Outer Banks Fishing and fishing charter

The Outer Banks of North Carolina are full of natural beauty. Fishermen can catch some of the best fish in the world right in OBX waters. Outer Banks fishing charters offer some of the best ways to explore the sites and find a good spot to make a big catch.

Fishing The Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina has top-notch angling in the best waters in the world. From fly fishing to on and offshore fishing charters, the season goes all year round when it comes to making a good catch. Anglers who are young on up to adults can enjoy many spots around Outer Banks for a great fishing experience. A Coastal Recreational Fishing License is required to fish, aside from charters and piers, on Outer Banks. Children under 16 are exempt. LIcensing keeps the process safe in conserving marine life and fish by setting limits on numbers of fish that can be caught and removed from the water. Tackle shops or the piers have information on fishing licenses. Visitors can also contact the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries at 800-682-2632 for more information or visit their website at Division of Marine FIsheries.

Best Fish to Catch

The Gulf Stream and Labrador Current create a great environment for many types of fish. All year round, Outer Banks is host to crabs, shrimp, and other fish. Pirate’s Cove will prepare any fish you catch as you like it, making it a fun adventure for the whole family. Here are some tips for best catch-of-the-day by season:

  • Winter months (Dec-Mar): catch some great trout, sea bass, oysters, bay scallops, grouper, and blue/yellowfin tuna
  • Spring months (Apr-May): pick up some channel bass, grouper, snapper, sea mullet, king mackerel, oysters, and striped bass
  • Summer months (Jun-Aug): toss a line to pick up some white marlin, sailfish, shrimp, crabs, croaker, flounder, speckled trout, and tuna
  • Fall months (Sept-Nov): fish for some of the best snapper, grouper, oysters, flounder, bluefish, and clams

Every month and season will have a variety of fish to choose from. Now to find the best spot is a trick many anglers can attest to when it comes to a successful day of fishing.


Licensing Laws

To fish Outer Banks, you need a Coastal Recreational Fishing License. Children under 16 are exempt. Anglers should know the current marine fisheries regulations. Visit an Outer Banks bait and tackle shop or pier or call the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries or visit their website for more information. Some licensing info:

  • Annual Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses are $15 for state residents, $30 for non-residents
  • 10-day coastal fishing license is $5 for state residents, $10 for non-residents
  • Online fishing licenses can be purchased at NC Wildlife or by phone 

Contact the Coastal Recreational Fishing License people for a list of locations that sell licenses or visit the Division of Marine Fisheries for more information.

Outer Banks F.A.Q.

For more than 100 miles, there is great surf fishing. Grab a surf rod and bait or try frozen bait from a tackle shop, marina, or store. Other equipment like fishing boats or gear can be rented and purchased from area shops.

Any person 16 and older who wants to fish in any water in Carolina must purchase a Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL). Charters companies will carry their own licenses to cover participants. Speak with charter companies to find out more information about fishing licenses and regulations.

Surf fishing as it is called is a popular way to fish the Outer Banks. Hundreds of miles of coastline make it accessible for visitors and creates an environment for fishermen and women (and kids) to catch many different kinds of fish. Speak to marinas and other companies nearby about surf fishing to-dos and how to find the best spots.

The best time to hit the pier and toss a line in is usually early morning at sunrise or at sundown. The moving tides attract many baitfish to the area and the hungry bigger fish come looking for breakfast or dinner. This creates an environment with lots of varieties of fish to capture.