One of the best vacation destinations in North Carolina is Topsail Island, just outside of Surf City. This coastal area offers wide white sand beaches, excellent vacation rentals, hotel lodging, and dining options. Aside from the expectations of most what most prefer, which is lounging on the beach, the fishing in the area is excellent. Two fishing piers are under seven miles from each other, and both offer fishing for families of all ages. 

What are the two fishing piers located in the Surf City and Topsail island areas of North Carolina?

The first fishing pier is Surf City Ocean Pier

The first of the two topsail island and surf city fishing piers is the Surf City Ocean Pier. First built in 1948, this pier has been forced to undergo reconstruction after vicious hurricanes battled the coast. In 1973, the pier was bought by a family who has owned it ever since. Unfortunately, hurricane Fran in 1996 left the pier in ruins, and it was rebuilt a year later. 

How big Surf City Ocean Pier?

Surf City Ocean Pier measures 937 feet in length. The end of the pier has a forty-foot wide deck at the end to offer ample space for those looking to fish the deepest of water. 

The second pier in the area is the Jolly Roger Ocean Pier

This pier is 850 feet long. It is notorious for fishing and taking a walk, and gazing into the sea below to catch a glimpse of sea turtle and dolphin. 

What type of fish can be caught on these fishing piers?

The type of fish that are in the area is highly dependent on the season. Fish are highly migratory if you’re planning a trip, you inquire about what is around at that specific time. The fall is the most productive. Here are some of the varieties of fish that can be caught.

-King fishing is one of the most popular fish to target off of the piers


-Redfish, otherwise called spot tail or red drum

-Sea trout or, as some call them, spot or specs

-Spanish Mackeral



All of these fish species make excellent table fare. Bring along a cooler and fillet knife to take your fresh catch back home for dinner.

What equipment do you need to fish off a fishing pier?

Fishing off of a fishing pier is a simple set up when bottom fishing. Keep in mind that if you do not own or don’t plan to pack your gear, either pier will rent you the equipment needed. 

The most popular way to fish off of these fishing piers is to have a weight heavy enough to hold the bottom with a hook at the end. The bait varies depending on the time of year and species you are targeting. One of the most popular and easiest to fish is squid because it is difficult to pull free from the hook by pesky fish. 

Keep in mind that the deck that you are standing on is well above the waterline. When bringing a fish up to the pier, a drop net is necessary; however, someone around you will likely lend a helping hand with a net they own. 

What does the pier offer for a fisherman?

The Jolly Roger Ocean Pier and Surf City Ocean Pier are well equipped to support fishermen on the pier. 

-Both are exceptionally well lit, so fishing through the night is not an issue

-Each offers a restaurant if you work up an appetite

-If you don’t have bait, no problem. Each has a store with bait and tackle along with some free advice

-No need to buy a fishing license. The entrance fee of each covers your state fishing credentials. 

Don’t be concerned about being inexperienced or lacking the necessary equipment. Both piers are more than willing to rent you the gear and educate you on catching fish to ensure a fun-filled day for the family.

The ticket prices vary greatly and are offered to both fisherman and spectators. Not everyone staying in the Topsail Beach and Surf City area prefers to fish but choose to enjoy the shoreline views while perched out over the ocean. 

How much does it cost to fish or walk on the Surf City Ocean Pier or Jolly Roger Ocean Pier?

The prices are highly subjective to what type of fishing you are engaging in. Also, a fee is assessed for taking a stroll on the pier.

To see the most current pricing for the Jolly Roger Ocean Pier see the current pricing schedule.

If you plan to visit the Surf City Ocean Pier, visit the pricing page.

When you plan to visit the Topsail Island and Surf City area, add it to your itinerary to see either or both of the piers. Test your luck fishing for some of the sportfish that roam the local waters. You may be lucky enough to bring a few fish back for dinner. If you’re not the fishing type, no problem, get your exercise as you gaze over the railings and into the sea below. Have fun visiting coastal North Carolina.