There are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors this summer in the beautiful state of North Carolina and one of the best is to go fishing in one of the state’s prime fishing spots. From the Atlantic Ocean that lines the East Coast to the many majestic lakes that are scattered to the West, there are ample places to cast a line whether you enjoy freshwater or saltwater fishing.


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Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Manteo (Nearby Hotels)

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Manteo, NC offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities between the surf of the Atlantic Ocean, the sound, off-shore in the Gulf Stream and in the many freshwater ponds that are located in the area. Because of this, you’re able to catch many different types of fish, although all fishermen (and women) must purchase a Coastal Recreational Fishing License, no matter where they decide to fish. You can find great fishing here pretty much any time of the year, however, the best times are in the spring and fall, with the summer being best for off-shore fishing.

Carolina Beach (Nearby Hotels)

If you’re a fan of fishing the mighty Cape Fear River, Carolina Beach is one of the best spots to do it. Even though the town itself may be small, it is packed with places to cast a line, due to ocean-facing beaches, in-shore fishing grounds and a wide selection of charter fishing companies. You will need to purchase a saltwater fishing license here as well, which can be purchased online ahead of time or at any of the tackle shops or sporting goods stores in the area. Although you can fish from the surf, in-shore or off-shore here, the summer is usually best for surf fishing, where you can catch mackerel, blowfish, sea bass and perch.

Topsail Beach (Nearby Hotels)

Just about an hour from Carolina Beach is another great NC fishing spot – Topsail Beach. Because of the access to both the warm Gulf Stream waters and the cool in-shore waters, this area is another ideal opportunity to catch a wide variety of fish. During the summer, you can expect to see mackerel, bluefish, trout, flounder, marlin and much more, as well as a whole host of other sea treasures like shrimp, oysters and crabs. Some of the smaller marsh areas are also a prime spot for catching flounder, red drum and speckled trout.

Lake Norman (Nearby Hotels)

The area known as Lake Norman, located about 30 minutes north of Charlotte, actually covers several small towns including Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville. It is the largest man-made body of freshwater in the state and therefore, offers numerous spots for quality fishing. In fact, fishermen come from all over the world to this lake to try to make a record-making catch. Here, you’ll find plenty of catfish, bass and perch, among others. In fact, the fishing is good in this spot, that several national fishing tournaments are held here each year.

Neuse River, Oriental (Nearby Hotels)

The Neuse River is the longest river in the state of North Carolina, stretching 248 miles in length and a whopping six miles in width at its mouth at Pamlico Sound. You can fish anywhere along this river and have a great time, but if you’re looking for a catch to remember, try fishing near the small town of Oriental, NC from mid-summer to mid-fall. If you’re lucky, you may just catch one of the world-class old drums that are found in the area at this time, which can weigh up to 50 lbs! You’ll also find plenty of trout, rockfish, flounder, bluefish and mackerel for saltwater catches, and bass, crappie, bluegill and perch for freshwater catches.

Lake Waccamaw Lake Waccamaw is the largest natural freshwater lake in North Carolina.
Lake Waccamaw is the largest natural freshwater lake in North Carolina.

Lake Waccamaw (Nearby Hotels)

Lake Waccamaw, located in the small town by the same name, is the largest natural freshwater lake in the North Carolina. At a total of 8,936 acres, it is a popular spot for all types of fishing, but particularly for white perch, which are native to the lake. In the summer months, they are even more numerous, so your chances of reeling in a hefty size catch are even better.

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