Wilmington

112 Fishing Charters

Wilmington Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Wilmington
Wilmington: 112 fishing charters available

Hieronymus Fishing Charters

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(37 reviews)
Wilmington
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $450

Falling Tide Fishing Adventures

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(44 reviews)
Wilmington
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $400

Leverdrag Charters

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(167 reviews)
Wilmington
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $450

Circle Bak Fishing

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(100 reviews)
Wilmington
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $450

Streamline Charters

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(56 reviews)
Wilmington
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $550

Nautical Mile Charters – Regulator

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(41 reviews)
Wilmington
trips from $425

Coastline Charters

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(6 reviews)
Wilmington
 Instant Confirmation

Spartina Guide Service LLC

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(62 reviews)
Wrightsville Beach
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $425

Top Knot NC

Good
2.6 / 5
(5 reviews)
Wilmington
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $400

Carolina Charters

Wilmington
trips from $250

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 $450, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $776 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:
  • 4-hour fishing trips – $423
  • 6-hour fishing trips – $646
  • 7-hour fishing trips – $650
  • 8-hour fishing trips – $842

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
4.3 / 5
Based on 25065 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

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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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
Randy  S.
Randy S. Evansville, Wisconsin
Make sure to touch base with your Captain to review all the snacks, drinks, clothing items you might need or want to have with you on your trip.
Excellent
4.3 / 5
Make sure to touch base with your Captain to review all the snacks, drinks, clothing items you might need or want to have with you on your trip.
Mike  B.
Mike B. United States

Falling Tide Fishing Adventures
Falling Tide Fishing Adventures
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(44 reviews)
Captain Zane was awesome. Great trip. He put us on the fish in a big way! Great guy and you would be supporting a Veteran of the Armed Forces who sacrifice so much for all of us! Thanks Captain Zane!
DANIEL  K.
DANIEL K. Union, SC
Circle Bak Fishing
Circle Bak Fishing
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(100 reviews)
Cold and windy day, but we caught about 20 fish. Kids had a lot of fun.
John  G.
John G. Clayton, North Carolina
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(37 reviews)
Fantastic day on the water. Cord is a great captain with tons of knowledge and experience. I would recommend booking with Cord.
Jeff  A.
Jeff A. Naples, FL
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(37 reviews)
Started out a little cool but the Spanish Mackeral quickly warmed the day up. Can’t say enough good things about Capt. Cord. First class equipment and he really knows how to get you on the fish.
Jeff  Y.
Jeff Y. Danville, VA
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Hieronymus Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(37 reviews)
Captain Cord was honest, knowledgeable, and efficient. We had a great day of fishing and the results were even better than expected. Highly recommend for a memorable experience!
Whitney  L.
Whitney L. Spruce Pine, NC
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(167 reviews)
Trip was great! Joe (captain) was super informative and friendly. We moved a few times to follow the bite. Ended up with lots of Spanish and several Bonita just for fun. Joe was organized, flexible, patient and fun! I’ll be back with him again soon.
Brian  D.
Brian D. Wilmington, NC
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(167 reviews)
Had a great day on the water with Capt Joe! My wife and I always try to get a fishing trip or two in every year. We had some bad weather this year and instead of taking us in inclement weather or having a bad experience, Capt Joe worked with us to schedule the best days to go fishing and we had a great trip. We look forward to going back again soon!
Anthony  T.
Anthony T. Wendell, NC
Circle Bak Fishing
Circle Bak Fishing
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(100 reviews)
Wonderful day of fishing. Jordan put us on the fish and we had a great time. Will definitely be back!
Randall  S.
Randall S. Charlotte, North Carolina
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(167 reviews)
Overall great experience! Captain Joe was on time, friendly, and knowledgeable. We went out and fished for King Mackerel first and caught our limit in the Captain’s favorite spot. Then we came back and fished for Spanish Mackerel. Tons of fun.
Allyson  H.
Allyson H. Raleigh, NC
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(167 reviews)
Captain Joe was great! He was very accommodating as we were trying to work around weather and post hurricane water clarity. He kept us informed as things changed and was very professional. We knew fishing wasn’t going to be stellar due to conditions but he found us fish and we had a great time. Now we’re preparing for a big fish fry. Thank you!
Jeffrey  D.
Jeffrey D. Daniel, UT
Streamline Charters
Streamline Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(56 reviews)
Captain J is hands down the best in Wilmington. Took my dad for his birthday never had a better fishing experience. We where on fish every time a line dropped.
Michael  M.
Michael M. Charlotte, North Carolina
Falling Tide Fishing Adventures
Falling Tide Fishing Adventures
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(44 reviews)
Captain Zane was awesome! He truly provided everything we needed - from reels and poles, to wisdom of his area. He had patience (we obviously are not used to sea fishing). Everyone caught more than one fish!! Overall great experience! If we decide to fish here again, we will be booking with Captain Zane again!
Noah  M.
Noah M. Wilmington, North Carolina
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(167 reviews)
Had a great time out on the water with Leverdrag. The weather wasn’t the most cooperative but we still caught a mess of fish and had a lot of fun with Captain Joe. He was very knowledgeable and worked hard to get us action, plus I’d be happy to have had a beer with him after the trip. I would definitely recommend this charter to my friends and family.
Ethan  W.
Ethan W. Houston, MO
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(167 reviews)
Captain Joe took us out on September 7, 2022 and we started catching fish from the moment I put the lines in the water! It was wonderful service, very knowledgeable, and great attitude! Great time was had by all
Eric  K.
Eric K. Matthews, NC
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(167 reviews)
We had a great time fishing today. We didn't get as many as we wanted to...but no one can make them bite....Captain Joe tried to get us fish all day and we did end up with a fair amount of Spanish mackerel....but again, we had a great time and are planning on repeating next year!!!
Jeffrey  J.
Jeffrey J. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Circle Bak Fishing
Circle Bak Fishing
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
4.7 / 5
(100 reviews)
We started trolling as soon as we left the sound and caught several fish. The only drawback was that Captain Jordan done everything but reel in the fish. I could have done all the shark fishing myself. Still a quality trip.
Roland  S.
Roland S. Glasgow, WV
Southern Run Fishing Charters
Southern Run Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
4.3 / 5
(75 reviews)
Ben and Brian made sure we had a great time on our fishing trip. The crew went out of their way to make sure we were having a good time and really focused on the kids’ having a great experience. The boat is a good size for a family of 4. We are still talking about our day fishing for mackerel and shark.
Lawrence  S.
Lawrence S. Creedmoor, NC
Leverdrag Charters
Leverdrag Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(167 reviews)
Even though our full day trip was canceled due to weather, Captain Joe was still able to give us an exciting half day trip. We were able to catch Spanish Mackerels and to top the trip off we were able to reel in a sand shark and Hammerhead shark. We will definitely be booking another trip with Joe!
AMY  H.
AMY H. Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Circle Bak Fishing
Circle Bak Fishing
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(100 reviews)
I wanted my son to experience open sea fishing and have a great time, Captain Jimmy Vass made sure this was the case! He is extremely professional, experienced, kind, and overall a great person to be around. We had a wonderful time and caught too many fishes! We will definitely be coming back for more. Thank again!
Jose  S.  M.
Jose S. M. Durham, North Carolina
Streamline Charters
Streamline Charters
Fishing charter in Wilmington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(56 reviews)
Captian J did not disappoint. A true professional! We had a absolute blast, caught plenty of fish, and we will definitely be out again soon.
David  M.
David M. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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