Nearest Fishing Charters

4.2 miles away

Wilmington, NC

Whipsaw Fishing Charters

Trips start at $550.00

Max guests: 6

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4.2 miles away

Wilmington, NC

Ocean Stinger Charters

Trips start at $500.00

Max guests: 6

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4.77 miles away

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Profishnc Charters

Trips start at $350.00

Max guests: 5

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10.58 miles away

Carolina Beach, NC

Chase-n-fins Charters

Trips start at $400.00

Max guests: 4

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11.24 miles away

Carolina Beach, NC

Reel 2 Grill Fishing Charters

Trips start at $600.00

Max guests: 6

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18.09 miles away

Holly Ridge, NC

Surf City Charters

Trips start at $500.00

Max guests: 5

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See All Wilmington Charters

Wilmington Fishing Charters

Wilmington, North Carolina, also known as “The Port City,” is a waterfront city located on North Carolina’s Atlantic coast, situated between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. Settled by the English in the 1720’s, Wilmington’s history shines through to this day. The city was selected by The National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of their Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 2008.

Residents and visitors alike enjoy the 1.75 mile Riverwalk, providing views of what was ranked as the “Best American Riverfront” by USA Today readers in 2014. Multiple beaches are within a 30 minute drive, and there are numerous museums and local attractions to explore. Although the area has plenty to offer, we feel that no trip to Wilmington would be complete without getting some fishing in.

Wilmington Inshore Fishing

With the Cape Fear River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, anglers have a variety of options if they are looking to stay on land or close to shore. The Cape Fear River is home to a variety of bass, and can make for a fun day of fishing. Anglers looking to dip their line in the inshore Atlantic will find that the name of the game here is drum, more specifically, red drum.

The North Carolina coast is one of the most revered red drum fishing locations in the world, and for good reason. Many drum over 40 pounds are caught each season, and anglers from around the country come to capitalize. The biggest drum are typically caught just off the beaches, though some great fish can be caught in the backwaters and creeks as well as on the flats.

Although red drum can be caught in Wilmington year round, the biggest fish start showing up in the early summer. By early fall, the fish are preparing to make their migratory run, and schools in the hundreds can be observed. In fact, anglers report sightings of schools so dense, that it appears that the water has taken on a bronze tint.

The speckled seatrout, also known as “speck” or simply “trout,” is another highly targeted inshore fish. Although they do not grow as large as red drum, they are aggressive strikers, make for great table fare, and eagerly hit a variety of baits and lures. They are also known for their abundance. During peak season, typically March through November, it is not uncommon for anglers to catch a dozen or more trout in one fishing spot. Some of the best Wilmington trout fishing takes place in October and November.

Wilmington Offshore Fishing

The proximity of the Gulf Stream to the Wilmington coast makes this a fantastic offshore fishing destination. The Gulf Stream is a warm water ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, hence its name. Fish are attracted to the warmer water, along with the floating plant and debris that flow with the current. These waters are home to some highly desirable open-water species such as mahi, tuna, billfish, and wahoo.

Mahi, or dolphinfish, are among the best eating fish in the Atlantic. They can be caught closer to shore than other pelagic species, near the west edge of the Gulf Stream current. Anglers will be on the lookout for floating debris or weedlines, which in turn attract baitfish. Smaller mahi travel in schools, meaning if you hook up to one, there are likely others nearby. You’ll be riding back with a cooler full of fish in no time.

There are two targeted types of tuna in these waters as well; yellowfin and bluefin. Yellowfin tuna are more abundant, and range from 20 to 100 pounds or more. Experienced anglers can get away with lighter tackle if they want to experience a true battle. Bluefin tuna can grow to be over 600 pounds, and put up a fight that can be compared to tying your line to a speeding compact car.

Among the billfish, the prime targets out of Wilmington are sailfish and blue marlin. These fish practically represent offshore sportfishing, with the blue marlin growing much larger than the speedy sailfish. Anglers looking to check a blue marlin off their bucket list will venture a bit further into the Atlantic and troll with heavy tackle. When a big marlin is on, getting the fish to the boat becomes a team effort. The captain will back down the boat while the angler rapidly recovers line. The first mate will be ready to grab the leader to help control the fish as it comes boatside. Few fishing trips are able to provide the same sense of adventure that chasing and battling a blue marlin in the open ocean does.

Book A Wilmington Fishing Charter

Whether you are looking to capitalize on the red drum migration or head out to open water to test your skills against a blue marlin, local Wilmington fishing guides will have you covered. Booking a next day trip during peak season is near impossible, so be sure to plan ahead. Search Wilmington fishing charters, and reserve your trip with a 10% deposit today!