Even though it’s not technically an island, Knotts Island is one of our favorite places to escape to and get away from it all. It’s got one grocery store, yoga and wine, as well as hunting and fishing – what more could you ask for?
Not to be confused with Knott’s Berry Farm, an amusement park in California. Knotts Island is a much different experience, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The peninsula is at the northern part of North Carolina and shared with Virginia, about a 45-minute drive from Virginia Beach. There’s one road access to the island (Highway 615; the name of the road changes as it winds to the coast), and the ferry that travels from Currituck, North Carolina. It’s a free ferry that is another 45-minute ride.
Once you arrive, no matter how you travel, you’ll discover that something is definitely different on the island. Things move slower and there’s no rush to get things done. Call it “island time” or just the pace of things, without all the hustle and bustle of so-called modern necessities you’ll find yourself less distracted. Welcome to paradise.
Speaking of paradise, the surrounding waters of Knotts Island are without a doubt some of the best fishing grounds in the area. Freshwater fishing is found just off the shores of the island in Back Bay to the north, Knotts Island Bay to the west, and Currituck Sound to the south. Travel farther south towards Albemarle Sound and anglers will find more saltwater species such as trout, redfish, and striped bass. Depending on how long you fish and how far out you travel, you could end up with a mixed bag of a variety of species.
Largemouth bass is the number one target for anglers fishing near Knotts Island. This species is known to put up one heck of a fight, and anglers continually attempt to break their personal best. It’s a lifelong challenge, make no doubt. Try using a different technique every once in a while to really make things interesting. Some anglers will go fly fishing for bass, while others enjoy kayak fishing. As long as you’re using live bait and fishing in the early morning or late afternoon (when bass are typically feeding) you’re almost guaranteed to hear the drag scream. After you set the hook, watch the acrobatic show as bass like to jump and thrash as they attempt to toss the line. While you can harvest your largemouth bass, most anglers prefer to catch-and-release for conservation efforts.
Other nearby species in the area include catfish. Both channel catfish and white catfish are frequently caught by Knotts Island anglers. They are similar looking fish and often confused for one another. The best way to identify your catch is by looking at the tail, channel catfish have a sharper forked tail than white catfish. Both are bottom feeders and aggressive feeders, eating anything that comes their way. Fishing with live bait in the deep waters of nearby canals will increase your chances for a successful catch. Consider a night fishing excursion for a real adventure!
For saltwater species you can travel south into Currituck Sound. Here you’ll find redfish, trout, and striped bass (also known as rockfish in the area). Currituck Sound is considered part of the Outer Banks ecosystem, a healthy fishery that has many anglers visiting throughout the year.
If you’re looking for offshore adventures, you’ll need to travel to the Atlantic Ocean beyond the barrier islands. Anglers can either make their way south to the Outer Banks, or north to Virginia Beach and book an offshore charter. It’s definitely worth the trek if you enjoy the adrenaline rush of reeling in monster-sized fish. Offshore species include tuna, marlin, mahi mahi, sharks, and more.
Luckily, Knotts Island is also known for its hunting opportunities. As you drive near the coast you’ll see several duck blinds set-up along the water during the season. Waterfowl season runs from November through January, and most outdoor enthusiasts will fish one season and hunt the other. It’s a year-round haven for any outdoor enthusiast.
Fishing, hunting, kayaking, hiking, bird-watching and more. Knotts Island was made for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. As mentioned earlier, it’s about a 45-minute drive to the island, whether you’re driving south from Virginia or taking the ferry from Currituck. Visitors to the area can enjoy the laid back vibe of the island, and maybe even take notes on how to live without as many distractions.
Visitors to North Carolina know just how special this part of the country really is; it’s time to discover the Tar Heel’s state best kept secret. Bring the family and enjoy Knotts Island. Depending on the season of your visit, you could be hunting, fishing, or both with a local professional guide. Don’t miss this opportunity to embrace all that nature and wildlife has to show you!