Fishing Report: Offshore Tough, Other Areas Improving

Some tough fishing offshore these days, but conditions closer to land are improving nicely.

Brian Melott of Dare County gathers fishing information for the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. He is also a WITN weather watcher.

Below is his latest report on Dare, Hyde, Currituck and Beaufort counties. (To see other areas along our coast, click on the related link below.)

July 6, 2008

Ocean: Offshore catches remain poor-fair on most occassions, with only a few small dolphin & even lesser amounts of yellowfin tuna, amberjack, wahoo, and assorted sharks. Billfish anglers had moderate success rates. Midrange anglers have had the best success rates with nice catches of triggerfish, black seabass, amberjack, & a marked increase in striped bass catches. Cobia & king mackeral were caught by anglers returning from unsuccessfull gulfstream trips, most were caught about 8-10 miles offshore. Inshore anglers have been happy with the ongoing bluefish blitzes that have been offering some high volume/short term action when seas are calm enough to access them. Spanish mackeral were caught with increased regularity in this same near-shore surf zone also, Assorted others were caught with much less frequency.

Inlets Sounds/Bays: Catch rates have improved considerably as compared to last weeks limited action. Flounder catches are the most improved with some nice catches throughout the area, with at least half of them being legal keepers. Oregon Inlet yielded the bulk of them with some nice spotted seatrout & large croakers mixed in. Catches of sheepshead, black drum, tautog, & needlefish were had on a regular basis by those fishing the bridge pilings at Oregon Inlet.

Piers/Shore: Bluefish & spanish mackeral in the near shore surf zone have been keeping anglers busy if they were fortunate enough to be here when the blitzes were occurring. Catches of kingfish, croaker, pigfish, puffers, burrfish, and both types of "seatrout" were caught with increased regularity. Cobia catches off of piers remain good, especially at night. Red drum have been caught off of the beaches from Avon southward to Ocracoke with increased regularity.

General Overview: Fishing success rates were improved across the board as compared to the previous weeks dismal catches. Water temps in the surf are in the mid 70's throughout the area with favorable conditions predictid for the comming week.