Fish Species Of The Outer Banks In North Carolina
We catch a big variety of fish off the shores, bays and deep ocean waters around the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Below is list of the most prominent species. Our favorite species of fish is the Cobia and Red Drum, what’s yours? Book a trip aboard the Gotem and let us know in person.
ATLANTIC BULL CROAKER
Silver in color with 6 to 10 very tiny barbells on the chin and many faint oblique bars on the upper flank. The male is famous for his croaking noise. World record: 3lbs 12 oz – Pensacola, FL, 1982. None Caught in water from 3′ to over 200′ in depth. Bottom feeder. Favorite baits: Dead shrimp, squid and cigar minnows. Superior white meat is great battered and fried. This live fish (2″-4″) is great summertime bait for big speckled trout.
Sometimes confused with sheepshead, but the drum does not have the sheep like teeth of the sheepshead. World record: 113lbs 1 oz – Lewes, Delaware, 1975. Caught in water from 6″ to over 200′ in depth. Bottom feeder. Favorite baits: Dead shrimp, live cachoe minnows, crab and clams. Great eating baked, fried, in courtboulion and grilled over charcoal with skin & scales to fire.
BLACK SEA BASS
A voracious feeder that roams the shallow lime rock bottoms, devouring small crabs, shrimp and fish. Known to swallow hooks and sinkers. Breeding males have a distinctive bump on their forehead and turn a beautiful blue color.
Six or Seven gray black bars and front teeth that look like the teeth of a sheep. World record: 21lbs 4 oz, Bayou St. John, New Orleans, LA, 1982. Most often found around shallow water rigs near structure and pilings. Best Baits: Dead shrimp, live cachoe minnows, crab and clams. Great eating baked, fried, in courtboulion and grilled over charcoal with skin & scales to fire. A pain to clean.
World Record: 50 lbs 4 oz, Fourchon, Louisiana, 1996. Red snappers are common to about two feet and anything over thirty pounds is a whopper. Mature snappers love offshore platforms. Snappers feed on most any animal they can find, and are not particularly selective. Cigar minnows and poggies are very productive. Nevertheless, they are nibblers and browses rather than strikers and a soft touch is required to be productive. They are also known to feed at selective depths that must be determined to highly be productive. They prefer bottom of moderate depths, anywhere from about 60 to 400 feet, with the older populations of larger fish preferring the cooler water of deeper spots. This fish is great broiled, baked or fried. This is one of the finest food fishes anywhere
COBIA / LEMON FISH
Often caught at or near the surface. Favorite baits: Sight casting soft-bodied lures such as beetles & cocahoes, small live catfish (barbs cut off) and crab. Great eating! White firm meat that will stand up to the grill.
Bluefish are silvery on the side, with a greenish blue back. There are two dorsal fins, the first with seven or eight low spines, the second almost touching the first, comprised of a single spine and about two dozen soft rays.
Flatfish with both eyes on the left side of the body. Sharp and powerful teeth World record: 20lbs 9 oz – Nassau Sound, FL, 1983. Caught in water from 3′ to over 30′ in depth. Bottom feeder. Favorite baits: Dead shrimp, live cachoe minnows, live shrimp. Great stuffed and broiled and the smaller ones battered and fried.
Caught in water from 6″ to over 200′ in depth. Favorite baits: Dead shrimp, gold spoons, live cachoe minnows, crab. Great eating baked, fried, in courtboulion and grilled over charcoal with skin & scales to fire.
World Record: 90lbs, Key West, FL, 1976 Smaller kings (7-25 lbs) migrate in large schools to the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and the larger fish are more solitary. As juveniles they prey heavily on anchovies, cigar minnows and porgies, switching preference to small jacks and other larger fishes. This fish is not generally popular as table fare
World Record: 13lbs, Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina, 1987 Fast moving, voracious predators. They love sardines, shad and especially anchovies. Their presence and abundance is often reflected by that of anchovy schools. Spanish harassing a surface of school anchovies from below will cause the terrified prey to break the surface, attracting flocks of fish feeding birds. The best bait in this scenario is a white shad rig fished on a spinning rod with 15lb test. Great eating filleted, battered and fried or broiled
Generally caught in water 3′ to 30′. Favorite baits: Live shrimp, croakers, poggies & cocahoes. Soft plastic lures such as beetles, cachoe. Best months offshore: May , June, July and August. Great eating! Best cooked lightly battered and fried.
Caught in water from 10′ to over 200′ in depth. Favorite baits: Dead shrimp, cigar minnows, squid & cut bait. Keep very cold & out of liquid in ice chest to keep meat firm. Best battered & fried