Atlantic Beach

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Top Fishing Charters in Atlantic Beach

Fishing in Atlantic Beach

On the eastern end of the Bogue Banks lies a small and cozy town by the name of Atlantic Beach. What started off as a summer resort location more than a century ago ended up being one of the primary destinations for anglers interested in offshore fishing in the Gulf Stream. Atlantic Beach fishing charters take great care in nurturing their stellar reputation, which you’ll hopefully get to see for yourself.

You’re sure to get the real impression of being on an island, as parts of Atlantic Beach are only a third of a mile wide, with a great view of both the Atlantic Ocean proper and Bogue Sound to the north. And with a developed fishing community come all sorts of fishing tournaments as well.  So many, in fact, that you’ll probably think there’s some kind of tournament every single day during summer.

Atlantic Beach Fishing Spots

Apart from being a base of operations for anyone looking to go after the biggest of big game in the ocean, Atlantic Beach has a particular charm when it comes to inshore and reef fishing as well.

Oceanana Fishing Pier

The Oceanana Fishing Pier is more of a social hub than just your local pier. Being the only ocean-fishing pier in town, they made sure to provide everything from a 1,000-foot-long pier to a restaurant and bar. Nothing beats ending a productive trip with a fresh Shrimp burger, that’s a fact. The structure attracts Sheepshead, so it’s naturally a great spot for anglers fishing from a boat too. Apart from Sheepshead, expect to fish species like Black Drum and juvenile Flounder.

Cape Lookout

Cape Lookout is a popular fishing destination for anglers during the entire year, with peak times being late fall and spring. Once the tourists go home, anglers come on down in droves! It’s an immensely rewarding place to fish both from the shore and from a boat, with lots of Sharks getting very close to the coast. A lot of anglers who’ve fished the island outside and out will tell you that the southernmost part makes for the best fishing, but you can’t really go wrong with any spot on Cape Lookout.

Hoop Pole Creek

To the immediate northeast of Atlantic Beach central, you’ll find Hoop Pole Creek in all its glory. Fly fishermen love using this place to test out changes to their gear or techniques because you can easily get to work on Drum, Sheepshead, and Flounder in a spot that’s very close and convenient. This also makes it a popular place to do some quick shrimping when the need arises.

Artificial Wrecks and Reefs

The Outer Banks are known as The Graveyard of the Atlantic due to the sheer amount of wrecks found here. Some, like AR 315 and AR 255 are less than two miles away from Atlantic Beach and are a great place to find Flatfish.

For a 6-8 hour trip, you can visit spots like AR 345 (also known as Swansboro Rotary Club Reef) some 15 miles out. Plenty of Barracuda, Kingfish, and Jacks can be found there in late summer and fall.

Big Rock

While it doesn’t win any prizes for having a memorable name, any offshore angler worth his salt will know about Big Rock. This offshore fishing spot is so popular that it has a tournament named after it: the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. Big Rock consists of several different peaks, ledges, and crevasses, approximately 60 miles out from Atlantic Beach. If you’re serious about going after big game fish, that’s where you need to go.

Fishing Techniques

Deep sea fishing in Atlantic Beach is where records are broken and legends are born, later to be passed on to new generations. You will still find fishermen who recount the tale of a Pennsylvania crew who fought a 1,200 lb Blue Marlin for more than a day before having to give up.

It’s unknown what sort of setup they used to attract such a beast (the story goes back to the eighties,) but knowing the local anglers, we’d wager on Sea Witch lures and a lot of squid. While a 50 lb line might have been just a tad light for a fish of mythical proportions, we’re sure it’ll serve you just fine when it comes to the other 99% of the local big game fish.

If you’re more interested in fishing for the likes of Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, and Blackfins, there’s a reef near the lighthouse on Cape Lookout that stretches for over a mile. The Spanish bite is strongest in fall, so plan accordingly.

Need to Know

Knowing is half the battle, so we recommend fishing with a skilled local guide, especially if you’re looking to go after the big ones in the Gulf Stream. If your plan is to fish solo, be it on a pier or anywhere else, you’ll need a valid North Carolina Fishing license.

A lot of other visitors to Atlantic Beach will be there for the same reasons you are, so being in good company is pretty much a given. Seal the deal with a good catch at the end of the day, and you’ve got yourself a trip of a lifetime.

Atlantic Beach
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Atlantic Beach Fishing Seasons

The reefs are usually a great way to start the new fishing year around here. Spots like AR-315 and AR-330 are hotbeds for Flatfish.

As winter slowly winds down to a close, you might be in for a good Yellowfin bite in the second half of the month with any luck.

If you’re anywhere near Cape Lookout, make sure you’re prepped for some big Reds coming your way. Docks and pier areas should  have plenty of Black Drum, too.

Hatteras Blues should be moving in near Cape Lookout at about this time. Stingsilvers and spoons are the weapons of choice, with topwaters being useful for bigger specimens.

If you’ve been patiently waiting for Cobia to make an appearance, wait no more! Live eels or jigs should do the trick depending on your preferences.

Fishing for Marlin and Mahi Mahi in the summer is a very easy way to get the coolers full, just make sure you have enough time and plenty of bait.

Trolling the easternmost side of Cape Lookout is sure to result with plenty of Kingfish bites. The Spanish bite remains strong as ever both here and elsewhere nearshore.

Those looking for Sharks need not look further than the Shrimp boat wrecks. Chunking is sure to result in some fast-paced action.

Sheepshead can be found in droves near most local bridges. Crabs and Sea Urchins are just some of the prefered bait used by local anglers.

Anyone planning on visiting The Rock should expect a good number of Wahoo waiting there. The Redfish bite should be steady inshore.

Early winter is still a fantastic time for offshore fishing if you have the time and energy. Wahoo, Sailfish, and all sorts of Tuna are out for you to catch.

Come winter, Redfish will be schooled up in the backcountry where the clear water will make them easy to spot, especially in shallower waters.

Atlantic Beach Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Atlantic Beach

"Half day with Reelax"

Troy T. fished with Reelax Fishing Charters on August 19, 2019

Keep in mind it’s August. Hard fishing month with heat. Enjoy the experience

"Half Day with Captain John and His Mate Thomas"

Carolyn B. fished with Braggin' Rights Charters on June 29, 2019

Be prepared! Thankfully, we had a calm day and all was well, but be prepared for those days that are not calm. If you've never been out before- you never know if you will get sea-sick. Bring Dramamine just in case!

"Fishing with Corbett"

Mark W. fished with Reelax Fishing Charters on June 9, 2019

Research and contact several charters and speak with them. I had a captain ask me why I didn't choose him and I explained why and he asked who I chose and when I told him he replied told me we would have a great time on Corbett's boat.

"Half Day Trip on the Reelax"

Emmett W. fished with Reelax Fishing Charters on May 29, 2019

Still recovering from Hurricane Florence (and Michael!) but fishing is great! Try the boats or fish from pier or surf!

What would you recommend to anglers fishing in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina for the first time?

Top Targeted Species in Atlantic Beach

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)









Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (Blue)

Nearby Fishing Destinations