Three quick, easy, and inexpensive steps to start fishing in Beaufort!

For many folks around Beaufort and Carteret County, fishing is work. But, for those of us who visit, fishing is sport, and more importantly, fishing is leisure.

Our three crumb-grabbers fishing at Fort Macon…

Until this past spring we had not fished much for 15 years. We started back recently, and we have had a ball.

From past experience and from talking to folks in the know, we have come up with three easy steps to begin an adventure in coastal fishing.

First, get a fishing license.

In North Carolina, a citizen can get one through the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. They have an excellent website. Check it out.

Saltwater fishing also requires a Coastal Recreational Fishing license. The license is $15 and is good for a year. Visit ncwildlife.org and follow the directions. You can print a temporary permit and they will mail you your license in a week or so.

The NC Division of Marine Fisheries promulgates coastal fishing regulations, which can be pretty complicated. Don’t worry about them for now. Just fish for fun and throw back what you catch. As you improve you can worry about how much to keep.

Second, buy some tackle and bait.

Even for the beginner, this should cost well under $100, and the supplies you buy now may last many years.

Let’s keep it very simple. Buy a basic saltwater rod and reel combo. We like to surf fish on the beach, so we have several 12 foot rods with basic reels holding 20 to 30 pound-test line. Buy a pack of swivels, some number 4 hooks, a selection of 2 to 4 oz. weights, and several two-hook bottom rigs.

Buy a half pound of bait shrimp.

You can get all of these supplies from any number of sporting goods shops. Dick’s Sporting Goods always has some good stuff, and while the selection is more limited, the tackle prices are great  at Taylor’s Creek Grocery in Beaufort (yes, in addition to Barritt’s Ginger Beer they have fishing tackle – the perfect retail outlet).

One of our favorite tackle and bait shops in Carteret County (actually, it’s one of our favorites anywhere) is Chasin’ Tails Outdoors along the Causeway in Atlantic Beach. Check out the Fishing Report on the Chasin’ Tails website (they post it every Thursday or Friday) before you head out, and stop in to buy all the bait you need. They also give great fishing advice.

Chasin’ Tails always has 20 pound bags of Beaufort Ice.

 Pick up one while you’re there. It’s the best ice ever. Really, it is.

 Third, find a spot and start fishing.

It’s that easy.

Our next fishing post will provide some details on where to fish around Beaufort.

Just to keep you interested, here’s a shot of a young lady who just caught a small shark along the Beaufort Inlet at Fort Macon

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