Hatteras Island Fishing Guide

What's Hot and When

Anglers should be aware of current fisheries regulations including size and bag limits of species caught. For details about the citation program and/or current fisheries regulations, visit any Outer Banks bait and tackle shop or pier or call the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries at 800-682-2632 (North Carolina only) or visit www.ncfisheries.net.

Below is a listing of fish, anglers can expect to catch and the best time to catch time.


Trout, sea bass, bluefish, bluefin tuna, oysters, striped bass, bay scallops.


Trout, sea bass, blue fish, bluefin tuna, oysters, bay scallops, striped bass.


Grouper, sea trout, sea bass, bluefish, bluefin and yellowfin tuna, oysters, snapper, striped bass.


Bluefish, channel bass (red drum), grouper, snapper, croaker, sea trout, sea mullet, king mackerel, wahoo, oysters, striped bass.


King mackerel, bluefish, grouper, cobia, tuna, dolphin, wahoo, crabs, soft crabs, sea mullet, blue marlin, striped bass, channel bass, spanish mackerel, sot, croaker.


Blue marlin, white marlin, dolphin, wahoo, cobia, king mackerel, bluefish, tuna, flounder, snapper, grouper, spanish mackerel, crabs, soft crabs, shrimp, spot, croaker.


Dolphin, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish, white marlin, snapper, grouper, sea mullet, flounder, bluefish, spanish mackerel, shrimp, crabs, soft crabs, spot, croaker.


Blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, dolphin, wahoo, tuna, grouper, snapper, bluefish, flounder, spanish mackerel, some croaker, speckled trout, spot, shrimp, crabs.


White marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, tuna, grouper, snapper, spanish mackerel, king mackerel, spot, bluefish, speckled trout, sea mullet, channel bass, shrimp, striped bass.


King mackerel, tuna, bluefish, snapper, grouper, channel bass, spot, speckled trout, flounder, oysters, shrimp, striped bass.


King mackerel, tuna, bluefish, speckled trout, flounder, oysters, sea mullet, snapper, grouper, clams, striped bass.


Tuna, bluefish, flounder, seabass, speckled trout, clams, oysters, sea trout, snapper, grouper, striped bass.

Obtaining a Fishing License

North Carolina's Coastal Recreational Fishing License went into effect January 1, 2007. This license can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or lifetime basis, or combined with a variety of licenses issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission.


This license allows recreational fishermen to harvest finfish for personal consumption; finfish harvested under this license cannot be sold. Fishermen using this license are held to the state's recreational size and possession limits.

The license is required to recreationally harvest finfish in the state's Coastal Fishing Waters, which include sounds, coastal rivers and their tributaries, out to three miles in the ocean. Recreational anglers who catch fish in the ocean will be required to have this license to land fish. Fishing in Joint Waters (areas managed by both the Marine Fisheries and the Wildlife Resources commissions) will require either this or a WRC inland fishing license.


Individuals under 16 years of age.
Individuals who purchased any of the following WRC licenses prior to January 1, 2006:
All categories of Lifetime Sportsman licenses
Lifetime Resident Comprehensive Fishing License
Lifetime Combination Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Resident Sportsman
Disabled Resident Sportsman
Lifetime Fishing License for the Legally Blind
Adult Care Home Resident Fishing License. Blanket Licenses

Operators of for-hire vessels and owners or operators of ocean fishing piers have the option to purchase a blanket license to cover their fishing patrons.


A free license waiver is available for qualifying subsistence anglers from Dept. of Social Services.

Purchasing a License

The new license will be available from any DMF office, WRC license agents (which include most Wal-Mart stores), online at WRC's website www.ncwildlife.org or by calling toll-free 888-248-6834.

Marine Resources Funds

Proceeds from the sale of this license will go into two marine resources funds managed by the state's Marine Fisheries and Wildlife Resources commissions. Revenues must be used to manage, protect, restore, develop, cultivate, conserve and/or enhance North Carolina's marine resources.

Annual License

State Residents, age 16 or older - $15
Non-residents, age 16 or older - $30

10-day License

State Residents, age 16 or older - $5
Non-residents, age 16 or older - $10

To view other license options or for more license information, please visit our website www.ncdmf.net or call the DMF at (252) 726-7021 or (800) 682-2632.