Wilmington Fishing Charters

The best out of 132 charter fishing deals in Wilmington - enter dates to check availability

Wilmington: 132 fishing charters available
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from US $275
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(225 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from US $450
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(13 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from US $275
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(2 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from US $325
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(81 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from US $500
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(71 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from US $300
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(8 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from US $650
Excellent
4.4 / 5
(6 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from US $300
Wilmington
trips from US $250
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(7 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from US $450

Frequently Asked Questions about Fishing Charters in Wilmington

According to customer reviews, some of the most popular fishing charters in Wilmington, North Carolina are: Full list of top fishing charters in Wilmington

The average price for a private 4 hour Wilmington fishing trip is US $433, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you US $738 based on prices on FishingBooker.com.

Fishing charters in Wilmington that received great reviews from families are:

The top 3 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in Wilmington are:

The top 3 fishing techniques in Wilmington are:

The top 3 types of fishing in Wilmington are:

Many fishing charters in Wilmington provide rods, reels and tackle. Some of the top rated are:

According to customer reviews on FishingBooker.com, some of the best rated charter captains in Wilmington are:

Who are the top awarded captains in Wilmington?

Some of the fishing trips offered by fishing charters in Wilmington are:
  • 2-hour fishing trips – US $285
  • 3-hour fishing trips – US $375
  • 4-hour fishing trips – US $434
  • 5-hour fishing trips – US $600
  • 6-hour fishing trips – US $622
  • 7-hour fishing trips – US $700
  • 8-hour fishing trips – US $990
  • 9-hour fishing trips – US $950
  • 10-hour fishing trips – US $1,400
  • 12-hour fishing trips – US $1,700

Fishing in Wilmington

With a range of praised inshore fish available year round and beastly game fish offshore, Wilmington fishing charters have a really difficult task deciding where to head first. The town itself is a real sightseeing treat for scores of beachgoers who vacate here. History and museum lovers will have a lot to explore and anglers have relatively easy access to some of the most iconic fishing on this part of the coast.

Wilmington fishing spots

Wilmington may not be as close to the continental drop-off as Hatteras, but local fishermen have a rich selection of game fish and table fare right off their porch. Whether it’s streams, rivers, inlets, surf, or epic Billfish and Tuna offshore, you could be hitting a game fish jackpot on your next full day trip.

Cape Fear River

Flowing west of the town and emptying into the Atlantic, the Cape Fear River is home to superb Striped and Largemouth Bass fishing. This body of water once used to send chills down local fishermen’s spines as a chance of running asunder was quite real. Now, this fishery produces stunning Bass action from spring onwards. As it flows towards the ocean, the slow current of this river is a perfect setting for a relaxing light tackle action.

Inshore fishing spots

Anglers who want to establish themselves as fully-fledged fishermen should definitely check out the inlets and onshore fisheries right out of Wilmington, towards Carolina and Wrightsville Beach. These waters are packed with the fares of inshore species. That’s right, it’s Red and Black Drum all over the place. They are generally available year round but the action gets super hot when these fellas make their run in the fall. October and November are the months to visit if you want monster Drums.

The numerous cuts, inlets, channels and small bays that surround the Masonboro Inlet and Wrightsville Beach oceanfront offer outstanding fishing for Red and Black Drum. The nearby salt marshes and ocean creeks are home to Flounder, and for some Spotted Seatrout action, search around the jetties, rock walls, and backwater surrounding the Masonboro Inlet.

Offshore

When a Wilmington charter sets sail towards the Atlantic, anglers onboard bring their absolute best to land the big names of offshore fishing. Offshore reefs and wrecks are home to King Mackerel, Mahi, Wahoo, Blue and White Marlin, monster size Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna. It’s more than just bravado, as these fish will strike hard and rip your line to smithereens. You’ll need a charter captain with experience before you venture out to make the most out of your trip.

