fishing hotspots on the crystal coast

Top 10 Fishing Hotspots on the Crystal Coast

We’re about to spill the beans on North Carolina’s best-kept secrets, the top ten fishing hotspots on the Crystal Coast. So, if you want to be in the know, stick around.

Welcome to our guide on the top 10 fishing hotspots along this picturesque stretch of coastline. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just looking for a relaxing day by the water, we’ve got you covered. So grab your hat and shades, because it’s time to cast a line and dive into the crystal-clear waters of adventure!

fishing hotspots on the crystal coast
Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

We love sharing any fishing tips and hidden gems for you to love living and visiting the Crystal Coast as much as we do!

Ready to uncover the best fishing spots on the Crystal Coast where adventure meets relaxation? Dive into our top 10 picks that promise not just great catches, but unforgettable coastal experiences.

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier is a must-visit gem on the Crystal Coast, offering not just a fantastic place to fish but a mesmerizing coastal experience. Imagine yourself standing at the pier’s edge, the ocean breeze tousling your hair, and an expansive view of the Atlantic before you.

It’s a visual treat that sets the stage for an exciting day of fishing. This pier is renowned for its catches of flounder and Spanish mackerel, promising action-packed moments as you cast your line into these teeming waters.

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Flounder, known for their distinct shape and delectable taste, are frequent guests here, and if you’re seeking a bit more excitement, the Spanish mackerel won’t disappoint with their speed and agility. Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier embodies the very essence of the Crystal Coast – where adventure meets relaxation in the most picturesque setting.

Newport River Pier

Head over to the Newport River pier, conveniently situated at 301 Highway 70 on Radio Island, a stone’s throw from the Morehead City high-rise bridge. It’s not just any ordinary pier, though.

Originally, it stretched out to a modest 300 feet, but over the years, it decided to stretch its legs (or should we say boards?) and now proudly extends a whopping 575 feet into the heart of the Newport River. That means more room for you to cast your line and reel in some amazing catches.

Plus, there’s no need to pack up when the sun sets because this pier comes alive at night with its well-placed lighting for nighttime fishing. And hey, they’ve even got bait-cutting tables for all your angling needs. To top it off, there’s a ‘T’ at the far end, making it a prime spot for those seeking the perfect catch.

fishing hotspots on the crystal coast
Newport River Pier

Oceanana Fishing Pier

The Oceanana Pier, a whopping 1,000 feet long, reaches out into the vast Atlantic Ocean, beckoning both seasoned and newbie anglers alike to try their luck.

It’s not just a pier; it’s your gateway to a world of fishing adventures. Need gear? No worries! The cozy Fishing Center nestled at the Pier House has you covered with bait, tackle, and even some refreshments to keep you energized.

And for those who didn’t bring their own fishing buddies, they’ve got rod and reel rentals too, making sure no one misses out on the action.

The Point in Emerald Isle

Looking for the ultimate surf fishing spot? The Point in Emerald Isle is where it’s at. This place is like a well-kept secret, a secluded slice of beach paradise that’s perfect for those who want to cast their lines in peace and quiet. It’s the kind of hidden gem that every angler dreams of stumbling upon.

fishing hotspots on the crystal coast
Carousel is the perfect vacation getaway on Inlet Drive, perfect for your fishing adventures at The Point in Emerald Isle.

Radio Island Beach Access

Tucked away like a well-kept secret, the Radio Island Public Beach Access is an inshore angler’s paradise. What sets this spot apart is its serene ambiance and shallow waters that beckon you to wade in and cast your line.

Imagine standing in knee-deep waters, the gentle lapping of the waves at your feet, and the anticipation of what’s lurking beneath the surface. This is where the real magic happens – speckled trout and flounder, both sought-after catches in these parts, frequent these waters.

It’s a tranquil yet thrilling experience, as you patiently await the telltale tug on your line. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, Radio Island offers a serene escape where you can connect with nature and reel in some remarkable fish.

fishing hotspots on the crystal coast
Radio Island Beach

Core Sound and the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum

The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center is more than just a museum; it’s a gateway to an unforgettable adventure. Begin your journey by exploring the rich history and culture of the coastal region in the museum itself.

