12/18/09 — NC fishing report

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NC fishing report

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on December 18, 2009 1:46 PM

Northern District

Dare, Hyde, Currituck

& Beaufort Counties

Ocean: Winter anglers catch plenty of yellowfin tuna when conditions permit along with a few wahoo and dolphin to make for some good offshore action. Midrange anglers target striped bass and red drum during the winter season with moderate-good success. Find a regional fishing Web site that reports daily catches or contact a local tackle shop for up to date fishing reports.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore activity will be heavy when weather conditions permit with most anglers targeting striped bass, which are often found throughout the Roanoke, Croatan, and northern Pamlico sounds especially near bridges or any other structure. There will also be some good winter catches of spotted seatrout and red drum (they have been everywhere throughout the year), A good place to try would be Oregon Inlet's Green Island Slough from pre-dawn to mid-morning hours.

Piers/shore: Piers are currently closed, most will re-open around Easter, 2010.

Beach anglers can have a tough time fishing this time of year due to rough surf and adverse weather, but once again, when conditions permit, some of the largest red drum and striped bass are taken from the surf. Bluefish blitzes can happen this time of year and offer anglers some short-term active fishing.

Don't forget about the possibility of some excellent speckled trout surf fishing this winter on the southern beaches (Rodanthe southward).

General overview: Adverse weather is the main enemy of winter anglers. When the weather is favorable fishermen should seize the moment.

Central District

Pamlico, Craven, Carteret

& Onslow Counties

Ocean: There will be plenty of excellent fishing opportunities on-board charter boats during the winter. The central district has become home to North Carolina's bluefin tuna fishery. Multiple hook-ups and multiple fish days are the norm rather than the exception.

Another species to make the scene in the Central District during the past couple of years is striped bass. Stripers will be taken from Cape Lookout shoals and other areas along the beach throughout the winter. Other offshore species such as king mackerel, yellowfin tuna and wahoo will also be available to gulf stream anglers.

Bottomfishing for a variety of reef fish species is also excellent during the winter months. There are several headboats that operate throughout the year in the Central District. Some of the best snapper and grouper catches will be are a lot of fun and really provide a quality fishing experience. Extended fishing trips (over-night) are also offered. Bluefin tuna trips have also been offered in the past.

Check with your favorite fishing vessel. Private boat anglers will enjoy many of the same opportunities as those mentioned for charterboat anglers. Near-hore bluefin tuna fishing will be excellent. Those fishing offshore will have access to excellent catches of king mackerel.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Newly established striper fishing on the shoals of Cape Lookout will also be a favorite. Inside, the creeks of White Oak, Neuse, Bay, Pamlico and Pungo River will offer occasional excellent speckled trout fishing. Before going however, do a little research, this is a very specialized fishery.

Piers/shore: Most piers are closed for the season. Some may allow access, but catches will be limited. Shore fishing activity will be limited.

Southern District

Pender, New Hanover

& Brunswick Counties

Ocean: Private and charter boats enjoy some of the best bottom fishing and king mackerel fishing of the year during the winter months. Frying Pan Tower normally holds lots of king mackerel during the winter months. Look for bait and water temperature around 70 degrees. There will also be great bottom fishing in these same areas with groupers, sea bass, porgies, and other various bottom fish.

Bluefin tuna are another option during the winter months. Ledges around the shoals such as the fairway ledge and the cucumber are good places to look for one.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: If we don't see to cold of a winter, speckled trout and red drum fishing can be good during the winter months. Look for the trout to be around the inlets and the drum to be in the bays and up in the back of the creeks. Striper fishing in the Cape Fear River is another option for winter-time fishing.

Piers/shore: Most piers are closed for the season. Some may allow access, but catches will be limited.