Offshore out of Hatteras Inlet, anglers have enjoyed good dolphin (mahi) fishing both gaffers and bailers.
Oregon Inlet Offshore
Offshore fishing out of Oregon Inlets has been good. There are still some good numbers of gaffers size dolphin around. Bigeye tuna bite has been excellent, if you put in your time. Yellowfin fishing has been off a touch due the enormous number of sharks, which have been habituated to the boats and are eating the tuna before they can be landed. Hopefully, this situation will change soon. King mackerel fishing has been excellent, as well.
Oregon Inlet Nearshore
Action along the beaches north and south of Oregon Inlet has been a mixed bag of Spanish mackerel and few bluefish. Besides the Spanish, a few Atlantic bonito and small Little Tunny are also being caught. Ribbonfish are making an early appearance this year and are ready to eat angler lures. These weird looking creatures are excellent eating. Cobia fishing has slowed, as they showed up early and the big majority of them have moved into the Chesapeake Bay.
Hatteras Inlet Nearshore
Anglers have been enjoying excellent catches of Spanish mackerel and bluefish. They have also been seeing a few big red drum in their travels.
Anglers in the Sound behind Hatteras Inlet have found good fishing for puppy drum and grey trout. Speckled trout fishing also has been excellent, and they have also been catching plenty of Spanish mackerel. Many of the open boats chartering out of Hatteras Inlet are offering to stop and show their parties how to collect a limit of clams to go along with their fish.
Oregon Inlet Sound
Anglers in the water behind Oregon Inlet and adjoining waters have been chasing speckled trout and bluefish. There are big numbers of specks being caught, most are just under sized, but with some keepers being thrown in. A speckled trout must be 14 inches or larger to harvest. The head boats have reported good catches of sea mullet, croakers, and few nice flounder.
The waters on Hatteras Island have been in the 70s, and anglers have found sea mullet, croakers, and spot, along with a few flounder. Besides the normal bottom fish, puppy drum are also still around. Pompano fishing has been excellent. The surf along the northern beaches has have unseasonable cold water. Water temps have been in the 50s — but when the winds come from the east or northeast, the waters quickly warm up. When the water returns to normal, there should be bluefish, sea mullet, croakers, and even puppy drum available.
Pier fishing on the northern beaches has been hampered by cold water, but as the water returns to normal, anglers should be catching bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and an occasional cobia on the end of the piers. Other places on the pier, sea mullet, croakers, and spot should be biting. This is the current report form the piers
- Avalon: Spanish, bluefish, trout, sea mullet.
- Nags Head: Spanish, bluefish, trout, sea mullet.
- Jennette’s: Blues, sheepshead, triggers, sea mullet, Spanish, and a throwback cobia.
- Outer Banks: A nice black drum, bluefish, trout, mullet, spot, and about 30 no-keeper flounder.
- Fishing Licenses
North Carolina requires a Coastal Recreational Fishing License for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Most charter boats have blanket fishing licenses that cover all of their anglers, but check in advance to be sure. Annual or 10-day licenses are available at www.ncwildlife.org, at many local tackle shops (see the list online) or by calling (888) 248-6834 (8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
To see the most recent size and bag limits go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/. On the right side under Hot Topics click on “Recreational Size and Creel Limits.”
Tackle shops and marinas are super resources for information. They have all the current scoop and are more than happy to help you get rigged up or plan a charter fishing trip.
Get outside and enjoy the fishing, and remember that the supply is not endless – so only harvest what you need.