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Cape Fear Fishing

As one of the top 10 seafood-producing states in the United States, North Carolina has more than 4,000 miles of shoreline and 2.5 million acres of marine and estuarine waters. Approximately 5,000 full-time commercial fishermen and 1.7 million recreational anglers enjoy the state’s marine resources. Moving to North Carolina, you will too!

The southern coast of North Carolina is an angler's paradise. As long as the weather cooperates, an angler can enjoy fishing all 12 months of the year. With ocean temperatures ranging from the 70s in the Gulf Stream to the 50s near shore in the winter months, king mackerel, sea bass and tuna can be caught in the ocean. Striped bass can be caught in the rivers, too. During the spring, summer and early fall months—sheepshead, spot, tarpon, red drum, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, trout, flounder, amberjack, striped bass, croaker, white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, shark, wahoo and dolphin are available.

The North Carolina Recreational Coastal Waters Guide for Sports Fishermen, listing length minimums and creel limits for various species, is online at www.ncdmf.net.

NC Fish Finder contains information for identifying and describing all North Carolina fish by common name, with data and color illustrations of the species.

Since the early 70s, the Division of Marine Fisheries has helped create artificial reefs that provide habitat for sea life. These reefs consist of old ships, railroad cars, bridge rubble, concrete and F.A.D.s (fish-attracting devices). Using the motto "We sink 'em—you fish 'em," reef architects have built over 39 ocean sites and 7 estuarine sites. Judging by the number of sheepshead and mackerel landed on an average day, the program seems to be working well. Charts and maps are available to lead you to these sites. GPS coordinates are available through NC Fisheries.

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