North Carolina’s Ocean Piers

North Carolina’s Ocean Piers

Jennette’s Pier on the Outer Banks

North Carolina is blessed with 300 miles of pristine coastline, where fishing and many other water-based activities are world-class. The possibilities are enhanced by more than a dozen different piers dotting the coast from north to south, where fishing and much more await you year-round.

Thanks to North Carolina’s coastline being so close to the fabled waters of the Gulf Stream, pier fishing provides great access to the Atlantic Ocean’s coastal fish. Popular pier amenities typically include tackle shops, rentals, bait, lighting for night fishing, special Spanish mackerel fishing spots, varied dining and much more depending on the specific pier.

Anglers age 16 or older who want to recreationally fish in any water designated as coastal or joint waters of North Carolina (including public fishing piers) must have a North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL). Licenses can be purchased online or from license agents. Be sure to check if your chosen pier carries a blanket license that’s including in your pier fishing pass price. License types and fees vary.

From north to south, here’s a roundup of North Carolina’s ocean piers:

Outer Banks

Avalon Fishing Pier
Kill Devil Hills
Avalon Pier is 696 feet long and, like most North Carolina piers, features a full tackle shop, bait, rentals and snacks. Its irreverent website is packed with information about fishing and more at the popular pier.

Nags Head Fishing Pier
Nags Head
At 750 feet, Nags Head Fishing Pier is one of the state’s oldest piers. With pretty ocean views, Pier House Restaurant – “You Hook ‘Em, We Cook ‘Em” – is definitely a highlight.

Jennette’s Pier
Nags Head
Originally built way back in 1939, Jennette’s Pier was rebuilt after Hurricane Isabel. The groundbreaking concrete structure is 1,000 feet long and includes an outpost of the North Carolina Aquariums network, with aquariums, displays, programs, fishing classes and more.

Outer Banks Fishing Pier
Nags Head
Fishing Unlimited’s 600-foot pier is the closest pier to fabled Oregon Inlet. Along with a full tackle shop, there’s a popular and tasty oceanfront grill.

Rodanthe Pier
With repairs and additions making it better than ever, 700-foot Rodanthe Pier on Hatteras Island remains a classic Outer Banks fishing pier.

Avon Fishing Pier
Also situated on Hatteras Island, Avon Fishing Pier is about 600 feet long. Unique features for this classic pier include a 18-hole natural grass miniature golf course and Haoles, a sushi and sake restaurant and bar.

Crystal Coast

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier
Emerald Isle
With full fishing services and a unique art gallery, 1,000-foot Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier provides visitors to the Crystal Coast’s Emerald Isle with a classic North Carolina pier experience.

Oceanana Fishing Pier
Atlantic Beach
Part of full-service Oceanana Family Resort, 731-foot Oceanana Fishing Pier features a tackle shop, Oceanana Pier House restaurant and more.

Topsail Area

Surf City Pier
Surf City
Originally built in 1948 and owned by the Lore family since 1973, 937-foot Surf City Pier is better than ever with full fishing service, Pier Grill, and a great “Pier Kids” program that teaches children about fishing and more.

Jolly Roger Fishing Pier
Topsail Beach
The Jolly Roger includes the 850-foot pier, a oceanfront motel, oceanfront Jolly Roger Grill, and the new location of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is just eight miles away.

Seaview Fishing Pier
North Topsail Beach
Once known as Salty’s Pier, 1,000-foot plus family-owned and –operated Seaview Fishing Pier features a full-service pier store and a popular restaurant where they’ll cook your caught and cleaned catch.

Wilmington Area

Johnnie Mercer’s Pier
Wrightsville Beach
This iconic 945-foot pier will be 80 years old in 2014. With a full tackle shop, gift shop and restaurant, it’s a local landmark.

Carolina Beach Fishing Pier
Carolina Beach
Located at the northern end of Carolina Beach, this 700-foot pier features a tackle shop, grill and popular arcade.

Kure Beach Pier
Kure Beach
Built in 1923 and known as the Atlantic Ocean’s oldest pier, Kure Beach Pier is 712 feet long and features a tackle shop, grill, and an arcade with pool table.

Brunswick Islands

Oak Island Fishing Pier
Oak Island
Oak Island Fishing Pier has a full-service pier shop and tasty Flying Fish Café. At 27 feet high, it’s currently the tallest ocean fishing pier in North Carolina.

Ocean Crest Pier
Oak Island
Family-owned 893-foot Ocean Crest Pier features a full-service tackle shop and is conveniently flanked by Ocean Crest Motel to the east and Island Way Restaurant & Bar to the west.

Holden Beach Fishing Pier
Holden Beach
Situated in the heart of quiet Holden Beach, the 700-foot pier features live bait, a tackle and gift shop, and grill and snack bar.

Ocean Isle Beach Pier
Ocean Isle
This 960-foot pier has a tackle shop, a grill, and a game room for kids and kids at heart.

Sunset Beach Fishing Pier
Sunset Beach
The island’s 900-foot pier includes a fully stocked tackle shop and convenience store, billiards, and a bar and grill. It’s the state’s southernmost ocean fishing pier.

Lynn and Cele Seldon are Oak Island-based travel writers who love covering their home state.

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