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A How to Guide for the Best of Ocean Isle: Fall Fishing

*Updated August 2022

There is no better feeling to a fisherman, than a hard tug on the other end of his (or her) line. Whether you have cast your line from the side of the pier, from the sandy beach, or from inside a boat… the goal is all the same. Catching fish! Eastern North Carolina is famous for its fall fishing season. So if you are planning to visit the Ocean Isle Beach area during the fall, don’t miss out on the hot fishing action! You will be reeling in Flounder, Blues, and Speckled Trout in no time! Here’s everything you need to know: hook, line and sinker.

On The Hook

What’s Going to Be on the End of Your Fishing Line?

As the water temps cool during the autumn months, fishing gets HOT in the Ocean Isle Beach area! Anglers come from all over the country to get their hooks wet in Eastern NC’s coastal waters. There is a great variety of fish species to be caught this time of year. However, no one tells the fish what month it is, so there is never any way to know for sure what will be at the end of your line.

Here is a list of some of the common fish that you will see reeled up during the fall fishing season. Be sure to have a updated list ofsize and bag limits from North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.

Offshore Fishing

  • King Mackerel
  • Wahoo
  • Dolphin
  • Blackfin Tuna
  • Yellowfin Tuna
  • Grouper
  • Snapper
  • Black Sea Bass
  • Porgy
  • Grunt
  • Hog Snapper
  • African Pompano

Inshore Ocean & Sound

  • Black Sea Bass
  • Croaker
  • Red & Black Drum
  • Flounder
  • King Mackerel
  • Spanish Mackerel
  • Mullet
  • Speckled Sea Trout
  • Snapper
  • Grouper
  • Spot
  • Striped Bass

Rods, Reels, and More

The Best Gear and Equipment for Fall Fishing

The type of gear that you will need for your fall fishing adventure will vary, depending on the type of fishing you plan to do. If you are planning to be doing some surf fishing, check out this great article from Bass Pro Shop,“Saltwater Surf Fishing Basics”. Fishing Tips Depot has a post titled“Pier Fishing Tips”, that will give you tons of pier specific information. Fishing by boat is a little more complicated than these first two options. But only because a boat gives you a ton of fishing options. Here is the“Beginner Guide to Saltwater Fishing”, for boaters.

In general, the following list will have you covered, no matter what kind of fishing you decide to do. If have fishing gear questions, it is a good idea to stop by a local bait and tackle shop(like the Ocean Isle Fishing Center), and ask an expert. They love giving some helpful tips, and swapping a few fishing tales!

Rods:medium to medium heavy rod and reel, between 6-9 feet long
Bait:shrimp, squid, live fish, bloodworms, minnows, sand fleas, rubber grubs
Tackle:2-hook bottom rig, Carolina rig, sinkers, hooks
Here is a list of other items that may come in handy:

Pier, Beach, or Boat

How to Choose Which Kind of Fishing To Do

There are several different kinds of fishing that you can enjoy in Ocean Isle Beach, so you will have to make that decision before you head out with your rods and tackle. Whichever style of fishing suits you best, you are almost guaranteed to find great fall fishing weather, and a few bites on your hook. It’s always a great time to fish in NC year-round, but many argue that fall is the BEST time of year.

Here is a quick review of the pier, beach and boat fishing. Be sure to have the correctNC fishing license, before you cast your line!

Pier:At theOcean Isle Beach Fishing Pier,you can bring your own or rent fishing equipment. Fishing passes can be purchased for daily, weekly, or seasonal fishing. When you purchase your pass, you will be fishing using the pier’s fishing license, so there is no need to have purchased an individual NC fishing license. The Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier is located at 1 West 1st Street.

Beach:If you are planning to go surf fishing, then staying in one of Williamson Beach Vacations oceanfront rentals will put you moments away from rod and reel action.Aren’t planning to stay oceanfront? Not a problem. You can use one of the manypublic beach accessprovided by the town of Ocean Isle Beach.

Boat:The Ocean Isle Fishing Center has yourcharterandboat rentalneeds covered! Hire a captain to guide you and your friends for a fishing expedition, and choose from inshore or offshore. If your boating skills are up to NC standards, then you can also rent a boat for a half-day or whole-day. If you have brought your own boat for an Ocean Isle Beach fishing trip, then you can use the sound-sidepublic boat ramp.

What’s your favorite type of fall fishing in OIB?

We want to know!

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