Travel anywhere between 20 and 40 miles offshore for some solid action that will see you fishing already within the first hour. These waters regularly see schools of Mahi, and you can troll for King Mackerel, do kite fishing for sailfish, or present the bait to Tuna.

The proximity of the Gulf Stream, which flows about 20 miles offshore, makes fishing here super hot even on the coldest winter days. And an hour boat ride -- and often shorter -- will see you fishing right above a major drop-off, as the continental shelf starts sliding down, plunging from 200 ft to 600 ft.

The Outer Shell Reefs, found off the coast of Wilmington and right on the edge of the continental shelf, mark the place with a significant drop in depth. As the ocean floor plummets from 150 ft to 600 ft, you will find rich marine life, with plenty of sponges and beds of corals. They make a place-to-call-home for a healthy stock of Tilefish, Vermillion Snapper, Sea Bass, and Snowy Grouper.

How much does it cost?

Anglers looking for a family trip should probably go on a half day trip. These run between four and six hours and will take you fishing around nearshore hot spots, where you can still target Mackerel, Sharks, Bonito, and more. These trips cost about $500 for up to six anglers and mostly include all the licenses, gear, and ice.

If you’ve set your eyes on a trophy-size catch, you should book a full day charter and head far our. Depending on how far you want to go, you’ll be fishing for monster game fish up to 40 miles offshore for about $1,000. A bit farther out, up to 70 miles, a standard 12 hour trip will cost about $1,600, and you will have a good shot at landing the next record Marlin, Tuna, or Sailfish, as well as a chance to explore the offshore bottom fisheries.

For the ultimate fishing experience, you will want to book an overnight trip and stay near the Gulf Stream to be there in time for the bite early in the morning and during the night. These trips are perfect for hardcore anglers.

Fishing techniques

Whether it’s light tackle action inshore for the likes of Redfish and Black Drum, or trolling offshore amidst a Bluefin Tuna bonanza, Wilmington has a fine selection of fishing techniques to enjoy.

Rivers and creeks

Let’s start at the beginning. If you’re planning to explore inshore fisheries, Wilmington has rivers, estuarine waterways, sounds, inlets, creeks, and inshore fisheries in the Atlantic that put to the limit even the seasoned angler. Scenic river fisheries at the west boundary of the town lend themselves to incredible light tackle action, where spinnerbait works well with Striped Bass and Largemouth Bass. Look for grass areas near the shoreline.

Inshore fishing

Inshore waters are home to impressive Redfish, Black Drum, Spotted Seatrout, and Flounder. Reds make the best inshore fish to target come fall, as the local fisheries see a surge in Bull Reds. Most fishing charters target Redfish and both adults and kids love fishing for them. They respond well to live bait such as shrimp, while you can use spoons and topwater lures for equal success. Follow these steps, and chances are high that each cast will be matched by a solid thud.

Black Drum make a somewhat different beat. They are a tad more finicky, but work well on live bait such as shrimp and crabs. If you like using artificial lures or flies, head to skinnier water, where you can also try sight fishing.

Offshore and deep sea fishing

Words hardly do justice to the offshore and deep sea fishing Wilmington has in store. From King Mackerel, Amberjack, Wahoo, Mahi, White and Blue Marlin to incredibly savage Bluefin Tuna and Yellowfin Tuna, here you can try trolling, bottom fishing, kite fishing, deep sea fishing, and so much more. The question is, when do you want to be fishing--and for what?

Trolling is a super effective way to get big fish. What starts out as a relaxing cruise down the ocean soon turns into a blitz as Mahi and Wahoo strike the bait. Mahi feed near the surface so you will want to keep your bait near the top of the water, while solitary Wahoo forage a bit further below. To get them, use a downrigger to sink your bait and set the speed at about 12 knots.

White and Blue Marlin are swimming far offshore, anywhere from 40 miles and beyond. Use live bait when trolling and stay alert once they get hooked. Blue Marlin will often make run towards the boat so you’ll need to act fast and retrieve the line to keep it tight. White Marlin are fished more and more with circle hooks. Troll with dead bait Ballyhoo and downsize your gear as White Marlin can be managed on light tackle too.

