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Best Places to go Fishing in North Carolina

North Carolina is a unique place for anglers to set up camp. With 332 miles of ocean coastline, 500 public access spots in the form of rivers, inland lakes, and fishing piers, there are hundreds of places to enjoy year-round fishing.

a north carolina fishing pier at sunset

Fishermen can fish for everything from catfish and carp to marlin and smallmouth bass on these fantastic piers. 

If you’ve been on the hunt for the best NC fishing piers to cast a line from, look no further.

In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about the best fishing piers in the state.

Top 19 NC Fishing Piers

  1. Nags Head Fishing Pier
  2. Avalon Fishing Pier
  3. Avon Fishing Pier
  4. Carolina Beach Fishing Pier
  5. Oceanana Fishing Pier
  6. Surf City Ocean Pier
  7. Jennette’s Fishing Pier
  8. Seaview Fishing Pier
  9. Outer Banks Fishing Pier
  10. Rodanthe Pier (a.k.a Hatteras Island Pier)
  11. Johnnie Mercers Pier
  12. Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier
  13. Ocean Isle Beach Pier
  14. Ocean Crest Pier
  15. Jolly Roger Fishing Pier
  16. Sunset Beach Pier
  17. Kure Beach Pier
  18. Oak Island (Yaupon) Fishing Pier
  19. Holden Beach Fishing Pier

Nags Head Fishing Pier

Nags Head Fishing Pier is a 750-foot long pier located in Nags Head, North Carolina. The pier is located near the Gulf Stream, and fishermen can hook bluefish, Spanish mackerel, trout, sea mullet, and more. 

Nags Head Fishing Pier

There is ample parking available near the pier, so you won’t have to lug your tackle box and fishing gear for too long.

If you’re new to fishing or you forgot some of your gear, there is a nearby tackle shop equipped with rentals, fresh bait, and more. 

Avalon Fishing Pier

The Avalon fishing pier is a 696 feet long spot in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. It was built in 1958 and stands over 12-15 feet of water. 

Avalon Fishing Pier

During peak fishing season the pier is open from 5 am to 2 am, with limited parking available for pier customers. There is also free parking available at nearby beach access spots. 

The best time of year to enjoy fishing at Avalon Pier is in the fall, specifically from September to October.

During this time, fishermen have access to cobia, kings, pompano, trout, flounder, and croakers among many others. 

Avon Fishing Pier

The Avon Pier is a fun and family-friendly pier that doesn’t require its guests to purchase fishing licenses.


Located in Koru Village on Hatteras Island, the pier has been around since 1963 and is roughly 600 feet long. It is conveniently located near a mini-golf course and gorgeous beaches.

Fishermen that frequent this pier typically catch giant red drum, mackerel, spot, cobia, mullet, and bluefish. Many fishing tournaments take place on the pier throughout the year. 

Carolina Beach Fishing Pier

Both sightseers and anglers flock to the famous Carolina Beach fishing pier. It is located on the northern edge of the beach in a remote coastal community. 

Carolina Beach Fishing Pier

The pier itself is 700 feet long with a wide plank walkway perched on long, thin wood pilings.

From this historic pier, anglers can catch a variety of fish, including Spanish mackerel, sheepshead, flounder, and bluefish.

King mackerel, red drum, and black drum can be found in large volumes in spring and fall.

Oceanana Fishing Pier

Since 1959, Oceanana Fishing Pier and Pier House Restaurant on Atlantic Beach has been a great family vacation spot.

Oceanana Fishing Pier

The wood plank pier is a whopping 1,000 feet long and allows access to fish such as Carolina Doormats, spots, croakers, and more. 

In 2018, Hurricane Florence damaged the end of the pier where the Barnacle Bar sat. This area of the pier has been rebuilt several times over the past decade. 

Surf City Ocean Pier

Surf City Ocean Pier was Topsail Island’s first ocean pier. It was first erected in 1948 and is over 937 feet long.

the surf city ocean pier

In addition to a full-service bait and tackle shop, anglers can take advantage of free parking, nearby places for burgers and ice cream, and a covered outdoor dining area.

There is also plenty of lighting on the pier for night fishermen and cleaning stations along the pier.

Jennette’s Fishing Pier

Also located in Nags Head, Jennette’s Fishing Pier is the area’s oldest pier. In addition to being a popular spot for fishermen, it is also an educational ocean pier that offers a variety of fishing classes, renewable energy classes, and a nearby aquarium.

Jennette's Fishing Pier

The pier has plenty of free parking, a clean public bathhouse, and a high-quality banquet facility to enjoy. 

Seaview Fishing Pier

Located in the northern part of Topsail Beach, Seaview Fishing Pier is a great place for fishermen of all experience levels to catch sea mullet and dogfish.

Seaview Fishing Pier

The end of the pier is reserved specifically for king fishing from 5 pm until dark. They have an on-site bait and tackle store with live shrimp, snacks, and equipment rentals. 

