Recreational fishermen in North Carolina landed approximately 11.6 million fish, weighing about 13.3 million pounds in 2013, a 10 percent increase in pounds over 2012, according to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries' Coastal Angling Program.
Yellowfin tuna was the number one recreationally-harvested fish for the 2013 fishing season. Anglers caught 2 million pounds of yellowfin tuna (62,110 fish) in 2013. Dolphin came in second with 2 million pounds (248,987 fish), followed by bluefish at 971,279 pounds (1.2 million fish), red drum, 682,964 pounds (166,608 fish) and spotted seatrout, 652,102 pounds (369,500).
The 2013 recreational red drum harvest of 682,964 pounds (166,608 fish) was the highest on record.
Recreational spot landings doubled to 462,884 pounds (1.5 million fish) in 2013.
Sheepshead harvest increased by 70 percent to 497,616 pounds (272,709 fish).
Southern flounder harvest increased 37 percent to 408,642 pounds (177,742 fish).
The number of fish angler’s released back into the water grew to about 21 million in 2013, about a 13 percent increase over 2012.
The number of recreational fishing trips in 2013 dropped by 6 percent to about 5 million. Anglers took about 28 percent fewer trips than 10 years ago.
For a full landings report, see the 2013 Annual Fisheries Bulletin at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/marine-fisheries-catch-statistics.
source: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries