North Carolina

262 Fishing Charters

North Carolina Fishing Charters

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Top Fishing Charters in North Carolina


The outstanding fishing that the Tar Heel State has to offer needs no introduction. Nor do the North Carolina fishing charters that take you to the action! Whether you’re in the mood for deep sea fishing, inshore excursions, or freshwater escapades, you’ll find everything you need in these prolific waters.

The inshore bite is fantastic year-round. Anglers regularly test their skills and luck against Bull Redfish, Speckled Trout, Black Drum, Flounder, and Bluefish. Exciting fishing battles and trophy catches are always a possibility. The same goes for superb offshore fishing, where anything from Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, and Amberjack to Sailfish, Marlin, and Tuna are but one cast away.

Freshwater anglers are in love with fishing in North Carolina, and how could they not be? The abundance of lakes and rivers is a dream come true for just about every fisherman. Bass in all shapes and sizes are the main catch, be it Smallmouth, Largemouth, Spotted, or Striped. White Perch, Crappie, Catfish, and Sunfish are all on the menu.

So which fishing trip should you choose? Short half day options are perfect for enjoying the inshore bite, and the same goes for freshwater trips. If you’ve got deep sea fishing on your mind, you’ll need more time to get to the fishing grounds (20–60 miles offshore). Because of this, 10- or 12-hour trips are the best solution.

Competitive fishermen have a lot to do in NC, with the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in summer and dozens of fishing derbies all over the state. In short, there’s a bit of something for everyone!

Rules & Regulations

If you’re going out fishing with a charter guide, you’re covered when it comes to fishing licenses. Solo anglers aged 16 and older need to have a valid North Carolina fishing license, whether they’re fishing from boats, piers, or shore.

North Carolina
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.4
Based on 21463 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

The beaches might be empty, but the waters are definitely not! You’ll find plenty of Bluefin Tuna swimming around offshore, while Redfish, Black Seabass, and Flounder rule the waters inshore. You can also go clamming if you’d like.

February

Bluefin Tuna are still going strong, but you’ll need to wait if you want to get your hands on some Yellowfins. Inshore, the bite is exploding, with plenty of Spotted Seatrout, Bluefish, Stripers, and Flounder there for the taking. Scalloping and clamming are very productive.

March

While not as delicious as their Bluefin cousins, Yellowfin Tuna will give you a fight to remember. You can also hook into some Wahoo these days. Inshore, Cape Lookout is the home of big Redfish, with Spotted Seatrout and Stripers following close behind.

April

Mahi Mahi is making an entrance over at Hatteras, closely followed by more Wahoo and bigger Yellowfin Tuna. The Redfish and Trout bite remains steady, and you also might stumble upon some Weakfish (Gray Trout).

May

May is known as the best Cobia time in all of North Carolina. Depending on your fishing style, jigs or live eels should yield the best results. You are also likely to see Tarpon make an appearance. Offshore, King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, and Yellowfins are biting.

June

Hatteras is known as the Blue Marlin Capital of the World. If you’re a skeptic, come on down in June and see for yourself. Also, expect White Marlin and Sailfish this time of year. Grouper are active in June, as are Tuna, Mackerel, and Wahoo.

July

July marks the peak of the tournament season! You’ll find Billfish tournaments in every town and village with access to the ocean, from Nags Head to Hatteras and beyond. Even crabs and clams are abundant these days – the guarantee of a delicious seafood feast.

August

The tournaments might be over, but the fish are still there. There’s good action everywhere, whether you want Billfish or Tarpon, Grouper or King Mackerel, Redfish and Black Drum. All yours for the taking. Even Sharks come out to play.

September

The weather might be cooler, but that doesn’t mean that fishing is slowing down. White Marlin are still present offshore, while Spotted Seatrout, Redfish, Bluefish, and Black Drum are solid choices inshore.

October

Great “Smoker Kings” hog the spotlight in October. This is the time to be on the water if you want to fight hordes of King Mackerel, both in the Outer Banks and along the Crystal Coast. Looking for variety? Add Little Tunny, Grouper, Snapper, and Tuna to your to-catch list.

November

If you’ve longed for Bluefin Tuna, this is your time! Bluefins are back, and they’re spoiling for a fight. Artificial reefs are your go-to for filling the cooler with bottom feeders. Inshore, Redfish, Trout, Flounder, and Striped Bass are ready for the taking.

December

As is customary for wintertime, Redfish are holed up in the backcountry, making for some awesome sight casting trips. The Gulf Stream is the “ Bluefin Tuna Central,” with trophy catches in the cards. There’s no rest for passionate fishermen in North Carolina!

North Carolina Fishing Calendar

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Spanish Mackarel have arrived!!!
Jamie D. fished with Godspeed Charters on May 13, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Pay attention to the weather and dress accordingly! Relax, have a good attitude, and enjoy.
Half day with Captain Randy
Charles T. fished with Riptide Charters on May 11, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
We had a great time with Captain Randy and caught 50- 60 fish in three hours time. I would recommend fishing in Wanchese.
1/2 day trip with Hunter and Louis
Glen N. fished with Duck Hunter – 28' on May 7, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Just be prepared for all types of weather
4 hour AM trip with Captain Randy
Seth B. fished with Riptide Charters on May 4, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Easy and quick to get to plenty different spots for lots of different kinds of fishing.
3/4 day trip with Captain Ernie
Thomas S. fished with Gecko Sportfishing on May 3, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
During this time of year the fish are moving. Catch is harder to predict. Expect lots of cruising attempting to find the fish. Weather is unpredictable so be flexible. We did a 3/4 day and would have probably been better served with a full day.
Great Morning Fishing!!
Kim H. fished with See Ya Outdoors – Saltwater on May 2, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
We surf fish every time we come down. We had another great successful trip! ( This is actually the reason we come down is to surf fish)
Half day trip, limit hit on blue fish and scored a Spanish Mackerel in about 3 hours. Captain David puts you on fish and knows his stuff! Great time for beginner saltwater fisherman!
Nathaniel V. fished with Hawk Charters on April 27, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Bring and open mind and an open heart, you will have a great time!
8 hour trip w/Capt Jason
Timothy J. fished with Let's Hook Up Charters on April 23, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Good fishing, but be aware there is no marina and no one to clean fish.

FAQs about Fishing Charters in North Carolina

According to customer reviews, Grandslam Inshore Fishing Charters, Hawk Charters, and Native Son Guide Service are some of the most popular fishing charters in North Carolina. Full list of top fishing charters in North Carolina.

Grandslam Inshore Fishing Charters, Hawk Charters, and Native Son Guide Service all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in North Carolina.

The best way to experience fishing in North Carolina is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in North Carolina.

The top 8 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in North Carolina are:

May is known as the best Cobia time in all of North Carolina. Depending on your fishing style, jigs or live eels should yield the best results. You are also likely to see Tarpon make an appearance. Offshore, King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, and Yellowfins are biting. Check availability for local fishing charters in North Carolina.