Got a thing about fish? Ocracoke Island’s fishing scene will make you happy. With mile after mile of undeveloped shoreline, surf fishing is popular, especially since you can drive along until you see just the right spot. If you want to drive on the beach, please visit the NPS trailer next to the Ocracoke Visitor Center to purchase a driving permit. And for those with their own boat, the waters surrounding Ocracoke Island are rich fish-hunting territory.
Some of Ocracoke’s accommodations pay special attention to anglers. The marinas at The Anchorage Inn or Jolly Roger are where you go to schedule Gulf Stream or inshore fishing charters or to rent a small boat for your own adventure. The Harborside and Pony Island motels both provide boat docks, and there’s also a ramp at Harborside. The Castle Bed and Breakfast also has dockage that’s open for guests to use.
Two local tackle shops provide all the gear, bait and supplies you need. And the friendly owners and staff will gladly help out with advice on what anglers can expect from Ocracoke Island fishing. Remember…there’s a reason they call it fishing and not catching. So, go out there and relax. Take in Ocracoke’s natural beauty and calm atmosphere. Then if you catch dinner too, it’s just all the sweeter.
Note that all saltwater anglers are required to buy the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License. The license can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or lifetime basis or combined with other licenses issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Children younger than 16 do not need a license. For-hire vessels and ocean fishing piers have the option to purchase a blanket license that covers all their fishing patrons, so you may not need the license to fish on a certain pier or charter boat; be sure to ask. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the local tackle shops, online at www.ncwildlife.org or by calling (888) 248-6834.
Remember, Irvin Garrish Highway is also known as N.C. Highway 12.