Ocracoke Island Fishing
Got a thing about fish? Ocracoke Island’s fishing scene will make you happy. With mile after mile of undeveloped shoreline, surf fishing is popular, especially since you can drive along until you see just the right spot. If you want to drive on the beach, please visit the NPS trailer next to the Ocracoke Visitor Center to purchase a driving permit. And for those with their own boat, the waters surrounding Ocracoke Island are rich fish-hunting territory.
Some of Ocracoke’s accommodations pay special attention to anglers. The marinas at The Anchorage Inn or Jolly Roger are where you go to schedule Gulf Stream or inshore fishing charters or to rent a small boat for your own adventure. The Harborside and Pony Island motels both provide boat docks, and there’s also a ramp at Harborside. The Castle Bed and Breakfast also has dockage that’s open for guests to use.
Two local tackle shops provide all the gear, bait and supplies you need. And the friendly owners and staff will gladly help out with advice on what anglers can expect from Ocracoke Island fishing. Remember…there’s a reason they call it fishing and not catching. So, go out there and relax. Take in Ocracoke’s natural beauty and calm atmosphere. Then if you catch dinner too, it’s just all the sweeter.
Note that all saltwater anglers are required to buy the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License. The license can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or lifetime basis or combined with other licenses issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Children younger than 16 do not need a license. For-hire vessels and ocean fishing piers have the option to purchase a blanket license that covers all their fishing patrons, so you may not need the license to fish on a certain pier or charter boat; be sure to ask. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the local tackle shops, online at www.ncwildlife.org or by calling (888) 248-6834.
Remember, Irvin Garrish Highway is also known as N.C. Highway 12.
- Anchorage Inn Marina, 180 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 588-0450
Enjoy a day on the water with Captain Steve Wilson on his 26-foot, custom-built center-console boat Dream Girl. Captain Steve is a U.S. Coast Guard Master and has been operating fishing charters in Ocracoke for more than 20 years. Whether you are a beginner, advanced fisherman or just looking for a fun family adventure, there is somthing for everyone on board the Dream Girl. Enjoy catching cobia, red drum, Spanish mackerel, blues, sea bass and many more. All bait, tackle and fish cleaning are included. You’ll find Captain Steve and the Dream Girl at the Anchorage Marina. Call to book your fishing charter.
- 205 Irvin Garrish Highway, Anchorage Inn Marina
- (252) 928-1421, (252) 921-0011
Come fishing aboard the Drum Stick! The Drum Stick is a 35’ JC fishing vessel with a closed cabin and restroom. It is fully equipped with the latest tackle and electronics and offers full-day trips to the Gulf Stream where you can catch a variety of large game fish—dolphin, wahoo, sailfish, marlin and amberjacks to name a few. They also offer half-day charters closer to shore. Their experienced captain and mate strive to load the boat with fish, ensuring you will have a memorable day at sea and fish to eat. They can take up to six people on a charter and offer make-up trips. No previous fishing experience is necessary, and no fishing license is required. Call for pricing and reservations.
- Anchorage Marina, 180 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-5561
The Gecko is a 46-foot Carolina sport fisherman that offers full-service inshore and offshore fishing charters out of Ocracoke Inlet. Coast Guard–licensed Capt. Ernie Doshier has lived on the Outer Banks all his life and served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He has more than 16 years of experience in the charter business, making him a dependable choice for a fishing trip. The Gecko travels anywhere from 18 to 40 miles offshore in search of fish. The offshore trip is an all-day adventure that includes not only catching fish but also viewing the wonders of the Gulf Stream. You’ll likely see flying fish, numerous species of birds, dolphins and possibly even whales. Inshore trips are also available. The Gecko is powered by twin-engine diesels that get the boat to the fishing grounds fast, and it’s equipped with all the latest electronics, including GPS, radar, Loran, VHF radios, and all the tackle and bait needed for a successful fishing trip. No fishing experience is required to have a good time on this boat. Guests should bring their own drinks and snacks. No fishing license is required.
