A man waist deep in water holding a silver fish and his fishing rod

Fishing is allowed in both the ocean and sound; however, the ponds and impoundments are closed to all activities. There is a fishing pier at Oregon Inlet on the north end of the refuge. Many visitors also enjoy bank fishing in Oregon Inlet from the rocky terminal groin. And, of course, we have almost 13 miles of pristine beaches that surf fishermen may enjoy. Red drum, striped bass, spotted seatrout, and flounder are the most popular species sought. 

Fishing at the refuge is subject to North Carolina state and local regulations, licensing requirements, seasons and bag limits. The refuge is open dawn to dusk and has excellent fishing year-round. Access for nighttime surf fishing from Oregon Inlet south to the village of Rodanthe is allowed with a permit September 15-May 31 annually. There is a launching area for small boats, canoes and kayaks at New Inlet. This launch area may be periodically closed for Highway 12 maintenance; please look for the signs. Saltwater species include sharks, bluefish, spotted sea trout, flounder, red drum, spot, striped bass, weakfish, sea mullet, pompano, Spanish mackerel and croaker.

North Pond is open to fishing and crabbing during the annual Crabbing Rodeo during the second Saturday in June, 9am to noon. These three hours each year are the only time North Pond is open to fishing and crabbing. All Federal, State and local regulations apply.

NO CRABBING/FISHING RODEO IN 2022.

Laws, rules, and regulations