Fishing off Harkers Island
[Home] [Fishing] [Back]
Harkers' Island is a center of North Carolina's coastal fishing and fly fishing. This page describes fishing and other opportunities in the area.

Harkers' Island and around is well known for fishing -- it is perhaps one of the best known fly fishing areas in North Carolina. Harkers Island has everything. There are flats and productive flowing tidal channels, man made and natural fish holding structure, grass beds and shell beds, and other ideals to numerous to mention here. Plus, Harkers Island is one of North Carolina's great resources for other recreational activities to all in the family.

Nearly all recreational species can be caught off of Harkers Island including open water species and inshore species. It is well known for False Albacore due to the fantastic runs in the fall. There is also a great bluefin tuna catch in the early winter and an excellent mackerel fishery in the fall and winter months. These larger species are most numerous near the East Side of the Cape Lookout Shoals. The locals and area experts can easily point you to the right spots.

For the light tackle fisher there are two very well defined areas best known for productivity:

Good to know:

Calico Jack's
Donny and Rose Hatcher
Harkers' Island, NC 28531
(252) 728-3575

Core Sound Waterfowl Museum.
Harkers Island, NC
Ph: (919)728-1500

Harkers Island Tackle -- Good tackle shot with good HI fishing report

End of Harkers Island

  1. Good access area located at the very end of the island to the right of the Coast Guard Station and its dock. This area, commonly known as Shell Point, is the central location for many fishermen fishing Cape Lookout during the spring, summer, and fall.
  2. Several areas immediately off of the point offers a wade-able bars reachable with light tackle.
  3. All areas contain good quantities of bluefish, speckled trout, flounder, and red drum.
  4. Some good structure.
  5. There is also good fish in the channel leading into the Coast Guard dock area. This is deep water.

The Straits

  1. Consists of two bridges on the inland side of Harkers Island. This is some of the deepest water and/or channel in the area. Look for a drawbridge.
  2. This area contains much fish holding structure including bridge pilings, rip rap along the shoreline, submerged grass, and other bottom rubble.
  3. Considered as one of the best places is the east side of the Earl C. Davis bridge on the end which is farthest from the control house on the bridge. Here the channel is only 25 feet away from the edge and is even closer if you wade to the left.
  4. Excellent area for speckled trout, bluefish, red drum, and flounder.
  5. Good tidal flows.

For help fishing there is an abundance of local fishing expertise and knowledge on the Island. In addition there are several nice clubs, knowledgeable fishing shops and guide services, plus others that can help you find the best areas. There are several good books that can point you in the right direction. The best way to learn is by using a guide and thankfully Harkers Island has some of the best including:

Peak times are from April through December. To get your first choice of date/area book early.

Harkers Island is ideal to fish and to kayakIf you do not have a boat or wish to take the minimalist route either try your kayak or canoe or rent one at Core Sound Kayaks. There are many kayak accessible areas and the fishing will me marvelous. In addition to great fishing there are beautiful marsh and estuaries plus open water tours to be taken. Guides are available at Core Sound Kayaks if you feel the need. Core Sound Kayaks is located near the Harkers Island Bridge and Public Boat Ramp.

Duck hunting is also available at Harkers Island.

Harkers may be the place to try your fly rod and catch-and-release never hurts. Also, Harkers Island may be just the place to land your citations for the year. Kayak touring is nearly ideal and duck hunting is available. Have fun fishing near Harkers Island!

May 24, 2003
Copyright 2003 All rights reserved. Contact with site problems or questions.