North Carolina features substantial terrain changes between the inland and coastal portions of the state. Mountains with streams tower to the north and west compared to beaches and islands on the Atlantic ocean coast. The fishing opportunities are endless between lakes, coastal waters, rivers, and more. You have a wide selection of options for fishing destinations and the types of species to target. When planning a fishing trips near me, here are the three best fish spots in North Carolina. 

What Is Required To Legally Fish In The State Of North Carolina

Before casting a line in North Carolina, it is essential to become eligible to fish within states lines. 

First and foremost, determine if you are fishing in freshwater and saltwater and purchase the appropriate license. When 16 years or older, a fishing license is required. To buy a license, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission webpage. 

In addition to a fishing license, become educated on regulations. Harvesting regulations include the size of the fish, the number of fish, and the seasonality for keeping fish. Avoid running into legal trouble by keeping fish that do not fall within legal limits. 

Best Coastal Fishing Trips Near Me: North Carolina

The best fishing trips near me in coastal North Carolina is from the Outerbanks. Along the northern portion of the coast lies a string of barrier islands. The barrier island forms the Outerbanks. 

Fishing the Outerbanks is superb because of the proximity to the warm gulf stream waters and inland estuaries along marshes and oyster beds. 


Rather than running offshore to the blue water head inland towards the mainland from the Outerbanks, North Carolina. 

Anglers fishing the inshore waters catch speckled trout, flounder, redfish, spanish mackerel, black drum, tarpon, cobia, and more. 

Consider renting a boat or hiring a charter guide. The inland waters are challenging to navigate between sand bars, oyster beds, and strong currents. 

Offshore Bluewater Trolling

The Outerbanks juts well out into the Atlantic Ocean compared to other barrier islands along the coast. 

Due to its location, it allows offshore anglers the opportunity to reach blue water in the shortest time span. The blue water is called the gulf stream which is similar to a river of warm water flowing along the east coast of the United States. 

The river is home to an abundance of fish which include wahoo, marlin, sailfish, tuna, mahi mahi, and more. The most effective bait for catching offshore fish is trolling ballyhoo

Despite the ability to make the run in a personally owned boat, we recommend hiring a charter. The sea conditions become rough at a rapid rate boats should be equipped with twin engines in the event of mechanical issues. 

Best River Fishing Trips Near Me: North Carolina

One of the most notable rivers in North Carolina is the Catawba River. The Catawba River flows for over two hundred miles from the point of origin in western North Carolina before flowing across the state line and into South Carolina. 

Considering the changes in elevation of the river and geographic location, the northern portions hold different types of fish species compared to the southern portion. 

Expect to find an abundance of trout, including brown and book and even the highly regarded walleye to the north and bass, gar, and catfish to the south. 

Depending on the section of the river, boats are allowed access to fish by watercraft compared to wading or along the banks. 

In the northern sections, anglers primarily fish via drift boats for trout. We recommend booking the Catawba Angler for the opportunity to catch trout and smallmouth bass with an expert guide. 

Best Lake Fishing Trips Near Me: North Carolina

The largest man-made lake resides outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Lake Normans shoreline measures an incredible 520 miles and is dotted with islands and coves for superb fishing opportunities. 

Anglers have the opportunity to fish from the banks or venture on a boat for the chance to catch fish across its more than 32,000 acres. 

The depth of Lake Norman averages 33 feet and maxes out at 100 feet. When fishing the lake, the primary species include striped bass, largemouth bass, crappie, perch, smallmouth bass, catfish, and more. 

Connect with a local fishing charter to avoid wasting time trying to find where the fish will be biting. 

Fishing Trips Near Me North Carolina: Take Your Pick

When choosing a fishing trip near me in North Carolina, decide the scenery you prefer and the type of fish you seek. Explore the mountains or cast a line from the beach. The state is home to cold and warm water species ranging from smallmouth bass to big gamefish, including marlin. Take your pick and fish from land, by personally owned boat, or a fishing charter.