If you’ve never visited North Carolina, simply stated: you’re missing out. In our opinion, it’s one of the best vacation destinations in the country. With mountains on the western side of the state, and the beach on the eastern coast, it really is a place that offers the best of both worlds. And for those who love fishing, it gets even better. With the barrier islands known as the Outer Banks, anglers have the choice of inshore fishing in the nearby sounds, or deep sea fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Again… the best of both worlds. And that’s not even mentioning the freshwater bodies of water in the Tar Heel State. Or the hunting opportunities. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, North Carolina is calling… Are you ready to go?
Many anglers have a favorite fish species to target. For North Carolina anglers, the top species in the state are redfish, speckled trout, flounder, cobia, and mackerel. Regulations are in place for each species to help conservation efforts. Make sure you have all required permits and regulations before heading out and keep in mind bag and size limits. If you hire a local professional fishing guide or charter captain, they’ll be able to advise you on whether or not to keep the fish at the end of the line. Redfish, speckled trout, and flounder are all inshore fish found throughout the state in brackish and saltwater systems. Brackish waters are mostly found in the sounds along the coast: Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound for example. It’s a mixture of freshwater from rivers and saltwater from the ocean that create unique habitats for a variety of wildlife. Redfish tend to grow very large in these systems, feeding on the many smaller baitfish and crustaceans found here. Their favorite diet is shrimp and crab, which are found in abundance in Pamlico Sound. The redfish in this part of the state are known to grow to almost 40 pounds, earning the name “bull reds” when they reach over 28”. Cobia and King Mackerel (also known as kingfish) are mostly fished nearshore, in waters 30 to 300 feet deep. Cobia, in particular, is a really fun gamefish to target. During the summer months they move to more shallow waters and anglers will chum the water to bring the bottom feeder to the surface. Add your bait to the chum line and wait for an action-packed fight. Cobia can grow quite large and use their weight to fight the line.
Largemouth bass and catfish are the top targeted fish in freshwater bodies of water. The area around Currituck Sound and North River is just one example of freshwater fishing opportunities. This area is also known as a favorite duck hunting region. Outdoor enthusiasts will visit to fish and hunt throughout the year. Top lakes throughout North Carolina include Lake Norman (located north of Charlotte) and Shearon Harris Reservoir (also known as Harris Lake), a 4,100 acre lake located southwest of Raleigh. Along with largemouth bass and catfish, anglers can also find crappie (pronounced CROP-ee). There are also some water systems where trout are stocked annually; this is typically in the water systems near the Blue Ridge mountains. Fish any time of the year in your local freshwater system; we recommend hiring a local guide for best results.
Those who have experienced the Outer Banks of North Carolina know exactly how incredible this area is. There’s a certain vibe found here that is unlike anywhere else in the world. Fishermen and women feel it too as they reel in trophy-sized catches in the nearby sounds and Atlantic. We’ve already mentioned inshore species of redfish, trout, and flounder. Add striped bass to that list when fishing the Outer Banks, especially in Albemarle Sound. Crabbing is another option when fishing the waters of the sounds. But the real draw of Outer Banks fishing is the nearby Gulf Stream. As they say in real estate, location is key, and the Outer Banks have a premium location for deep sea anglers. It’s just a short drive to the river of current known as the Gulf Stream, where thousands of fish travel as they eat on smaller bait fish. Some of the largest marlin and tuna are pulled from this area, giving anglers an adrenaline rush as they work to reel in the beasts of the sea. For a heart-pumping, smile-inducing, arm-hurting fishing adventure of a lifetime, get yourself to the Outer Banks!
There’s nothing quite like a trip to North Carolina. Whether you opt for a mountain retreat or a stroll along the coast, you’re sure to feel relaxed and rejuvenated after your stay. Locals are blessed to call this place home, and absolutely understand the appeal of the Tar Heel State. Whatever kind of fishing trip you’re looking for, North Carolina has it in spades. To increase the fun factor on your next trip, book a local fishing trip. Find a local and professional charter with FishAnywhere.com. Simply start with a search of where you’re staying, then compare and book the charter of your choice. We recommend booking your fishing charter and lodging at the same time, especially if you’re planning a summer visit. Don’t wait - get your adventure started today, it’s just a click away!