- National Park Service Docks
- (252) 588-0601
Get schooled by Albert O’Neal, the captain of the charter boat, Miss Teresa and an island native from a family of fishermen. His wealth of local knowledge and gentle manner will benefit inshore fishermen and fisher-families in search of red drum, Spanish mackerel, cobia, flounder and other tasty delights. Full- or half-day charters include ice, bait, tackle, fish cleaning, anecdotes and tips. Captain O’Neal will pick you up at the National Park Service Docks, across from the Park Service Visitor Center in the village or from your lodging if you are located on the harbor. Call him to set up your fishing date!
- 1094 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-5491
There’s no question that Ocracoke is an angler’s paradise. When you’re ready to sink a line, head here for a complete line of bait and tackle for inshore, offshore and surf fishing. They also offer current fishing reports and equipment for other activities such as clamming and crabbing as well as visitor information. Follow recent catches on their Facebook page. They’re open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer.
- 180 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-6661
One of the best places to charter a boat for fishing offshore in the Gulf Stream is the Anchorage Marina. Three charter boats operate from here — the Devereux II, Drum Stick and Gecko — charging about $600 for a half-day of fishing and around $1,200 for a full day. Inshore chartering is available here on the Dream Girl. Note that transient boaters are welcomed here with showers, pool, electric and pump-out accommodations.
- 180 Irvin Garrish Highway, Anchorage Marina
- (252) 921-0120, (252) 928-5331
Captain Reid Robinson has lots of happy returning customers. Contact him for an unforgettable day on the Gulf Stream or wreck fishing for tasty bottom fish like snapper, amberjack and triggerfish. The Devereux II also offers inshore trips and can be booked for tournaments.
Fish Tale Charters
- 410 Irvin Garrish Highway, Jolly Roger Marina
- (252) 921-0224
Captain John Ferrara specializes in light tackle fishing trips for families with children and novice or experienced adults. Groups can spend two, four, six or eight hours on the calm waters of the Pamlico Sound catching summer flounder, red drum, grey trout, bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Spring and Fall inlet fishing for red drum is also available. NC saltwater fishing license, bait, tackle, ice and fish cleaning are included on all trips.
- Irvin Garrish Highway, Community Square Docks
- (252) 928-4841, (800) 305-1472
The Miss Kathleen is a modern vessel with the appeal of a traditional work boat. Native islander Captain Ronnie O’Neal has spent much of his life in the waters around Ocracoke. Those baiting their first-ever hook and seasoned sports fishermen will all benefit from Capt. O’Neal’s 35+ years of experience. The Miss Kathleen can be chartered for half- or full-day trips, inshore or off, and provided are all tackle and bait, freezer service and fish cleaning.
- Irvin Garrish Highway, Community Square Docks
- (252) 928-4841, (252) 928-8064
Two generations of native Ocracoke Island guides, Captain Ronnie O’Neal and son Ryan O’Neal, offer full- or half-day inshore, wreck or Gulf Stream charters geared toward families. Tackle, live bait and fish cleaning are included in the fee. You can also ask them about make-up charters, clamming, flounder gigging and night trips. The Tarheel and Miss Kathleen both run here.
- 144 Silver Lake Road at the Ocracoke Harbor Inn
- (252) 928-6111, (252) 921-0180
Both inshore (half- or full-day) and offshore (full-day) trips are available through Captain Norman Miller, who will equip and educate visitors about wreck, bottom or fly fishing. The Rascal boasts impressive catches of red drum, but local Captain Miller also knows where and how to find other inshore fish. Head offshore for a full day and hook grouper, snapper, amberjack, dolphin (mahi-mahi), barracuda, triggerfish or king mackerel. Lodging and fishing packages are available through the Ocracoke Harbor Inn.
- 294 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-9966
Join Ocracoke native Captain Ryan O’Neal for a fishing adventure aboard the Tarheel, a 24’ Carolina Skiff powered by a 115 HP Yamaha outboard. With state of the art electronics, plenty of fishing room, a shade canopy and an experienced Captain who grew up fishing the waters surrounding Ocracoke, you can plan on a great adventure!