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Fishing roundup: Large pompano in surf, sheepshead at piers 

Independence Day offers a great opportunity to go fishing, and hey, it’s free for everyone, too. 

Every July 4 since 1994, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission has waived the fishing permit rules and let anyone and everyone go fishing in any public body of water including our coastal waters without purchasing a fishing license. 

Although no license is required, all other fishing regulations apply, such as length and daily possession limits, as well as bait and tackle restrictions. If you don’t know all of the rules, stop by an area tackle store for local information. 

On all other days of the year, a fishing license is not required for anglers 15 years and younger, but anyone age 16 and older must have a fishing license to fish in any public water in North Carolina, including coastal waters.

Speaking of great tackle stores, several southern shops were reporting large pompano catches over the weekend. Juliette Jordan of Ocracoke made bigtime memories when she bagged a 2 pound, 9 – ounce pompano fishing inshore Saturday, reports Tradewinds Tackle in Ocracoke. 

In Buxton, the Red Drum Tackle Shop had similar stories. 

“Another super-hot day on Hatteras Island with very little winds to cool us off,” said Denise Luberecki. “Pompano and sea mullets were reported down on ramps 48 and 49 with a few being over 2 pounds. 

“Ramp 43 had a 2-pound and 5-ounce pompano and some bluefish were reported along with sharks, rays, and skates up at Avon,” she added. 

Stephanie Bayne of Frank and Fran’s shared similar reports from the Rodanthe, Salvo Waves area over the weekend. 

“Rodanthe has a pretty extensive fishing report with Spanish, blues and sheepshead,” she said. “Salvo has reports of blues, Spanish, blues.” 

On the northern beaches, Outer Banks Pier reported Monday morning plenty of Spanish Mackerel and blues early and off and on blues, Spanish and sea mullet over the weekend. At Jennette’s Pier Monday, they were getting blues, flounder, Spanish and sheepshead. Over the weekend, there were also a few trigger, a sea robin and sea mullet and Nags Head Pier was reporting sea mullet, Spanish and blues. 

In Kill Devil Hills at Avalon Pier, Troy Byrum said fishing was slow Monday morning with a few sea mullets, spadefish, small flounder and one three-foot long blacktip shark.  

He also reported a sea turtle came to shore and laid eggs in a nest overnight south of the pier. 

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