Bottom fishing for Amberjack and Black Seabass is nothing short of spectacular. Get the bait all the way down near offshore wrecks. Use heavy tackle for Amberjacks and drop the bait all the way to their layer, often at 100+ ft depth. The trick is to use big bait, or as of recent, butterfly jigs
Further down, you can also get Tilefish, which are a textbook example of deep dropping. You will need to sink the bait all the way to the ocean floor where these bottom browsers spend their days. You can use several pounds heavy sinkers to get present the cut bait. Bait your circle hooks with varied bait, mostly crabs and sea worms.

Need to know

If you’re fishing from a licensed charter boat, you don’t need a fishing license. Trips on these vessels are a perfect way to explore Wilmington fisheries as you will have a local captain at the helm and that’s as safe as it gets to reach the honey holes teeming with fish. Most charters here are private which means when you book a trip, you actually book the entire boat for your party and get all rods, reels, tackle, and most often ice to keep your catch cool.

What you need to have in mind is that weather can change quickly, especially if you’re fishing far offshore, so it’s best to bring clothes in layers, and sometimes clothing for foul weather. This of course varies from season to season. Pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. You may also want to bring seasickness medication as offshore waters can seem overwhelming for some novice anglers. Even if you’re less experienced, your charter captain will help out and will work to make your trip memorable.

Wilmington
Excellent
4.9 / 5
Based on 28584 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Wilmington Fishing Seasons

January

It’s only the start of the year, but Wilmington waters are in full swing. Offshore, imposing Bluefin Tuna strike with abandon.
 

February

Superb fishing for Redfish and Black Drum. Take an offshore trip and aim for Bluefin Tuna or sink your bait to get Amberjack.

March

Stay inshore for a rich selection of table fare, including Redfish, Black Drum, and Spotted Seatrout. If you fancy more demanding action, head offshore for Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna.

April

You will find a good bite from trophy size Bluefin Tuna, and decent fishing for Wahoo, White Marlin, and Mahi Mahi.

May

The water’s heating up, but the warm currents of the Gulf Stream are as hot as ever. Head offshore to land Wahoo and Yellowfin Tuna, or pull Amberjack up from the floor.

June

Go offshore and do trolling for King Mackerel, Mahi, some Marlin, and more game fish. The waters are bustling with fish of all sizes and hues and you could be landing the fish of a lifetime.

July

As the summer heat kicks in, inshore and offshore action are in full force. Head 70 miles out for some deep sea fishing and target Billfish, or stay closer and savor Tarpon fishing.

August

Wahoo fishing is incredible these days. They are fast and brutish, turning the line into a pretzel if you’re not cautious. Mahi, Barracuda, and Sailfish make up for excellent angling action.

September

Head to offshore wrecks and do bottom fishing for Amberjacks. There’s a steady bite from other big fellas, including Sailfish, Tuna, and Marlin.

October

You can expect a fair bite from Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna. Trolling for Mackerel is a fun way to spend the day. Inshore, a good selection of Black and Red Drum.

November

Yellowfin Tuna blitz offshore is a spectacular sight to witness. Head 50 miles offshore and your patience will likely pay off big time. Stay close to the land for magnificent Drum action.

December

If you want a colossal catch for Christmas, head offshore to land impressive Bluefin Tuna. Inshore waters are filled with excellent Redfish, Black Drum, and Spotted Seatrout.