As you walk through exhibits showcasing the intricate relationship between the local community and the waterfowl that call this place home, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the coastal way of life. But here’s where it gets interesting: after immersing yourself in the museum’s treasures, step outside and into a world of fishing possibilities.

real estate crystal coast

Core Sound, with its tranquil waters and abundant marine life, presents a unique fishing experience. The knowledge gained from the museum enriches your understanding of the ecosystem, making each cast of your line feel like a connection to the past and present of this remarkable area.

Whether you’re angling for the catch of the day or simply enjoying the serenity of the sound, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center offers a blend of culture, history, and fantastic fishing opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else along the Crystal Coast.

Shackelford Banks

Shackleford Banks beckons as the perfect fusion of fishing and natural beauty. This picturesque barrier island is a paradise for those who seek not only a great catch but also an opportunity to connect with unspoiled nature.

fishing hotspots on the crystal coast
Morehead City Waterfront is home of Big Rock Landing

You can spend the day standing along the shoreline. The gentle waves lapped at your feet as you cast your line into the crystal-clear waters. It’s an angler’s dream come true, as you’ll find an abundance of fish species in these pristine coastal waters. While you wait for your next bite, you’re surrounded by the untouched beauty of Shackleford Banks.

Beaufort Inlet

If you’re chasing the thrill of the big catch, look no further. This inlet is your gateway to the deep waters of the Atlantic. It’s where marlin and sailfish, the giants of the ocean, roam.

It’s a place where adrenaline-pumping battles with these majestic creatures are practically a daily occurrence. And let’s not forget the other sizable catches that call this area home. From mahi-mahi to wahoo, Beaufort Inlet is a smorgasbord of fishing opportunities.

But it’s not just about the size of the catch; it’s the experience. It’s the feeling of the salt breeze in your hair as you venture further into the ocean. It’s the anticipation of a tug on your line. Let’s not forget the satisfaction of reeling in a trophy fish – it all comes together in Beaufort Inlet.

fishing hotspots on the crystal coast
Off the Dock Adventures is a fishing charter you can utilize for the best fishing hotspots.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice looking for a true fishing adventure, this place has it all.


Known as the “Friendly City by the Sea,” Swansboro offers a delightful blend of history, charm, and great fishing. The town is situated along the Intracoastal Waterway, providing access to a variety of fishing opportunities.

You can fish from the town’s waterfront, exploring the estuaries and creeks for red drum, flounder, and sheepshead. Charter boats are also available for those looking to venture offshore for bigger catches like king mackerel and grouper.

After a day of fishing, explore Swansboro’s quaint streets, enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants, and take in the scenic beauty of the White Oak River. It’s a fishing destination with a welcoming coastal ambiance.

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Morehead City Waterfront

Morehead City Waterfront isn’t your run-of-the-mill fishing spot; it’s the ultimate destination for anglers in the know.

Renowned for its charter fishing experiences, this vibrant area is where the pros come to play. Here, you’ll find a charter for every fishing fantasy, from chasing colossal marlin to battling tuna and king mackerel.

Step aboard a well-equipped vessel, guided by expert captains who navigate these waters with finesse. They’ll take you to the sweetest spots, ensuring your fishing adventure is nothing short of extraordinary.

Plus, the lively waterfront ambiance, brimming with marinas and seafood eateries, adds to the charm. Morehead City Waterfront is where fishing dreams come true, and everyone can feel like a seasoned angler.

Cast Away and Make Waves

You can explore a rich fishing history along the Crystal Coast. With each of these hotspots, you’ll find not only great catches but also unforgettable memories.

So, grab your rod and reel, set your sights on the Crystal Coast, and get ready for a fishing adventure like no other. The waters are waiting, and the fish are biting. Tight lines and happy angling!

FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions

Is a fishing license required to fish at these hotspots?

Yes, a fishing license is generally required for both residents and non-residents in North Carolina. However, there are exceptions for specific age groups and types of fishing. It’s essential to check the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements before you go.

What’s the best time of year to visit these fishing spots for specific catches?

Fishing conditions and the types of fish you’ll encounter can vary throughout the year. For example, spring and early summer are excellent for species like flounder and Spanish mackerel, while late summer and early fall are prime times for king mackerel and marlin. Researching seasonal fishing patterns can help you plan your trip accordingly.

Are there facilities or amenities available at these locations, such as restrooms and equipment rentals?

The amenities at each location can vary. Some piers and parks may have restrooms, bait shops, and equipment rentals on-site, while others may be more rustic. It’s a good idea to check in advance what each location offers in terms of facilities and services, especially if you’re planning an extended fishing trip.