With a rich history in both commercial and recreational fishing, it should come as no surprise that fishing is big in Southport. This small community’s love of fishing is visible around every corner – from the specials boards of local restaurants to the antiquated fishing gear that’s found in area museums like the NC Maritime Museum.
And with this pedigree of fishing, visitors will also find that angling opportunities are everywhere in Southport – from the local creeks to the Cape Fear River waters, to the Atlantic Ocean beaches found just a few miles away. So pack along the rods and reels, and get ready for a vacation where dropping a line and relaxing with a waterfront view is all part of the local culture.
About Southport Fishing and Licenses
Southport’s terrain is nicely varied. The small community borders miles of the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway, a network of creeks and marshes, and is also nicely close to the Atlantic Ocean beaches. As a result, the fishing is both outstanding and diverse and can range from small brackish creeks to open ocean fishing charters that travel miles offshore.
The first thing an angler will need to start a fishing adventure, however, is a North Carolina saltwater fishing license, formally known as a North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL.) This license is required to fish in any body of saltwater, which includes almost all bodies of water in the Southport region.
The good news is that a saltwater fishing license is easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive. For example, a 10-day fishing license is just $5 for North Carolina residents and $10 for out-of-state residents who are vacationing in the area. Discounts are also available for lifetime licenses for a myriad of citizens, including veterans, seniors, and youths. Visitors should also note that saltwater fishing licenses are only required for anglers age 16 and older.
A saltwater fishing license is also easy to obtain. Visitors can pick one up at virtually any local bait and tackle store in the Southport / Oak Island area once they have arrived or can pick one up online well before their vacation at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-fishing-licenses-and-permits, which is the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries website. (For a complete list of license types and fees, visit http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-fishing-license-types-and-fees.)
Local Piers, Parks, Docks and Fishing Spots
The Southport region has a number of public parks, piers, and wild areas where it’s easy to drop a line with little effort. For an easy fishing trip, check out these spots where enjoying a morning, afternoon or evening of fishing is a breeze.
Southport Pier and Riverwalk
S. Howe Street, Southport
The Southport Pier is located adjacent to Waterfront Park and is a popular public pier that extends into the wide Cape Fear River. The pier is situated in the heart of downtown Southport, (which makes it easy to reach for all visitors), and is a popular spot for local and visiting anglers alike.
Dutchman Creek Park
4750 Fish Factory Rd SE, Southport
Dutchman Creek Park is located on the edge of the relatively skinny Dutchman Creek and is a popular launching spot for kayaks, boats, and a variety of fishing adventures. The site has a nice long waterfront where it’s easy to cast a line, as well as on-site boat ramps for easing into the water.
Kingsley Street Park
Kingsley Street, Southport
Head to the small dock which extends into the Intracoastal Waterway at this park for a chance to drop a line into miles of local waters. Though a passive park, this downtown site borders the water’s edge, which makes it a convenient destination for water lovers.
McGlamery at Ocean Dr, Oak Island
This park in the heart of Oak Island offers public parking and an easy stroll to the ocean-facing beaches, where plenty of great surf fishing opportunities are waiting.
Spring Lake Park
200 Pine Road, Boiling Spring Lakes, NC 28461
Located inland, this popular park borders one of the largest lakes in the region. The site features a boat launch for kayak or canoe expeditions, as well as picnic areas and public restrooms.
Ocean Crest Fishing Pier
1409 E Beach Drive, Oak Island
This fishing pier in the heart of Oak Island extends 893’ ft. into the Atlantic Ocean, and ends with a 50’ ft. T-shape at the end of the structure. The pier is fully lighted for nighttime fishing and is generally open seven days a week from March when the first fish are sighted until December 1.
Information provided by the Brunswick Islands Visitors Guide