There are plenty of great fishing places around the United States, but some of my favorite are in North Carolina. Whether you live in North Carolina and want to take a day trip or are planning on something longer, there are plenty of options. Taking time to go fishing is a fantastic way to unwind and spend time in nature. Going on a trip with some friends or your family can also lead to wonderful memories.

Cape Hatteras

If you want a variety of places to fish and types of fish to catch, Cape Hatteras might be for you. Cape Hatteras is one of the closest on the coast to the gulf stream if you are in to big game fish. Mahi, marlin, yellowfin or wahoo are in abundance just to name a few. The inshore fishing is also among the best in the country for drum (red or black), trout or flounder. 

Lake Norman

Lake Norman is the largest man-made freshwater lake in the state so you have plenty of places to explore. Although its known as a bass lake (and the bass fishing is great), it actually has a wider variety then most realize. Species include largemouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, bluegill, white bass, yellow perch and striped bass.

Lake Waccamaw

Lake Waccamaw is the largest natural freshwater lake in the state. It’s known for the white perch, which are plentiful in the summer, so plan a trip during those months. As a result of plentiful vegetation and thriving perch and sunfish populations, bass and catfish thrive here and can grow to trophy size. 

Carolina Beach

Fishing here, you get small town charm plus some truly fantastic fishing options. You are still close to the gulf stream for large gamefish lovers, but also home to some of the best inshore fishing in the country. Just south of Carolina beach where the Cape Fear river meets the Atlantic, you will find one of the most robust and beautiful inshore fishing grounds on the east coast. Red drum, black drum, flounder and trout abound! 

Ocracoke Island

If you’re looking for a more remote and less populated fishing destination, try Ocracoke Island. Once a favorite haunt of pirates, you have to take a ferry to get to this island. You truly couldn’t ask for a larger variety of fishing options: yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, blackfin tuna, wahoo, mahi, sailfish, red fish, and white marlin. Lucky offshore anglers might even hook a blue marlin!

Smoky Mountains National Park

This national park has thousands of miles of streams so it won’t be difficult to find a place to fish. This is a trout fly fisherman’s dream. I recommend these places to start: 

    • Abrams Creek
    • Cataloochee Creek
    • Deep Creek
    • Greenbrier Creek