Please click on our advertisers for up-to-date fishing reports

State urges fishermen to learn the difference between king mackerel and Spanish mackerel

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is asking anglers to make sure they know how to distinguish between king mackerel and Spanish mackerel before keeping one of the fish. 
Read more






Anglers may receive a survey from the Division of Marine Fisheries

North Carolina recreational anglers holding a current Coastal Recreational Fishing License may receive a survey conducted by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries in the coming months. 
Read more







State expands nationwide search for head of N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries 

State environmental officials are reopening and expanding their nationwide search for a director for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.  
Read more









Commercial fishermen reminded to renew their licenses

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is reminding watermen they need to renew their commercial fishing licenses and permits by June 30 to continue fishing, or in some cases, keep their licenses.

All commercial fishing licenses expire on June 30 each year.
Read more




Coastal recreational fishermen hooked fewer fish in 2016

Coastal recreational fishermen hooked fewer fish in 2016 than they did in 2015.

Anglers brought an estimated 8.5 million fish to the docks in 2016, a decrease of 18 percent from 2015. 
Read more




Shrimp catches and sales soared, but overall commercial landings lower in 2016

A warm autumn kept commercial fishermen catching and selling shrimp up to New Year’s Eve last year, boosting 2016 shrimp landings to the highest since the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Trip Ticket Program began in 1994.

But overall, the 60 million pounds of finfish and shellfish commercial fishermen caught and sold at the docks was a 9 percent decrease from 2015. The total estimated dockside value of $94 million was about $700,000 short of the 2015 value. 
Read more


Outer Banks Chamber Adopts Resolution Opposing NC House Bill 867

On May 15, 2017, the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce adopted a resolution to oppose North Carolina House Bill 867, also known as the Coastal Fisheries Conservation and Economic Development Act. The resolution was announced via a press release from Angie Brady-Daniels, Vice President of Events & Communications for the Chamber.
Read more





New bluefish release category added to N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament

Anglers can soon be recognized for releasing large bluefish.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Saltwater Fishing Tournament, known commonly as the Citation Program, will add a bluefish release category beginning May 15. Anglers can receive a citation (certificate) for the release of a bluefish that measures 34 inches or longer. 
Read more



New marine fisheries rules take effect May 1

Several marine fisheries rule changes will take effect May 1. They include six rule changes to implement amendments to the Oyster and Hard Clam fishery management plans and rule changes establishing a new permit for weekend trawling for live shrimp

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission approved the rules and the amendments to the Oyster and Hard Clam fishery management plans at its February meeting.
Read more



New recreational cobia regulations take effect May 1

New size and bag limits will go into effect May 1 for the recreational cobia fishery in North Carolina waters.

The minimum size limit will increase to 36 inches fork length (measured from the tip of snout to the fork in the tail). The possession limit will decrease to one fish per-person per-day, with a maximum of four fish per-vessel per-day, if four or more people are on board a vessel.    Read more



Outer Banks Angling: Spring is upon us

It’s very surreal sitting here and typing an article for the first time for the Island Free Press, since the passing of Irene Nolan.

If someone was to ask any of my teachers if I would've been writing for any reason in my later years, they probably would have chuckled… and so would I. Irene got me motivated to write about fishing, and it is something that I will never forget. 
Read more



Sens. Cook, Sanderson File Resolution for Revisions to Federal Shellfish Regs

Senator Bill Cook (R-District 1) and Senator Norman W. Sanderson (R-District 2) recently filed Senate Joint Resolution 205, which encourages the Wilmington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow shellfish cultivation and aquaculture activities in North Carolina waters containing submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). 
Read more






Study: Seismic Testing Disrupts Fish Behavior

Almost anyone who’s thrown a hook in the water to catch a fish in a quiet atmosphere probably knows intuitively that loud noises spook them: you don’t scream at fish to bite, after all, you wait patiently.

But intuition isn’t science, and seismic airguns don’t make just any loud noise, so when University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences doctoral student Avery Paxton and some colleagues got the opportunity to do some real science on an issue that’s germane to the hot topic of oil and gas exploration by seismic surveys, they jumped at the chance. 
Read more




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. 
....Read more