September, October and November

Surf fishermen can expect to catch Red Drum, Flounder, Pompano, Sea Mullet and Bluefish. Live bait is best for catching Red Drum and Flounder. Shrimp and sand fleas are fantastic for Pompano and Mullet. Larger fish such as Spanish and King Mackerel can be caught from the pier during September and as we move through October Bluefish, Black Drum and the famous Spots are present and plentiful. November brings Speckled Trout and Puppy Drum to the surf and pier. Bottom fishing offers a variety of fish throughout the fall season including Puppy Drum, Black Drum, Bluefish, Puffer, Pompano and Sea Mullet. Shrimp bait for bottom fishing is the ever popular bait.

December, January and February

Fishing begins to slow down as the water becomes cooler. But when the winter is mild and the days are sunny, fish can still be caught. Fishing off the surf can bring in Sea Mullet and Puffer fish using shrimp bait. Red Drum can be found near the beachfront and inlets with Gulp bait or lures. Speckled Trout are mainly found in creeks and Jason says he has found they love Gulp Jerk Shads and Zoom Flakes.

March through August

Sea Mullet and Puffer fish start moving back in during the spring once the temperature starts warming up. During the early part of Spring, Skates are caught by using double hooked shrimp in the surf.  Summer is a great time of the year for fishing and as the heat progresses there is always something different to be caught. During the early part of summer, surf and pier fishers can expect to land smaller Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish and maybe a Flounder or two. Marie and Jason have the best luck with Red Drums in the marsh during the early summer and in the White Oak River near oyster bars using live bait. Mid-Summer offers Sea Mullet and small Flounder as well as possibly catching Tarpon with live bait from the pier.

Moving through late-Summer and into early Fall we see the Spanish Mackerel, more Bluefish, larger Flounder and Speckled Trout moving in. Using Gotcha Plugs and diamond jigs for small Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish is Jason’s recommendation, although Bluefish will bite at Shrimp bait as well! Summer is a great time of the year for bottom fishing. There is a nice variety throughout the season that includes Sea Mullet, Croakers, Pompano, Black Sea Bass, Gray Trout and Gag Grouper.

Cast a line off a pier or in the surf

Fishing is a popular pastime for the coastal locals and vacationers alike. From the White Oak River, creeks and inlets to the surf there is opportunity and fun to be had. No matter what time of the year it is there is always a fish to be caught; so bring your fishing rods because you just might land a big one!

The most popular time of the year for fishing is during the fall months. The water temperature is starting to cool down and the days are pleasant.  You can fish in the surf, off a pier, or on a charter.  Just get your fishing license and pick up some tackle and bait from the tackle shop, seafood market or grocery.

Going out to sea

For the Crystal Coast, charter fishing is not only a leisure sport. With the bevy of tournaments held here, our sparkling waters are a playground to many sport fishers around the world. Underwater beauties such as Giant Blue Fin Tuna, King Mackerel, Marlin, Sailfish and Wahoo are popular trophies. Smaller fish that are caught in deeper waters include Red Snapper, Grouper, Triggerfish and Sea Bass.  There are many charter services in the eastern end of the county that will offer half day, full day and specialty fishing charters. Specialty charters can include Sportsfishing, Shark Fishing and even Mahi-Mahi.  Many charters include your meals for the day and can accommodate several people, so you can make memories with your whole family.


Boat Fuel Stations

Anchorage Marina
517 E. Fort Macon Rd., Atlantic Beach

Crows Nest
407 Old Causeway Rd., Atlantic Beach

The Boathouse at Front Street Village
2400 Lennoxville Rd., Beaufort

Dining by Boat

There are numerous reasons to experience the Crystal Coast by waterway; the Shackleford ponies, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, luscious vegetation and pristine beaches. One of the best ways to enjoy the full scope of this is to cruise by boat to one of many waterfront bars and restaurants our coast has to offer. Whether you’re stopping in for lunch during a day of boating or headed out for a twilight excursion … Imagine hoping off the boat to live music, ice cold drinks and yes even a full menu.

A few favorites include

Beaufort Docks Dockhouse, Finz Grill, Queen Anne’s Revenge, Front Street Grill at Stillwater

Morehead City Docks Sanitary Restaurant, Ruddy Duck Tavern, Jack’s Waterfront Bar, Sammy’s Seafood House & Oyster Bar

Atlantic Beach at Channel Marker

Salter Path at Port-O-Call

Swansboro at the town dock Saltwater Grill, Icehouse Restaurant, Swansboro Yacht Club

Tide Chart