Shark fishing is an exhilarating and challenging sport that draws anglers from around the world to the waters of North Carolina. With over 300 miles of coastline, North Carolina offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities and species, including various types of sharks. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-time fisherman, shark fishing in North Carolina can be an unforgettable experience. However, before you hit the water, it’s important to know the best spots, gear, baits, and regulations to ensure a safe and successful trip. In this guide, we’ll provide you with expert tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your shark fishing adventure in North Carolina.
Best Shark Fishing Spots in In North Carolina
North Carolina offers several great locations for shark fishing. Here are some of the best spots:
- Cape Hatteras: Known for its abundance of large sharks, Cape Hatteras is a top destination for shark fishing.
- Emerald Isle: This popular vacation spot is also a great place to catch a variety of shark species.
- Wrightsville Beach: This area has a reputation for producing large sand tiger sharks.
- Carolina Beach: Known for its great surf fishing, Carolina Beach also offers excellent shark fishing opportunities.
- Topsail Island: With its miles of beaches and varied underwater terrain, Topsail Island is a top spot for shark fishing.
Target these locations for your best shot at landing one of these hard-fighting toothy predators.
Types of Sharks You Can Catch in In North Carolina
North Carolina is home to a diverse range of shark species that are frequently caught by anglers. Some of the most common types of sharks that can be caught in North Carolina include:
- Sandbar Shark: This is the most commonly caught shark in North Carolina, and can be found in both inshore and offshore waters.
- Blacktip Shark: A popular sport fish, the blacktip shark can be found in shallow waters and is known for its acrobatic jumps.
- Atlantic Sharpnose Shark: This small, slim shark can be found in inshore waters and is often caught by surf anglers.
- Tiger Shark: A large, powerful predator, the tiger shark can be found in offshore waters and is known for its distinctive stripes.
- Hammerhead Shark: North Carolina is home to several species of hammerhead shark, including the great hammerhead and the scalloped hammerhead.
- Bull Shark: This aggressive shark is found in both freshwater and saltwater environments, and is known for its strength and size.
Remember that some species of sharks are protected, and it’s important to know and follow all local fishing regulations and catch-and-release practices.
Best Time of Year for Shark Fishing in In North Carolina
The best time of year for shark fishing in North Carolina depends on the species of shark you are targeting and the location where you plan to fish. Here are some general guidelines:
- Summer: This is the most popular time for shark fishing in North Carolina, as many species of sharks are more active in warmer waters. The months of June through September are typically the best for shark fishing in North Carolina.
- Fall: As the water begins to cool down, some species of sharks start to move closer to shore. The months of October and November can be a great time to catch smaller sharks in inshore waters.
- Winter: While it may be too cold for many anglers to fish, some species of sharks, such as the sandbar shark, are still active in offshore waters during the winter months.
- Spring: As the water starts to warm up, sharks begin to move back into inshore waters. The months of April and May can be a good time to target smaller sharks in shallow waters.
Remember to always check local fishing regulations and weather conditions before heading out, and to use caution when fishing for sharks.
Best Baits and Lures for Shark Fishing in In North Carolina
The best baits and lures for shark fishing in North Carolina depend on the species of shark you are targeting and the location where you plan to fish. Here are some popular options:
- Live Bait: One of the most effective baits for shark fishing is live bait such as bluefish, menhaden, or mullet. These can be rigged with a wire leader and dropped to the bottom or trolled behind a boat.
- Cut Bait: If you can’t find live bait, cut bait can also be effective. Mackerel, squid, and other oily fish are good options.
- Lures: When it comes to lures, large plugs and soft plastics can be effective for some species of sharks. Make sure to use heavy-duty gear and wire leaders to avoid getting bitten off.
- Chum: Chumming, or using a mixture of ground-up fish and oil to attract sharks, can be an effective way to bring them closer to your boat or surf fishing location.
Remember to always check local fishing regulations and use caution when fishing for sharks, as they are powerful predators.
Recommended Gear for Shark Fishing in In North Carolina
When it comes to shark fishing in North Carolina, it’s important to use strong, heavy-duty gear to handle these powerful predators. Here are some recommended gear items:
- Rod and Reel: A heavy-duty spinning or conventional rod and reel is essential for shark fishing. Look for a rod with a strong backbone and a fast action, paired with a reel that has a high line capacity and strong drag system.
- Wire Leaders: To prevent getting bitten off, it’s important to use a wire leader when shark fishing. Look for a heavy-duty, multi-strand wire leader with a crimped or swiveled connection.
- Hooks: Use strong, sharp hooks in sizes appropriate for the size of shark you are targeting.
- Weights: Depending on the location and conditions, you may need to use weights to keep your bait or lure near the bottom. Look for sinkers that are heavy enough to hold your bait in place, but not so heavy that they sink too quickly.
- Pliers and Cutters: You’ll need pliers and cutters to handle and release sharks safely. Look for pliers with a line cutter and a grip that can easily remove hooks from a shark’s mouth.
- Life Jacket: When fishing from a boat, it’s important to wear a life jacket for safety.
Being prepared and having the right gear for each species of shark will drastically increase your chances of catching and landing one of these fearsome predators.
