor anglers had the most success, with well over 50 percent of the fish being legal keepers. Anglers caught plenty of very large croakers throughout the area.

Piers/shore: Piers are now closed throughout the area, but shore anglers finally had a chance to fish the near shore surf zone after the rough conditions of previous weeks. Red drum were caught in the backwash area of the surf zone with mole crabs (sand fleas) being the bait of choice.

There were some nice catches of spotted seatrout. Early morning produced the bulk of the catches and the bite dropped off sharply afterwards.

General overview: Fishing in all modes has been one extreme or the other. Anglers should try their luck whenever conditions permit being that favorable weather conditions are somewhat limited this time of year.

Central Region

Pamlico, Craven, Carteret

& Onslow Counties

Ocean: Fishing offshore has slowed considerably. Not only does the wind and cold keep fisherman closer to shore, but the bite on just about everything has slowed almost to a halt. Those who did get out went pretty far offshore and brought back a few decent size kings along with a straggler dolphin her and there.

Bottom fishing offshore turned up the usual triggerfish, large black sea bass, some white grunts, and a few grouper here and there. Those fishing out at the Cape around the jetty caught lots of small speckled trout with about one out of five being of legal size. Many people reported catching lots of flounder again this week, but as in past weeks the keeper/throw back ratio was not very good. Most reports were that about one out of every 25 fish was a keeper, and even those were barely legal size. Most of the keeper flounder were caught with just a basic grub.

Fishing around the jetty at both Fort Macon and the Cape was pretty decent for those looking for speckled trout. The majority of them are undersized but the keepers have been about 16 to 20 inches.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Fishing in the Bath and Belhaven area was great again this week with many fishermen bringing back their limits in good-sized speckled trout. Sea mullet (whiting) started to show up again this week in both Beaufort and Bogue inlets. Not only did the numbers improve, but the size of the catch was pretty great, too. Fishing for red drum past week was amazing for those who found the schools in and around the Core Sound area.

Piers/shore: The surf and pier fishing continued to be hit or miss just as it has been over the past weeks. Those who there at the right time caught a mixed bag of spadefish, LOTS of large puffers, blues and good-sized whiting.

Southern District

Pender, New Hanover

& Brunswick Counties

Ocean: Offshore, not much has changed the last month or so. There are still are some nice wahoo being caught along with some blackfin tuna. Bottom fishing for gag grouper and black sea bass in the 25- to 35-mile range has been really good of late. There are also lots of king mackerel being caught in the same general areas. Look for water temperatures 68 degrees and warmer for the kings.

Near/shore reefs are producing some nice gray trout and a few keeper flounder. The ledges offshore of the Fort Fisher monument have been the hot spot for trout. Schools of little tunny have been hanging around these near/shore reefs and are lots of fun on light tackle.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Almost everyone fishing inshore now is targeting speckled trout. Fishing for them has been good. From Topsail Island to the South Carolina line, fish have ranged from small to over seven pounds. Some of the hot spots of late have been the rock jetties at Little River and Masonboro inlets, Carolina Beach and Lockwood Folly Inlet, and the creeks and bays behind Bald Head Island.

Fishing has been real good around Oak Island as well. Live shrimp produced limits of trout last week for anglers, but plenty of fish are also being caught on artificial as well. Puppy drum are being caught in good numbers in the same general locations by anglers targeting the trout. Some nice late season flounder were caught last week as well, with several fish over weighing over five pounds.

Piers/shore: Fishing has been good. There still are some really nice sea mullets being caught in the surf and on the piers. Drum, both red and black, are also being caught by pier anglers and surf fishermen. Lots of flounder are being caught in the surf right now, but most fish are undersize.

There are some trout starting to show up in the surf along the Surf City/Topsail Island beaches.