Fish Post

Releases- July 18, 2019

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Fish tagging programs have become an important tool in the management and assessment of fish populations. When conducted properly, tagging can provide a wealth of information about movement patterns, habitats, and mortality rates. These insights are essential for allowing fisheries biologists to assess management strategies and to set catch limits or develop other species protection measures.

Since the late 1970s, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) has tagged over 350,000 fish through a variety of programs. In 2014, the current multispecies tagging program brought together existing tagging studies under one program to standardize methodologies and facilitate the addition of tagging for new species.

Currently, the NCDMF tags five fish species: striped bass, red drum, spotted seatrout, southern flounder, and cobia. They release over 15,000 tagged fish each year in all coastal inland waters, from the Albemarle Sound to the Cape Fear River, and in nearshore coastal waters for cobia.

Fishermen who catch a fish with a tag (or even two tags) are eligible to receive a reward packet containing a letter with information about the fish, a personalized certificate, and a gift. Fishermen should check both sides of each fish, because it may have two tags, which means a double reward.

People who catch tagged fish should cut off the tags and record the following information: species, tag number, date, location captured (waterbody and nearest landmark or latitude/longitude), length (total or fork length), fate of the fish (kept, released with or without tag, etc.), and the gear used for capture. This catch information is vital to the success of the program.

Report the tag by phone to (800) 682-2632 or online at

The NCDMF uses two tag colors: yellow and red. Anglers who catch a fish with a yellow tag marked “NCDMF” are eligible to receive $5, a hat, a fish towel, or a fish pin.

Those who catch a fish with a red tag marked “NCDMF” and “$100 REWARD” are eligible for a $100 reward.

To receive the $100 reward, in addition to reporting the red tag by phone or online, you should cut off the tag and return it to: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557.

Fishermen can also submit pictures of themselves with their tagged fish to the NCDMF at

For more information about the North Carolina Multi-Species Tagging Program, visit


Between the record number of booths and the thousands of products on display, 14,500 buyers, media, and exhibitors from the global sportfishing industry brought ICAST 2019 to life from July 8-12, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

“Across the board, this was a record-breaking year for ICAST, proving, once again, that ICAST is the cornerstone for the entire sportfishing industry,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “This was the largest year yet for ICAST in both the number of exhibitors and the number of registrants.”

Hughes further noted, “In fact, the total number of registered buyers was up six percent over last year. We made a commitment to our board of directors and our Trade Show Committee to ensure buyers know that there is nowhere else to be than ICAST this week in July and those efforts are paying off.”

ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). ASA is a national, non-profit trade association made up of more than 800 members who share a stake in promoting sportfishing for the well-being of our businesses and as part of our national heritage.

ICAST 2020 will be held in the North/South Building at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL, on July 14-17, 2020.

Garmin and its Force Trolling Motor won “Best of Show” in the ICAST 2019 New Product Showcase. Garmin also took top honors in the Boating Accessories category. Winners were selected by credentialed buyers and media from around the world who vote for the best of the new product entries.

For ICAST 2019, 1,004 new products were entered by 303 companies. Reflecting trends in sportfishing retail, four new categories were added this year: Ice Fishing; Cold and Warm Weather Technical Apparel; Coolers and Bait/Storage; and Cutlery, Hand Pliers or Tools.

This year’s New Product Showcase was sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer/Decode.

“Our congratulations go to all of this year’s New Product Showcase winners as well as to the 303 companies who submitted more than 1,000 new products,” said Trade Show and Membership Vice President Blake Swango. “They embody the ingenuity and innovative spirit that exists within our industry. Those products are representative of the thousands of other new products that were found across the show floor.”

All New Product Showcase entries are available for viewing on the ICAST website and on the ICAST app for Apple and Android devices.

