North Carolina Inshore Fishing Tips

selective focus photography of man holding fishing rod

North Carolina has some of the best coastal fishing in the United States. The Outer Banks as well as areas to the south have excellent angling opportunities for fishermen pursuing flounder, sea trout, drum, bluefish, mackerel, and more. Following are some North Carolina inshore fishing tips.

NC Inshore Fishing Tip #1: Fish Holes and Inlets

people riding on boat on lake during daytime

Deeper holes are often the best places to find fish like flounder and sea trout. Any place that has a bottom that is deeper than that of the surrounding area is ideal. In the sound or just off of the shore, these dips in the bottom attract bait, which predatory gamefish pursue and ambush in holes. Try using lures like weighted Got-Cha grubs when fishing inshore holes on the bottom. Using a depth finder can help you pinpoint such hotspots.

Inlets, where water moves between ocean and sound during changing tides are great fishing spots, too. Gamefish cruise inlets looking for bait that is pulled through, and anglers who fish these waters are often rewarded.

NC Inshore Fishing Tip #2: Use a Boat

Charter a boat if you can, or, otherwise, use your own. A boat will make accessing such waters as inlets, isolated holes, and flats much easier. Be sure to have boat insurance and a solid understanding of your boat’s controls if you are going to operate a vessel. If you are a new boater, insurance is key for getting out of incidents that you may find yourself in as you try to maneuver about docks or even fishing grounds.

Another type of virtual boat insurance that helps you out of sticky situations is Sea Tow. This, like OnStar for cars, is an insurance that requires a small monthly payment, but when assistance is needed on the water, members can call in for boats to tow their boats to shore. For older boats that may be prone to breaking down, this is a cheap insurance that should not be passed up.

North Carolina Inshore Fishing Tip #3: Have Plenty of Fishing Lures and Baits

man in white t-shirt holding a fish

A wide array of lures and baits certainly makes for the best fishing. Be sure to have jigheads and grubs (for flounder, trout, drum, and bluefish), as well as spoons and Got-Cha plugs (for sea trout, drum, bluefish, and mackerel), and bait for fish like cobia, croaker, and spot. Organize these well, keeping live bait in a live well, and dead bait cold, and pre-rig different rods with appropriate baits so that you will be ready to act in a number of possible fishing scenarios.

North Carolina Fishing Tip #4: Fish According to Weather and Tide

On rougher days, fishing the surf or using topwater baits is hard. Water visibility will also be low, so using cut bait or brightly colored lures is best. On bright, calm days, dark, dully colored lures and topwater baits can be very productive. Also capitalize on tide; when high tide fills shallow flats that serve as feeding grounds for trout and drum, visit these waters, but be sure to get out in time. Also head to inlets to fish when the tide is turning around. Be sure to use the seasons as well; certain seasons have certain fishing opportunities in various coastal waters in NC.

The above North Carolina inshore fishing tips should help you with your angling success. Fish the right waters in a boat that is protected with proper insurance, bring plenty of lures and baits for saltwater fishing, and use weather, tides, and season to direct your angling tactics.  

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