Nearest Fishing Charters

8.78 miles away

Oriental, NC

Baldheaded Bobby Guide Service

Trips start at $200.00

Max guests: 3

View details

22.38 miles away

Beaufort, NC

Buddy Buoys Charters

Trips start at $700.00

Max guests: 5

View details

26.78 miles away

Belhaven, NC

Machapunga Ecotours

Trips start at $35.00

Max guests: 6

View details

29.73 miles away

Morehead City, NC

Lady Faye Sportfishing Charters

Trips start at $350.00

Max guests: 6

View details

29.84 miles away

Morehead City, NC

Energizer Sport Fishing

Trips start at $550.00

Max guests: 6

View details

30.77 miles away

Atlantic Beach, NC

Reelax Fishing Charters

Trips start at $450.00

Max guests: 6

View details

See All Bay River Guides

Bay River, North Carolina

There’s not that many docks on the Bay River, but if you are sitting on one with a fishing pole in your hand, you’ll be doing more than watching the tide roll away and you certainly won’t be wasting time. The same thing goes if you are out in a boat. You’ll be busy if it’s fish you are after.

If you aren’t familiar with the waters of Bay River, North Carolina, the best way to find it is to study a map. It’s kind of hard to give directions because the river is right in the middle of some of the best fishing of the state, but there are few landmarks. There are no major cities or towns on the river, and most of the good fishing there is accessed by boating in from nearby water areas.

Bay River starts out as a small river in Pamlico County and runs below Bayboro, where it widens out and eventually forms a huge bay below Trent Creek. Not exactly household names, even among students of geography, but there is plenty of fishing. And because Bay River isn’t as well known as some of the waters around it, you can often find secluded fishing spots that offer peace and quiet, as well as fish for the dinner table.

Fishing Near Bay River

Way up the river, there are bass, catfish, sunfish and white perch. Down the river a bit, anglers start to get excited about the big striped bass. In the beginning areas of the bay, these species start to mix in with flounder, redfish and speckled trout.  Out farther in the bay and headed into the massive Pamlico sound, fishermen start adding all kinds of saltwater catches to their livewell, such as croaker, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and amberjack.

Overall, this whole area is known for its huge redfish. From summer to early fall, big reds in the 40-60 pound class run up in the river and the sound. If you’ve never had one of these fish on the end of your line, you’ll never believe the battle you are in for until you are hooked up.  The area is also known for some of the oldest redfish around. Fishing for them is best near the surface of the water and anglers will use big popping corks with 30-40 pound braid and big live bait or topwater baits. The big popping corks make plenty of noise and attract the big reds, as do noisy topwater plugs. Shrimp are great bait and you can cast a net to catch your own, or take the easy way out and pick up some at one of the area docks or bait shops.

Head out into the Atlantic Ocean past the Cape Hatteras National Seashore barrier islands and Portsmouth Island to the fantastic fishing buffet known as the Gulf Stream. Those are long charters, but definitely rewarding. You’ll do a lot of boat riding, but ahead of you are some great fishing opportunities for grouper, snapper, triggerfish and more. Anglers love to bottom fish here.

There’s also trolling for some of the “big boys” of the Atlantic — billfish, dolphin, wahoo and tuna. There are also blue and white marlin and sailfish. You just have to plan ahead and let your captain know what you’d really like to catch. No matter what you’re fishing for, it’s a great day for your angling memory book.

There’s not much else to do in this area but fish, so don’t expect a family vacation full of activities and a day at the beach here. But you can stay in those kinds of areas not too far away and boat to the river and sound to catch plenty of fish. There are several towns along Highways 55 and 304 that have bed and breakfast inns and small motels. There are also a couple of nice campgrounds in the area for those that have campers or like to rough it. One of those is the Bay River campground near Merritt.

Book a Bay River Fishing Guide

The Bay River itself is a small part of North Carolina’s coastal fishing. But it opens up into a monster area for both brackish and saltwater fishing opportunities. To find the best place to fish and have a successful trip, it’s always a good idea to hire a local guide. You can book some of the best professional fishing guides through FishAnywhere.com to ensure you not only have a productive trip, but a safe one as well. When you decide what time of year you are visiting the Bay River area, talk to one of our charter captains or guides to see what they recommend; You’ll be glad you did.