I would love to find a better spot for fishing than Carolina Beach!
Carolina Beach is located on the Atlantic, just south of Wilmington. It offers year-round fishing excitement, provided by experienced charter captains, and their crews. Opportunities for trophies are endless with the Gulf Stream’s warm and nutrient-rich waters just offshore.
Book one of the top Carolina Beach fishing charters for the best experience!
Top Fishing Charters on Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach Fishing
Carolina Beach is ideally located for both offshore and inshore fishing.
Many captains will share their local knowledge, whether you’re looking to chase reds, flounder, or specks in shallow bays or salt flats or the thrilling thrill of tuna and marlin.
Snow’s Cut, a man-made section on the Intercoastal is a great place to chase species such as flounder.
Commercial fishing is not possible in Snow’s Cut. However, charter captains and clients can make it a top destination by visiting the area. The shallow, warm waters and abundance of prey items make the area a great place to fish.
Meares Harris Reef
Carolina Beach is fortunate to have great reef access offshore. These natural habitats were created by strategically sinking large objects and ships to provide ideal structures for species such as flounder, king mackerel, and amberjack.
There are many opportunities to try your hand at big fish in open waters within easy reach of Carolina Beach’s Marinas.
Boxcars for 5-Miles and 10-Miles
These artificial habitats were made by sinking boxes cars five and ten miles from Carolina Beach. These thriving ecosystems are rich in nutrients and provide excellent fishing opportunities for barracuda, king mackerel, and black sea bass.
10-Mile Boxcar is also home to cobia, amberjack, and sailfish making it an exceptional destination for serious anglers.
The Steeples rise from the ocean floor to just a few hundred feet above the surface. They cause the Gulf Stream’s powerful current, the Gulf Stream, to accelerate toward the surface, sweeping nutrients with it.
Prey is always followed by predators.
These unique submerged features make deep-water fishing exciting and offer opportunities for marlin, tuna, and sailfish. They are the envy of all anglers around the globe.
Carolina Beach Fishing Pier
Carolina Beach’s bounty is available to you without leaving your boat.
Carolina Beach Fishing Pier provides great access to blues and flounder as well as sheepshead.
Rules & regulations
If you are fishing on a charter, you don’t need a fishing license. A valid license is required if you plan to go out on your own. You will be informed by your captain about the regulations regarding bag size and weight limits.
However, the charter captains at Carolina Beach only allow conventional tackle. Fly anglers are welcomed, but you will need to bring your tackle and gear.
Carolina Beach Fishing Seasons
The cool water allows the black drums and striped bass to hunt inshore waters, making them an excellent candidate for winter fishing. Bluefin tuna can be found in deeper waters, near reefs, and The Steeples. This offers plenty of adventure for the New Year.
Inshore destinations are a great choice for black drum season, which is peaking in February. The bluefin still feeds hard further out and the fishing for tuna is simply better if you are willing to risk the cold weather offshore.
Black drums are still present inshore, but they’re now joined by blues and barracuda, which makes for exciting fishing. Bull sharks continue to eat the blues while farther out at sea false albacore are thriving wherever they can find cover and structure for their prey.
The water is warming up and the fishing around the reefs has picked up speed. Anything and everything can be found offshore, from false albacore to barracuda to striped bass to Spanish magpies.
May is Carolina Beach’s second-best month for offshore fishing. Tuna season is in full swing thanks to the warm water and abundance of prey. There’s an Amberjack everywhere you look. Bull sharks are high in cotton and Spanish mackerel season is at its peak.
Carolina Beach is my only location in June. Tuna, sharks, mahi-mahi, and wahoo are all available to you. You’ll never have another chance to catch these monster pelagic fish. High-summer is a hot time for the Steeples, 10-Mile Boxcar, and other destinations.
In July, there is no slowing down, and the mackerel season, in particular, is at its peak! Mid-July sees tournament anglers heading to Carolina Beach for this year’s East Coast Got Em On King Mackerel Tournament. Gary Waters was last year’s winner and landed a King that weighed in at almost 60 pounds.
In August, the heat drives the reds north. It’s still amazing to fish offshore for pelagic species, but it will not stop until the water cools down. Sailfishing is at its peak, with wahoos and mahi-mahi plentiful.
Cooler waters bring out the best of flounder and inshore fishing really takes off once the heat has subsided. N.C. Flatfish Championship, which awards prizes for the largest single flounder and the greatest total catch, is a highlight of September according to locals.
October is a great month for specks, and the inshore fishing gets better with the loss of heat. Inshore, black drums and sea trout are abundant, while tarpon and sea trout are hot and hot offshore.
November is a great month for savvy anglers to go inshore and chase specks, drums, stripers and spotted seatrout. You can make the right choice whether you hire a captain or fish alone on the pier or beach.
Inshore fishing is still strong, as specks and spotted seatrout chase easy meals inshore.
Carolina Beach’s Top Targeted Species
- Spanish mackerel
- King mackerel
- Mahi Mahi