N.C. saltwater fishing report for the northern coast

fishing report
Dolphin and tuna are coming over the rails of many N.C. fishing vessels right now. (Photo courtesy Pirate's Cove Marina)

Fishing report for Dare, Hyde, Currituck and Beaufort Counties

This fishing report for early May along the northern coast of North Carolina comes from NCDEQ:

Ocean fishing report

Offshore catches continued to be very good across the board. Fishing via Hatteras Inlet yielded lots of diversity with moderate amounts of king mackerel being caught. Other species included low to moderate numbers of dolphin, wahoo, little tunny, amberjack, yellowfin tuna and a few citation-sized blackfin tuna.

Offshore action via Oregon Inlet was dominated by high numbers of dolphin. Nearshore action for these anglers was much better than their Hatteras counterparts. Kingfish (sea mullet a/k/a whiting), false albacore, cutlassfish, flounder, and even blue catfish were caught in low to moderate numbers.


Red drum mania has arrived with catches from Ocracoke north including lots of over-slot giants, along with a few keepers and puppy drum. Cutlassfish were mixed in on most trips, along with a few undersized spotted seatrout.


South beach anglers were very happy with some of the most consistent red drum fishing in quite a while. Most were behemoths in the 40- to 46-inch range. Kingfish (sea mullet a/k/a whiting) were caught in moderation, offering some good table fare.

North beach anglers had more diversity in their catch, but no particular species was caught in high numbers. Kingfish, spotted seatrout, red drum, spot and a mixed bag of other species were also caught.

Look for the bite to improved even more over the coming days and weeks. With mild temperatures and relatively small crowds compared to what will be here throughout the summer, it’s a great time to fish on your own or book a trip with one of the many charters available along North Caroilna’s coast.

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