Weekly Fishing Report!

Interested  in doing some fishing this weekend?

Check out this weeks fishing report:

Ocean: Offshore boats making the long run did well on wahoo. Most boats caught around 5- to 10-fish per trip with fish running in the 35- to 45-pound range. Bottom fishing remained productive with boats catching limits of black sea bass and vermilion snapper, along with a wide assortment of reef fish such as triggerfish, hogfish, grunts, porgies, groupers, gags, scamps and red groupers. Anglers fishing in the 10- to 15-mile range saw an improvement in king mackerel fishing with boats catching fish in the 15- to 20-pound range. Near-shore reefs produced flounder and some gray trout.

Inlets/Sounds/Bays: Inshore fishing improved. Anglers targeting flounder had some luck fishing in the Cape Fear River from Wilmington to Southport. Sheepshead and black drum were caught by anglers around docks, bridges and rock jetties using fiddler crabs for bait. Tarpon fishing on the shoals just off of Bald Head Island produced a few fish, along with lots of blacktip and spinner sharks.

Pier/Shore: Overall, fishing has been a little slow. Anglers had the best luck fishing in the early morning hours on area piers and beaches. Pier fishermen using live shrimp and minnows caught red and black drum, flounder and trout. The northeast wind that blew last week got the mullet minnows moving along the area beaches and anglers had good catches of nice Spanish mackerel, along with some bluefish. Surf fishermen caught a few pompano, sea mullets and some red and black drum using mole crabs for bait.

Latest Fishing News for the week of August 17th

Lots of changes happened this week according to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council:

  • Recreational Harvest of Hogfish in South Atlantic Waters Will Close on August 24, 2015

Recreational harvest of hogfish in South Atlantic federal waters will close, at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on August 24, 2015. Federal waters will reopen to recreational harvest at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2016. The recreational annual catch limit for hogfish is 85,355 pounds whole weight.

  • Snowy Grouper in the South Atlantic Re-opens to Recreational and Commercial Fishers on August 20 

The recreational sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic Region will re-open on August 20, 2015, with an annual catch limit of 23,647 pounds gutted weight or 4,152 fish. The recreational bag limit is one fish per vessel per day, while the recreational sector is open. The recreational sector will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on September 1, 2015. The recreational bag limit is zero during the closure. The recreational sector will re-open on May 1, 2016.

Learn more about these and other recreational fishing changes here.


NOAA Fisheries Announces Catch Limit Changes for Commercial and Recreational South Atlantic Gag and Wreckfish

NOAA Fisheries announced on August 11th that annual catch limit changes for commercial and recreational sectors of South Atlantic gag and wreckfish ahve been made. The final rule for Regulatory Amendment 22 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region will publish on August 12, 2015.

The final rule adjusts the annual catch limits for gag and wreckfish based on the outcome of population assessments.

Regulations implementing the wreckfish commercial annual catch limit will be effective on August 12, 2015. Regulations implementing the wreckfish recreational annual catch limit will be effective on September 11, 2015.

To find out more click here.


Recreational Harvest of Golden Tilefish in South Atlantic Waters To Close

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council announced on Thursday. August 6th 2015 that the recreational harvest of golden tilefish in South Atlantic federal waters will close, at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on August 11, 2015. Recreational harvest in federal waters will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2016. The recreational annual catch limit for golden tilefish is 3,019 fish. Reports indicate that landings have exceeded the 2015 annual catch limit for the recreational sector for golden tilefish.

To find out more about this closure visit the announcement here.

Re-opening of Greater Amberjack Fishing Season in the Gulf of Mexico

The NOAA is reminding fishermen that the season for greater amberjack is re-opening of August 1st, 2015 at 12:01am local time. The daily bag limit is currently one fish per person, and the size limit is 30 inches fork length. However, the NOAA is currently reviewing a possible change to this rule by making the size limit 34 inches fork length. Updates on whether or not this change will be approved are coming soon.

It is estimated that the recreational quota could be met by the end of September, and if this is the case, then the NOAA will announce the closure of the fishing season.

