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Carolina Beach Fishing Charters

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If there’s a better place for a fishing adventure than Carolina Beach, I’d like to know where it is!

Located on the Atlantic just south of Wilmington, N.C., Carolina Beach offers year-round angling excitement provided by experienced charter captains and their crews. With the warm, nutrient-rich Gulf Stream just offshore, opportunities for trophies are simply incredible.

For the best experience consider booking one of the top fishing charters in Carolina Beach!

Fishing in Carolina Beach

Ideally situated for both inshore and offshore fishing, there’s something in Carolina Beach for every angler.

Whether you want to chase flounder, reds, or specks in shallow bays and salt flats, or prefer the heart-pounding excitement of marlin and tuna, there’s a captain ready to share their local expertise.

Snow’s Cut

A man-made section of the Intercoastal, Snow’s Cut is an ideal place to chase species like flounder.

Inaccessible to commercial fishing, Snow’s Cut is a prime destination for charter captains and their clients, as the shallow, warm water and abundance of prey items concentrate the action.

Meares Harris Reef

Carolina Beach is blessed to have plenty of reef access just offshore. These natural habitats have been added to strategically sinking ships and other large debris to create ideal structure for prey as well as species like flounder, king mackerel, and amberjack.

Within easy reach of Carolina Beach’s marinas, opportunities abound to test your skills against big fish in open water.

5-Mile and 10-Mile Boxcars

These artificial habitats were created by sinking boxcars 5 and 10 miles out from Carolina Beach. Bathed in warm, nutrient-rich water from the Gulf Stream, these thriving ecosystems provide excellent fishing for king mackerel, black sea bass, and barracuda.

10-Mile Boxcar also sports populations of cobia, amberjack, and sailfish, making it a once-in-a-lifetime destination for hard-core anglers.

The Steeples

Rising from the ocean floor to just hundreds of feet from the surface, The Steeples cause the Gulf Stream’s powerful current to rocket toward the surface, sweeping nutrients along with it.

And where there are prey, there are predators!

These unusual submerged features create some of the most exciting deep water fishing in the world, offering opportunities for tuna, marlin, and sailfish that are the envy of anglers the world over.

Carolina Beach Fishing Pier

But you don’t have to set foot on a boat to enjoy Carolina Beach’s bounty.

The Carolina Beach Fishing Pier offers fantastic access to blues, flounder, and sheepshead.

Rules & regulations

There’s no need for a fishing license if you’re fishing aboard a licensed charter. If you want to venture out on your own, you’ll need to purchase a valid license. Regulations on bag and size limits apply, and your captain will keep you informed about these.

Be aware, however, that the charter captains of Carolina Beach cater to conventional tackle. While fly anglers are welcome, you’ll need to bring your own tackle and gear.

Carolina Beach Fishing Seasons

  • January

    Cool water has the striped bass and black drums working inshore waters for a meal, making them a prime candidate for winter fishing. In deeper water, bluefin tuna are hunting near reefs and The Steeples, offering plenty of New Year adventure.


    Black drum season hits its prime in February, making inshore destinations an awesome choice. Further out, the bluefin are still feeding hard, and if you’re willing to brave the cool weather offshore, the fishing simply couldn’t be better for tuna.


    The black drums are still active inshore, but now they’re joined by barracuda and blues, making for exciting fishing. Meanwhile, bull sharks are feasting on the omnipresent blues, and farther out to sea, false albacore are coming on strong anywhere you can find structure and cover for prey.
  • April

    The water’s beginning to warm up in April, and fishing around the reefs is really heating up to match. From false albacore to barracuda, striped bass to Spanish mackerel, anything and everything is hard at work for a meal offshore.


    May is the second-best month for offshore fishing Carolina Beach has to offer. With the water warmed and full of oxygen, and prey plentiful, tuna season is in full swing. Amberjack are everywhere there’s a meal to be found, bull sharks are in high cotton, and Spanish mackerel season is at its prime.


    Offshore is the only place you’ll find me in Carolina Beach in June. Sharks, tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, amberjack, sailfish: anything and everything is biting like mad, and you’ll rarely have this chance to catch monster pelagic fish again. The Steeples and 10-Mile Boxcar are hot destinations in high-summer--and for good reason!
  • July

    Nothing slows down offshore in July, and if anything, the mackerel season is at its hottest! Mid-July finds tournament anglers headed to Carolina Beach for the annual East Coast Got Em On King Mackerel Tournament. Last year’s winner, Gary Waters, caught a King that tipped the scales at nearly 60 pounds!


    The reds join the fray in August, driven north by the heat. Offshore fishing for pelagic species is still incredible, and it won’t begin to subside until the water really begins to cool. Sailfishing is probably at its peak for the year, and wahoo and mahi-mahi are plentiful.


    Cooler water brings out the best in flounder, and inshore fishing really turns on once the heat dies down. Locals know that the N.C. Flatfish Championship is the highlight of September, with prizes awarded for the largest single flounder as well as the highest total catch.
  • October

    October brings the specks on hard, and inshore fishing just keeps getting better as the water loses its heat. Black drums and sea trout are plentiful inshore as well, and tarpon are hot, hot, hot offshore.


    November finds savvy anglers inshore, chasing specks, stripers, drums, and spotted seatrout. Whether you choose to hire a captain for the morning or go it alone from the beach or pier, it’s hard to make a bad choice if you’ve got the right tackle and bait.


    Coming full circle, inshore fishing remains strong as specks, spotted seatrout, black drums, and striped bass chase an easy meal inshore.

Top Targeted Species in Carolina Beach

  • Spanish mackerel
  • King mackerel
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Sailfish
  • Amberjack
  • Wahoo
  • Barracuda
  • Bluefish
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