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Top Fishing Spots in Coastal Carolina

best places to fish in NC


With a range of great places to fish, the Coastal Carolina region is angler heaven. Salt water, fresh water, estuaries, lagoons… North Carolina waterways are home (either permanently or during migration) to a huge variety of fish. Which is why catching them is a popular recreational pursuit all year round. Here are some of the best fishing spots (and quarry) in the Coastal Carolina area. 


Big Bull Redfish | Pamlico Sound 

The big bull redfish migrate to North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound every summer. So if you want to catch a big fish (30-60 pounds), this is the time and place. Just remember that these fish are feisty, as well as old and big. (They didn’t get big by being stupid!)  


​​King Mackerel | Morehead City

King Mackerel fishing in Money Island Bay right off of Morehead City is an adventure. Kings are fighters, so catching one requires a combination of knowing where they are, rigging the right bait, and then patiently trolling for them. When the fish hits, grab your gaff and get ready to drag.


Atlantic Wahoo | Hatteras Inlet 

The Atlantic wahoo is prized by recreational fishermen, especially in North Carolina where they can grow up to 8 feet in length. Whether you use a hook-and-line, rod and reel or spear, you’ll find the wahoo hanging out near seaweed as they migrate through the Gulf Stream. 


Atlantic Tarpon | Atlantic Beach 

Also known as “the silver king,” tarpon are found in the Atlantic from North Carolina to Brazil. These large fish can grow up to 8 feet long, and weigh an average 25 to 80 pounds. (In North Carolina, the largest tarpon caught weighed over 193 pounds! You might need a bigger boat.) 


Black Drum | New River Estuary, NC 

Black Drum has become a popular species for both fishing and eating. Their fighting nature when caught, coupled with their tasty meat, has made them a popular target for many anglers. They are most commonly found near breakwaters, docks, and bridge and pier pilings. (So, pretty much everywhere along the coast!)


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