For more information, please see the full announcement HERE.

Re-Opening of Commercial and Recreational Sectors for Snowy Grouper

The NOAA announced that the annual catch limits for snowy group in the South Atlantic in both commercial and recreational sectors has been increased due to a recent assessment of the fish’s population.

The commercial trip limit has increased from 100 pounds gutted weight to 200 pounds gutted weight. Furthermore, the recreational fishing season has been modified from 1 fish per vessel per day year-round to 1 fish per vessel per day from May through August with no recreational retention during the rest of the year.

Officials are hoping that shortening the fishing season for snowy grouper will help reduce the risk of exceeding the annual catch limit. The new regulations will also give anglers a chance to fish for it when weather conditions are best.

To learn more about these regulations, please see the full length bulletin HERE

Trip Limits Modified for Atlantic Group Spanish Mackerel in Southern Zone

On August 13, the commercial trip limit of 3,500 pounds for the Spanish mackerel in South Carolina, Georgia, and eastern Florida will be effective. The NOAA has made these changes in response to the adjusted quota that is now 250,000 pounds less than the commercial quota for the Southern Zone.

Once 100 percent of the new quota is met or projected to be met, the trip limit will once again be altered and set to 500 pounds until the end of the fishing year or until the commercial quota is met. Once the quota has been reached, harvest of Spanish mackerel will be closed.

The new regulations will also eliminate the unlimited weekday Spanish mackerel trip limit for fishermen in the Floridian area of the Southern Zone.

Lastly, the final rule indicates that there will be no changes to the 3,500 pound round trip limit north of the South Carolina/ North Carolina boundary.

For more information, please see the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office website here.

Attention All Greater Amberjack Fishermen

The NOAA Fisheries recently determined that the 2015 commercial quota, 409,000 poundsfishing-in-orange-beach-catching-amberjacks whole weight, for greater amberjack will be met by July 19. Therefore, from July 19th at 12:01AM (local time) until January 1st, 2016, all commercial harvest, sale, or purchase of greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico federal waters will not longer be allowed.

Of course, all purchases of greater amberjack that were harvested prior to July 19th will not fall under the jurisdiction of this regulation.

Considering the popularity of the fish with both recreational and commercial fishermen, it is necessary that no more than the assigned quota be caught. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that the greater amberjack population in the Gulf of Mexico area has been subject to overfishing.

To learn more, please read the full report from the NOAA here.

Regulations on Gray Triggerfish

Starting this week, the commercial harvest for gray triggerfish will reopen. The NOAA has F088-Finescale-Triggerfish-1also implemented new rules and regulations for this season that commercial fishermen should be aware of.

The NOAA has increased the total catch limit of gray triggerfish. Fishermen in the Carolinas should know that the minimum fork-length is now 12 inches. Also, the new whole weight commercial trip limit has been set to 1,000 pounds.

Finally, commercial split seasons for gray triggerfish will be from January 1st-June 30th and July 1st- December 31st.

The final quota for gray triggerfish this year was a total of 63,918 pounds whole weight. Keep in mind that once the commercial quota is met, the NOAA will send out a fishery bulletin to officially announce the closure date.

For more information on this topic, read the full bulletin here!

What the H.R 1335 Bill Means for You

With the increasing popularity of saltwater fishing from coast to coast, the sport contributes around 70 billion dollars to the economy per year while supporting approximately 454,000 jobs.

After consideration from the House of Representatives earlier this month, a bill reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was passed. So what does this mean for the recreational fishing community?

Provisions of the act include promoting thorough scientific analysis of fishery allocations so that all decisions are fair and based on facts and research.

H.R 1335 also aims to prevent the closure of fisheries by providing limited exceptions to annual catch limits.

Finally, the bill supports the involvement of fishermen themselves in reporting fish stock. This could increase the accuracy of data reports while also getting the states more involved.

Hopefully, the act will open doors and increase opportunities for saltwater fishing in the Carolinas!