25 Mar 2022
The Southport - Oak Island area is a world-class destination for fishing. Both pier fisherman and offshore anglers and everyone in between, including beginners love all the options for hooking the season's catch. In addition, the many streams, creeks, and tributaries make for incredible fresh and saltwater fly fishing. In this article, we're focusing on saltwater fishing, but be sure to ask one of our recommended local fishing charter companies about where the local freshwater fly fishing hot spots are.
Tips for Fishing in Oak Island
Unless you’re taking a charter or fishing from Ocean Crest Pier (learn more below), you must have a fishing license. Licenses are anywhere from $15-$30 annually depending on what license you get and you can pick one up at any bait and tackle store, even Walmart, or online.
The Southport Waterfront Park is a lovely 9-acre stretch popular among sightseers, shoppers, and those looking to see what's biting beneath the water's surface. The park is home to the town's fishing pier, a long "L" shaped wooden pier that extends into the Cape Fear River. Handicapped accessible with public restrooms located nearby at the Garrison House, the pier is free to the public, ensuring that anyone can grab a rod and reel and see what's biting in the deep, and mainly salty waters.
Perfect for flounder, trout, and other surf fish, especially around sunset, Oak Island Pier is a classic haunt for local and visiting fishermen and -women alike. In years past, 200+ King Mackerel were landed off the Oak Island Pier. The best pier fishing of the year starts around the first of April with large Bluefish followed by Spanish, Trout, and Flounder. King Mackerel start to show up when the water gets to 64 degrees. Other species caught are Cobia, Whiting (Virginia Mullet), Pompano, Spots, Sharks, Tarpon, Amberjack, Jack Crevalle, Sheepshead, Black Drum, Red Drum, Croaker, Grey Trout, Ladyfish, Spadefish, and Pinfish. The North Carolina State Record for Tiger Shark came off this Pier in 1966 by Walter Maxwell, it weighed 1150 lbs.
Ocean Crest Fishing Pier
The Ocean Crest Pier on Oak Island is renowned as a top spot for hooking prized king and Spanish mackerel. A family-friendly environment, this pier is also popular among locals and visiting anglers daily. If you’re new to fishing, this is also a great place to learn from the experts too! Plus, if fishing from the pier you do not need a fishing license at Ocean Crest Fishing Pier.
Off Shore Fishing
The most renowned offshore fishing spots in the Southport - Oak Island area include Horseshoe (30 miles offshore), Frying Pan (25 miles offshore), and Shark Hole (20 miles offshore). If you have your own boat, Supermap is a recommended tool for pin-pointing these popular zones. If you've hired a fishing charter for the day, they'll take you directly to the goods.
Book your Oak Island Fishing Trip Today
Whether you're looking for a rental with a dock or something close to one of the local fishing piers, the experts at Margaret Rudd & Associates' Oak Island are here to help. Call us at (800) 486-5441. Our reservation specialists are happy to assist you in finding the perfect vacation rental to suit your budget, beach accessibility needs, amenity preferences, and pet-friendly requirements.