Carteret County fishing sites see late summer, early fall peak in activity

Recreational fishermen wet a line recently at the Radio Island public water access pier. (Mike Shutak photo)

CARTERET COUNTY — Several popular recreational fishing sites in Carteret County see the most activity in summer and early fall, according to the federal Marine Recreational Information Program.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service gathers data on recreational fishing from sites all along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico through the MRIP. In Carteret County, there are 74 registered sites where the fisheries service collects data on when and where anglers are coming to fish.

According to an Oct. 20 announcement from the NMFS, MRIP collects data from “tens of thousands of saltwater fishing trips each year” all along the east coast and the Gulf.

“Knowing where recreational anglers are fishing and what kinds of trips are taking place at each site – whether it’s a trip from shore, a private boat or a for-hire vessel – allows us to efficiently intercept a representative sample of trips,” the fisheries service said. “Anglers are an important resource for information about the places we conduct our shore side intercept survey, and can even use our online database of saltwater access sites to find new places to fish.”

The site database is available at the website This database, which can be accessed by the general public using the “guest login” option, allows users to search registered access sites by county, state, zip code, site ID numbers and name.

Site profiles include lists of available amenities, such as tackle shops, fish cleaning stations, boat storage, fuel docks and lighting. The database also records how many anglers use a site, by method, in a 6-hour period each day.

In Carteret County, Radio Island, located between Beaufort and Morehead City, has several locations that provide the public with access to waters for both recreational fishing and boating. The Radio Island wildlife ramp, located next to the public water access pier, sees over 80 anglers in a period using private or rental boats during the weekends from July through August, according to the MRIP site database.

As for the public access pier itself, it sees about 20-29 anglers in a period during the weekends in June through September. South from the ramp and the access pier, across Highway 70, the Radio Island public beach access has about 13-19 anglers visit in a period on weekends in May through November, as well as during the weekdays in October.

This time period seems to be popular for recreational fishing not only on the more inland sites, but also on the Bogue Banks ocean fishing sites, as well. In Emerald Isle, the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier has 50-79 anglers visit in a period on a given day during the weekdays and weekends in June through August, as well as the weekends in September. Additionally, about five to eight anglers fish from the beach near the pier in a period during weekdays and weekends in May through October.

On the eastern side of Bogue Banks, the Oceana Fishing Pier in Atlantic Beach has 20-29 anglers a day fishing from its pier during weekdays and weekends in June through August and on the weekends in September. Like the Oceana, it too has about five to eight anglers a day fishing from the beach near the pier.   

 Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

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