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MFC moves forward with southern flounder management

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission moved forward with southern flounder and sheepshead management at its meeting in Morehead City last week. The commission chose six potential management proposals to include in a draft supplement to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan that the commission will put out for public review. 
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Outer Banks Angling: Summer is almost here

A few coastal storms have disrupted the nice weather the past few weeks, but the storms were short-lived and the weather rapidly returned to the perfect spring that is just one step away from summer. And the fishing has been great overall.

Arguably one of the most sought-after inshore fish, cobia have made a nice appearance in the past week. These are  hard-fighting fish and great table fare.
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Commercial fishing harvest increases, recreational harvest decreases in 2014

North Carolina’s commercial fishing harvest increased by 23 percent in 2014, boosted by higher landings of blue crabs, spiny dogfish, and summer flounder.

Commercial fishermen sold 61.7 million pounds of fish and shellfish to North Carolina fish dealers last year, according the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Commercial Trip Ticket Program. It was the first year commercial fisheries landings rose since 2010, an upward tick in a long declining trend since the late 1990s.

Recreational fishermen harvested approximately 9.6 million fish, weighing about 9 million pounds in 2014, a 25 percent decrease in pounds from 2013, according to the division’s Coastal Angling Program. It is 29 percent lower than the average of recreational landings from 2010 to 2013. 
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Coast Guard releases boating safety app

The Coast Guard has released its first boating safety app as the kickoff to this year's National Safe Boating Week. The app will be available on the Apple and Google Play online stores. 
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Anglers vie for fishing history in annual Ocracoke tournament......WITH SLIDE SHOW

Serious fun could be the catch words for the annual Ocracoke Island Surf Fishing Tournament last Thursday and Friday, April 30 and May 1. More than 420 anglers in 71 teams came to Ocracoke to test their skills in capturing the top trophy in this event in its 32nd year.

“Hard work and camaraderie,” said Ann Green of the women’s team the Showstoppers during the Friday night awards event. The team was the top women’s team, winners of the third session and fourth overall in the tournament.
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Outer Banks Angling: It’s getting hot out there

The spring has been good to anglers thus far this year. Overall, the weather has been nice and the fishing has been good.

Pier fishing seems to have been real good recently. Anglers on both Rodanthe and Avon piers have seen their fair share of sea mullet and blow toads, along with some good runs at times of bluefish and puppy drum. Some of the normal, smaller spring fish like gray trout, spot, and croaker have also made the reports.  
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Outer Banks Angling: Walk don't Whine

Nothing in life that is rewarding is easy. The same goes for fishing Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke in this day and age. Park Service policies close prime fishing spots such as Cape Point. You don't have to like or agree with the policy, but you can still fish. You just have to work harder. On any given night, you might see 50 to 80 people of all ages who have taken a walk to Cape Point to try and catch fish.  
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Local Catch Summit Aims To Promote Seafood, Educate Consumers

The fourth annual Local Catch Summit drew more than 70 commercial fishermen, seafood retailers and wholesalers, local food advocates, and seafood consumers to the Ocracoke Community Center last month to strengthen partnerships that support and promote NC seafood.

The summit took place in the location where Outer Banks Catch, Ocracoke Fresh, Carteret Catch, and Brunswick Catch leaders in 2011 first explored the idea of partnering under the NC Catch banner to heighten seafood consumer education and awareness.  
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State legislators enjoy a sampling of seafood from the coast

The governing boards and administration of all major fishing industry and seafood related organizations in North Carolina joined forces to put on a North Carolina Seafood Sampler and Fish Fry last month for the North Carolina legislators and their staffs. 
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Outer Banks Angling: Typical March

The weather has proven to be very much as we expect March to be – all over the place. Scattered semi-warm days followed by much cooler days, a day or so of southerly winds, followed by days of northerly wind. Yep.  It’s March. Or even better — it’s spring on the Outer Banks.
 

While the weather is par for spring, so are the water temps. The water is warmer on average from the south side of Cape Point to the south end of Ocracoke, with warmer spikes during southerly winds. Those water temps definitely help to encourage bites.
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The very best guide to charter fishing on the islands….WITH SLIDE SHOW

If you’ve never been fishing off Hatteras or Ocracoke, it’s definitely worth looking into.  The variety of trips, boats, captains, and species of fish available is quite impressive, and there are options that can accommodate almost any budget or interest.

That said, with so many options available, choosing the right charter can be a daunting task, especially for first-timers. To make it a little bit easier, The Island Free Press has compiled a guide to Hatteras and Ocracoke charter fishing.  With answers to frequently asked questions, information on everything from choosing a boat to cleaning your fish, advice on making your trip more enjoyable, and pictures to rouse your inner angler, this guide is designed help get you off the docks and on the water. 
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