Some of ICAST 2019 New Product Showcase “Best of Category” Award Winners are as follows:

Best of Boating Accessories – Garmin USA’s Force Trolling Motor; Best of Boats and Watercraft – Hobie’s Mirage ProAngler 14 with 360 Drive Technology; Best of Eyewear – Costa Del Mar’s WaterWoman; Best of Footwear – Frogg Toggs’ Skipper; Best of Lifestyle Apparel – AFTCO/American Fishing Tackle Company’s Yurei Air-O-Mesh Performance Shirt; Best of Technical Apparel Cold Weather – Simms Fishing Products’ M’s G4Z Stockingfoot Wader; Best of Technical Apparel Warm Weather – AFTCO/American Fishing Tackle Company’s Overboard Submersible Shorts; Best of Cooler and Bait/Storage – Plano Synergy’s Frabill Magnum Bait Station 30; Best of Cutlery, Hand Pliers or Tools – Bubba’s 110V Electric Fillet Knife; Best of Electronics – Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics’ MEGA 360 Imaging; Best of Fly Fishing Accessory – Simms Fishing Products’ Dry Creek Z Sling Pack; Best of Fishing Accessory – American Tackle Company’s MW20 Finesse Set; Best of Fishing Line – PowerPro’s Moon Shine Braid; Best of Kids’ Tackle – Anything Possible Brands’ The Bumblebee by ProFISHiency; Best of Tackle Management – Plano Synergy’s Plano EDGE; Best of Terminal Tackle – Rapala’s VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble Short; Best of Saltwater Soft Lure – LIVETARGET’s Slow-Roll Shiner; Best of Saltwater Hard Lure – LIVETARGET’s Flutter Sardine; Best of Saltwater Reel – Shimano’s Stradic FL Spinning Reel; Best of Fly Reel – SEiGLER Reels’ SF (Small Fly); Best of Saltwater Rod – St. Croix’s Avid Surf VSS80MMF; Best of Fly Fishing Rod – St. Croix’s Imperial Salt IS908.4; and Best of Rod & Reel Combo – Lew’s Fishing’s Lew’s Mach Smash Baitcast Combo.


The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will collect red snapper carcasses from recreational fishermen during the upcoming red snapper season.

The division has set up four new freezer locations, in addition to the 12 carcass collection locations available throughout the year, where recreational fishermen can take their red snapper carcasses.

The additional locations are: Bridge Tender Marina, Wrightsville Beach; Carolina Beach Municipal Docks; Capt. Stacy Fishing Center, Atlantic Beach; Carolina Princess head boat dock, Morehead City.

For a map of other year-round carcass collection locations go to

Anglers who donate a red snapper carcass will receive a citation (certificate) from the N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

Fishermen should leave the head and tail intact on the fish carcass. Instructions on how to deposit the carcasses are posted on each freezer and available online at Anglers will be asked to give information related to how and when the fish was caught. Fishermen also will be asked for their names and addresses to receive their reward and citation.

Division biologists will measure the fish, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the otoliths (ear bones) to determine the age of the fish. The information collected will be provided to the National Marine Fisheries Service for use in future red snapper stock assessments.

Recreational anglers also may log information about their recreational trips and catches through the MyFishCount electronic reporting mobile app. The app is available for free download at the Google Play and App Store or through the MyFishCount website. Reports of the number of harvested and released fish will improve the accuracy of National Marine Fisheries Service’s catch estimates.

The 2019 recreational red snapper season will open for two weekends: July 12-14 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and July 19-20 (Friday, Saturday) with a one-fish per person per day bag limit and no size limit. Captain and crew on for-hire vessels may retain the recreational bag limit.

Fisherman who choose to practice catch-and-release or release over limit fish are encouraged to use either venting tools or descending devices to ensure the highest likelihood of survival of released red snapper and other snapper-grouper species. More information on type and proper use of descending devices can be found at

For specific information on recreational (and commercial) harvest limits, go to Proclamation FF-23-2019. To read the National Marine Fisheries Service bulletin on the subject, go to

For more information on this red snapper carcass collection program, go to or contact Carole Willis, division sportfishing specialist, at (252) 808-8081 or