Best Shark Fishing Charters in In North Carolina
North Carolina has many great shark fishing charters available for anglers. Here are some of the best:
- Seaview Fishing Pier: Located in North Topsail Beach, Seaview Fishing Pier offers shark fishing charters for anglers of all experience levels. The charter includes all necessary equipment and bait, and the knowledgeable guides will take you to the best shark fishing spots in the area.
- Ollie Raja Fishing Charters: Based in Hatteras, Ollie Raja Fishing Charters offers full-day shark fishing trips for up to six anglers. The experienced guides provide all necessary equipment and bait, and will take you to the best shark fishing locations along the Outer Banks.
- Rod-Man Charters: Based in Oriental, Rod-Man Charters offers shark fishing charters for anglers of all experience levels. The guides provide all necessary equipment and bait, and will take you to the best shark fishing locations in Pamlico Sound and the Neuse River.
- Crystal Coast Adventures: Based in Beaufort, Crystal Coast Adventures offers half-day and full-day shark fishing charters for up to six anglers. The experienced guides provide all necessary equipment and bait and will take you to the best shark fishing spots along the Crystal Coast.
Remember to always check local fishing regulations and use caution when fishing for sharks, as they are powerful predators that can easily hurt you if mishandled.
Regulations and Licenses for Shark Fishing in In North Carolina
North Carolina has specific regulations and licensing requirements for shark fishing that anglers must follow. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Licenses: All anglers who fish for sharks in North Carolina waters must have a valid Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL). The license can be purchased online or at various retail outlets throughout the state.
- Size and Bag Limits: North Carolina has size and bag limits for several species of sharks. For example, the minimum size for a blacktip shark is 54 inches, while the minimum size for a sandbar shark is 54 inches for males and 72 inches for females. The bag limit for most species of sharks is one per person per day.
- Prohibited Species: North Carolina has a list of prohibited shark species that cannot be harvested, possessed, or sold. These include great white sharks, basking sharks, whale sharks, and others.
- Gear Restrictions: There are gear restrictions in North Carolina for shark fishing. Anglers must use non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing for sharks, and they must use a dehooking device to release any sharks that are caught.
- Reporting Requirements: Anglers who catch sharks in North Carolina waters must report their catch to the state Division of Marine Fisheries. This can be done online or by phone.
Remember to always check local fishing regulations and stay up-to-date on any changes before going shark fishing as they can change on a monthly to yearly basis.
Where to Stay When Shark Fishing in In North Carolina
North Carolina offers many great options for anglers looking to stay near some of the state’s best shark fishing spots. Here are some popular choices:
- Outer Banks: The Outer Banks is a popular destination for shark fishing, and there are many vacation rentals, hotels, and campgrounds in the area. Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Hatteras Island are all great options.
- Emerald Isle: Emerald Isle is another popular spot for shark fishing in North Carolina. There are many beachfront rentals and hotels in the area, as well as several campgrounds.
- Carolina Beach: Carolina Beach is a great place to stay for anglers looking to fish for sharks in the Wilmington area. There are many vacation rentals and hotels in the area, as well as several campgrounds.
- Topsail Island: Topsail Island is a popular destination for shark fishing in North Carolina, and there are several vacation rentals and hotels in the area. The island is located between Jacksonville and Wilmington, making it a convenient spot for anglers traveling from either direction.
- Morehead City: Morehead City is another great spot for shark fishing in North Carolina, and there are many hotels and vacation rentals in the area. The city is located on the Crystal Coast and is known for its great fishing opportunities.
Choose a spot to stay that is convenient to the shark fishing locations you plan to visit and that offers the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Shark Fishing in In North Carolina
If you’re planning on shark fishing in North Carolina, here are some expert tips and tricks to increase your chances of a successful trip:
- Use the right gear: When shark fishing in North Carolina, it’s important to use the right gear. Make sure you have a heavy-duty rod and reel, as well as a leader and hook strong enough to handle large sharks.
- Choose the right bait: Sharks in North Carolina are known to go after a variety of baits, including mullet, menhaden, and squid. Experiment with different baits to see what works best in the area you’re fishing.
- Be patient: Shark fishing can require a lot of patience. It’s important to stay focused and be ready for a bite at all times, but also to remember that it can take some time for sharks to show up.
- Fish during the right time of day: Sharks in North Carolina are more active during certain times of day. Many anglers have had success fishing for sharks at dawn and dusk, so consider planning your fishing trip accordingly.
- Know the regulations: As mentioned earlier, North Carolina has specific regulations and licensing requirements for shark fishing. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these regulations before heading out on your fishing trip.
- Practice catch-and-release: Sharks are an important part of the marine ecosystem and should be treated with care. If you do catch a shark, make sure to handle it carefully and release it back into the water as soon as possible.
By following these expert tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of having a successful and enjoyable shark fishing trip in North Carolina.
Shark fishing in North Carolina can be an exciting and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. From the Outer Banks to Morehead City, there are many great spots to fish for sharks, each offering their own unique opportunities and challenges. However, it’s important to remember to follow North Carolina’s regulations and licensing requirements, as well as to treat the sharks with care and respect. By using the right gear, choosing the right bait, being patient, and following expert tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of a successful and enjoyable shark fishing trip in North Carolina.