Wilmington Fishing Calendar

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Featured photos from Wilmington

What anglers said about fishing in Wilmington

Fishing is fishing, not everyday is a winner. However, be patient, find a great captain, and he will find fish no matter how much travel time there is between spots.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Fishing is fishing, not everyday is a winner. However, be patient, find a great captain, and he will find fish no matter how much travel time there is between spots.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
All types of fishing possible, river, inlet coastal waterway, inshore, offshore. Decide which you prefer, then research Captains/options.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
All types of fishing possible, river, inlet coastal waterway, inshore, offshore. Decide which you prefer, then research Captains/options.
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Hieronymus Fishing Charters Rocky Mount, NC
Go see Captain Cord - he knows the area well as a native of Wilmington and can put you on the fish!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Go see Captain Cord - he knows the area well as a native of Wilmington and can put you on the fish!
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Hieronymus Fishing Charters Raleigh, North Carolina
Book at least two different half days to max out chance for catching targeted fish. The area is huge
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Book at least two different half days to max out chance for catching targeted fish. The area is huge
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville Austin, TX
My recommendation would be to find a captain with a hood rating and reviews including good with kids.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
My recommendation would be to find a captain with a hood rating and reviews including good with kids.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville Beaver, PA
Make sure your captain is patient and can teach you how to cast off and reel them in. We had a ball both learning and doing.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Make sure your captain is patient and can teach you how to cast off and reel them in. We had a ball both learning and doing.
Falling Tide Fishing Adventures
Falling Tide Fishing Adventures Spring Hope, NC
Go with Captain Luke Moser. He knows the waters and passionate about his work
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Go with Captain Luke Moser. He knows the waters and passionate about his work
Coastline Charters
Coastline Charters Belville, NC
Prepare for rain or shine, we got both. And the fish seemed to be picky in each spot. Squid and shrimp seemed to be the favored baits.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Prepare for rain or shine, we got both. And the fish seemed to be picky in each spot. Squid and shrimp seemed to be the favored baits.
Fishing Beagle Adventures, LLC
Fishing Beagle Adventures, LLC
Wear a jacket and take your Dramamine even if you don’t think you need to.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Wear a jacket and take your Dramamine even if you don’t think you need to.
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters Charlotte, North Carolina
Make sure to take adequate food and drink. Don’t forget your sunglasses like I did!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Make sure to take adequate food and drink. Don’t forget your sunglasses like I did!
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters Fayetteville, NC
Overall a great place to fish, many different spots to hit along the beaches and inlets. Wide verity of fish and ocean life to enjoy, great place to live & visit!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Overall a great place to fish, many different spots to hit along the beaches and inlets. Wide verity of fish and ocean life to enjoy, great place to live & visit!
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville Noblesville, IN
Great experience, and lots of fish we’ll definitely be fishing here again. Highly recommend!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Great experience, and lots of fish we’ll definitely be fishing here again. Highly recommend!
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters Cameron, NC
Book with Rising Sun! Captain Pierre is an educator, his lifetime of knowledge is priceless!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Book with Rising Sun! Captain Pierre is an educator, his lifetime of knowledge is priceless!
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville Richmond, Virginia
Contact Luke he went above and beyond to get us on fish it was a great time
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Contact Luke he went above and beyond to get us on fish it was a great time
Coastline Charters
Coastline Charters Evansville, Wisconsin

How did anglers rate fishing charters in Wilmington?

Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(81 reviews)
Captain Cord was both entertaining and accommodating and made the trip fun and productive for both new and veteran anglers.
Connor  S.
Connor S.
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(225 reviews)
We had a great time fishing with Capt. Joe . We caught plenty of fish and learned a lot. We will book with you again
Todd  G.
Todd G.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
Pierre did a wonderful job making the best of an overcast day for us. We caught some massive redfish and saw some dolphins! We enjoyed his roomy boat and variety of bait. He knows his spots!
Amanda  B.
Amanda B.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
Absolutely loved it. Fishing trip was extremely smooth from notifying us before hand and when we got there. Captain was very personable and knowledgeable. We will definitely book another trip with him the next time we come back.
Jessica  W.
Jessica W.
Southern Run Fishing Charters
Southern Run Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(86 reviews)
Captain Ben was immediately responsive to questions about the booking and was very flexible about everything! We had a great time!
Jeff  S.
Jeff S.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
We had a great time. Fished a bunch of spots and caught fish. It was fun, relaxed, and easy. I’m looking forward to next trip with Rising Sun !
Ron  W.
Ron W.
Whipsaw Charters
Whipsaw Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
4.7 / 5
(8 reviews)
Everything about the trip ran as planned. We got into plenty of fish during our near shore excursion. First mate David was super helpful and informative.
Thomas  I.
Thomas I.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
Pierre was very easy going and was the perfect captain for our trip. He knows the area and will make sure you have the best time and chance to catch fish! Will be booking again.
David  T.
David T.
Coastal Life Outfitters,  MASFA
Coastal Life Outfitters, MASFA
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(1 review)
My son and I had an awesome afternoon with Gary. He took great care of us, providing a range of equipment in great condition and various snacks for the afternoon. While fishing, he shared details with us of how to read the water to gauge channels and relative depth, and instruction on casting, knot tying, different types of bait to use and how best to bait the various hook types. Truly an educational afternoon that my son and I both found very memorable. Highly recommended!
Charlie  S.
Charlie S.
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(81 reviews)
Our trip was awesome, catching blue fish till we hit our limit while everybody else around us was having a hard time. Captain was fabulous!!!
Tara  M.
Tara M.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
Captain Pierre was great, knowledgeable , and very hands on with the kids! We all caught multiple fish and have memories to last a lifetime! Definitely recommend Rising Sun Fishing!
Tiffany  H.
Tiffany H.
SWF Charters
SWF Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(2 reviews)
The captain was fantastic and managed to plan a trip for us within a very short timeframe. Although the weather wasn't ideal, we still had a lot of fun. I have a 7-year-old son who is very curious and has a lot of questions, but the captain was patient enough to answer all of them. If you have children, this is the perfect charter for your family. We look forward to our next trip.
Kimberly  T.
Kimberly T.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
What an experience! Captain Pierre made our fishing trip exciting, entertaining, educational and FUN! We caught a ton of fish, and he even fileted them for us to eat for supper. Will be booking again! Thanks, Captain P!
Kodi  Z.
Kodi Z.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
Captain Pierre was awesome and our fishing trip was a great experience. We caught a lot of fish and will definitely be taking another trip!!
Holly  Z.
Holly Z.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
We had a great time with Pierre and Zane, caught a bunch of good size Black Drum and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly! Great conversation and very attentive, definitely plan on doing this again.
Shane  C.
Shane C.
Southern Run Fishing Charters
Southern Run Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(86 reviews)
Ben was awesome! He kept us informed prior to our trip out with inclement weather concerns. We had to shorten our trip bc the some of the group got sick and he was so accommodating. We were still able to catch a few. We will be booking with him again and would highly recommend.
Allison  M.
Allison M.
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(225 reviews)
this was my trip of lifetime(maybe) with 3 of my 4 grandmen. Joe made this trip a memory for my grandmen with their 81 yr young grandfather/buddy/friend/dad. Tks Joe for a GREAT trip and lots of fish.
Carl  P.
Carl P.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
Captain Pierre had us on fish just prior to a beautiful sunrise, and kept us on fish throughout the 4 hours. My son and I had a great time and the Captain is highly recommended!
Joe  H.
Joe H.
Carolina Charters
Carolina Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(13 reviews)
Our first time catching fish in this area, despite many times trying on our own. The captain knew where the fish were and put us on them. Gave us detailed pointers based on the tackle and species that paid off in scales (fish). Lots of sheepshead and ended the charter with a nice size red drum. The vessel and equipment were all top notch. Definitely recommended.
Jarrett  P.
Jarrett P.
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Rising Sun Fishing- Wrightsville
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(91 reviews)
Captain Pierre did his best to get us on fish all morning. Ended up getting 4-5 different species. Could tell he knew a lot of different “honey holes.” Kept bouncing around finding fish. Can’t wait to come back and book again 👍🏽.
Skyler  M.
Skyler M.

Top Targeted Species in Wilmington

Nearby Fishing Destinations