Outer Banks Fishing Pier

A modest 600 feet long pier, the Outer Banks Fishing Pier is located close to the Oregon Inlet.

Outer Banks Fishing Pier

The pier is well-lit for night fishermen to enjoy, and it is open 24/7. Visitors can enjoy a fully stocked bait and tackle shop.

There is also an arcade, and a spectacular bar and grill with live music and dozens of beers on tap. 

Rodanthe Pier (a.k.a Hatteras Island Pier)

Rodanthe Pier is another great place for new fishermen and families to enjoy a day out. It is 700 feet long and is open from April through December.

Rodanthe Pier (a.k.a Hatteras Island Pier)

Numerous types of fish can be caught here, including big red drum, sea mullet, and trout. 

There are no fishing licenses required with affordable daily, weekly, and season passes available.

Additionally, the nearby pier house has a plethora of bait and saltwater tackle to choose from, as well as equipment rentals, refreshments, and merchandise to remember your trip. 

Johnnie Mercer’s Pier

Johnnie Mercer’s Pier is family-owned in Wrightsville Beach on Northern Cape Fear. It is a 945 foot long, 25 feet tall concrete pier with a nearby restaurant and arcade.

Johnnie Mercer’s Pier

The pier has been in business since 1969 and has been a great spot for catching dogfish.

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

Located on the beautiful Emerald Isle, Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier is the area’s last pier. It is 1,000 feet long and features a variety of cleaning stations.

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

The pier is also well lit for the fishermen that enjoy night fishing. 

Ocean Isle Beach Pier

The Ocean Isle Beach Pier is located in the middle of the 7-mile island.

Ocean Isle Beach Pier

It is a 968-foot long pier that has been the center of family and tourist entertainment for over 60 years, with a nearby arcade, gift shop, and pier house.

Most fishermen enjoy catching black sea bass, yellowfish tuna, sailfish, and more. There are also frequent classes to teach newbies how to fish. 

Ocean Crest Pier

Ocean Crest Pier is one of North Carolina’s favorite piers. Located on Oak Island, it is 1,000 feet long with a convenient shaded spot at the pier’s end for a break from the sun.

Ocean Crest Pier

It is open from March through December and closes at midnight during the peak season. 

Guests who don’t enjoy fishing can take advantage of the nearby bar or the many live music events that take place on the pier’s end. 

Jolly Roger Fishing Pier

The Jolly Roger Fishing Pier is located on the south side of Topsail Island. It is an 850-foot long pier open from March through November.

Jolly Roger Fishing Pier

This pier is also conveniently located alongside a beautiful oceanfront motel called The Jolly Roger Inn. 

Black drum, puppy drum, blues, and Spanish mackerel are frequently caught off of the Jolly Roger pier, with plenty of spots, mullet, and croakers found at night. 

Sunset Beach Pier

Fishermen hoping to catch king mackerel flock to this 900-foot long pier located in Sunset Beach.

Sunset Beach Pier

The southernmost pier in the state has a variety of amenities, including equipment rentals, places to buy live bait, cleaning sinks, a bar and grill, and an arcade with pool tables. 

The most common fish caught from this pier include pompano, spade, blues, whiting, sheepshead, and trout.

There are walk fees for those wishing to simply stroll down the pier and take in the scenic views, as well as daily and season passes for avid fishermen. 

Kure Beach Pier

Kure Beach Pier is one of the oldest fishing piers in North Carolina. It is 712 feet long and also has an attached arcade, a grill, and outdoor seating areas.

Kure Beach Pier

This pier does not allow alcohol. Off of this pier, fishermen can catch bluefish, whiting, and a mix of mackerel and spots.

The pier is open 24/7 and is frequented by night fishermen. 

Oak Island (Yaupon) Fishing Pier

The Yaupon Fishing Pier fishing pier on Oak Island is one of the best NC fishing piers to catch king mackerel, tarpon, trout, and even the occasional Tiger Shark.

Oak Island (Yaupon) Fishing Pier

The 908-foot long wooden pier towers 27 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, making it the tallest pier in the state.

This pier has been damaged by several hurricanes and has been rebuilt twice. 

Holden Beach Fishing Pier

Nestled in the cozy southern Brunswick County, the Holden Beach Pier is a bustling family vacation spot enjoyed by beachgoers and fishermen.

Holden Beach Fishing Pier

The pier is popular for catching flounder, speckled trout, black drum, and red drum. Nets and alcohol are not allowed. 

Passes are required to fish on Holden Beach. There are options for daily, three-day, and season passes. Fishermen can also purchase live bait from the pier and enjoy a variety of nearby seafood and waterfront dining establishments. 

Final Thoughts

North Carolina is an amazing spot for ocean fishing. There are over a dozen piers to choose from, and a wide variety of fish to catch so you can take them home for a tasty dinner.

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