Get Hooked on Fall Fishing in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Pier Fishing

Fall is in the air, which for many area residents and visitors means it is time to cast a line and get hooked on a good time in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Our 45 miles of pristine coastline offers ample access to both fresh and saltwater fishing hotspots that are sure to excite both amateur fishing enthusiasts and seasoned pros alike. As the seasons change, so does the natural stock of fish and marine wildlife awaiting your fishing expertise. Planning your fall fishing excursion in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands? Check out our insider info and tips for making your visit a memorable one.

Fishing Finds

Several species of fish are highly migratory, with circuits ranging from a few miles to massive distances. While the motives for these migratory treks is a mystery even to scientists, we do know that these mighty movements make for even better sport fishing in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. According to local expert Captain Jerry Dilsaver, this natural phenomenon really gets the fish biting. In preparation for the migrations south, fish along the Brunswick Islands are feeding hard in the fall to store energy for the long journey ahead.

Depending on the time of year and where you cast your line, popular fishing finds include flounder, speckled trout, red drum, bluefish, cobia, king mackerel, wahoo, grouper, mahi-mahi, tuna and even blue crabs. Fall in particular provides fishing parties with the opportunity to snag speckled trout, flounder, red drum and black drum inshore; flounder, red drum, black drum, whiting and pompano along the surf; Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, gray trout and large red drum in the nearshore ocean; as well as king mackerel, wahoo, dolphin, blackfin tuna, grouper, snapper, black sea bass, porgy, grunt and the occasional hog snapper and African pompano in the offshore ocean.

Brunswick Islands fishing

 

Exploring by Boat

According to Captain Dilsaver, the wide variety of fish and knowledgeable charter fishermen are part of what makes North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands a fantastic fishing destination. For a taste of the high seas, book one of the experienced charter services located throughout the Brunswick Islands. The charter services are owned and staffed by seasoned pros with in-depth knowledge of local fishing and weather conditions. With both half-day and all-day excursions, charters can traverse the deep sea of coastal North Carolina or prime inshore fishing sites. Whether you are looking for a freshly caught dinner, a few laughs or simply a day spent out on the sea, the fishing community of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is here to help craft a perfect and memorable experience for your fishing party.

For a smaller scale boating experience, guests can rent a kayak and venture out on Captain Dilsaver’s favorite fall fishing excursion. Captain Dilsaver notes that trophy drum, measuring 40+ inches, can be caught September through Thanksgiving. “They are a favorite of kayak fishermen, and there is a dedicated group of them that launch almost every calm morning from the beach accesses on Oak Island,” said Captain Dilsaver. “This is my personal fall favorite.”

Coastal Fishing

 

Cast a Line from the Coast

Those looking for an on shore fishing experience can find it in the Brunswick Islands. Our expansive stretch of beautiful beaches boasts countless spots for surf-casting. Get your feet wet and sink into the sport with this time-tested method. For a more scenic approach, venture to one of the five ocean piers located throughout the Brunswick Islands. Each pier has its own unique flair to make your experience both convenient and fun! Drop a line and soak in the signature North Carolina coastal views. Don’t have your fishing equipment on hand? Not a problem! Several local vendors offer rods, reels, basic tackle and more.

No two Brunswick Islands’ fishing excursions are ever the same. Whether casting your first line or returning for an annual trip, there are always more reasons to get hooked on fishing in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. For more information on area fishing opportunities, please visit www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/fishing_and_charters.

Enter the Brunswick Islands Landmarks Photo Contest #BrunswickIslandsLandmarks

Brunswick Islands Photo Contest

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is excited to announce its fall social media photo contest, #BrunswickIslandsLandmarks! This photo contest will highlight some of the most iconic Brunswick Islands landmarks. We invite you to share your best Brunswick Islands photos of our five ocean piers (the Holden Beach Pier, Sunset Beach Pier, Ocean Crest Pier, Ocean Isle Beach Pier, and Oak Island Pier), Oak Island Lighthouse, Old Baldy, Kindred Spirit Mailbox, Southport Yacht Basin, or the Calabash Waterfront on Instagram and Facebook using #BrunswickIslandsLandmarks and #BrunswickIslands from October 9-22, 2018.

When submitting your entry, please also include the Brunswick Islands’ location shown in the photo. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands will choose its favorite photos from the submissions with first and second place prizes for both the Instagram and Facebook winners, along with two randomly chosen winners. Prizes include North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands rolling coolers, beach towels and hats, and a $100 Visa® Gift Card! The official contest rules are listed below.

Share your photos and follow us on Instagram: @NCBrunswickIslands

Share your photos, follow and like us on Facebook: @NCBrunswick

In addition to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ 45 miles of pristine beaches, the Brunswick Islands is home to picturesque waterfronts, five ocean piers and two lighthouses that boast phenomenal views, and activities for the whole family to enjoy! Guests and residents can catch the sun set or rise over the Atlantic Ocean, cast a line or climb to new heights at one of the Brunswick Islands’ iconic landmarks.

Check out a few fun facts about the landmarks of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands:

  • The Southport Yacht Basin was the backdrop for many iconic scenes in the popular Nicholas Sparks film, Safe Haven.
  • Calabash’s waterfront is the birthplace of the beloved Calabash style of seafood where fresh shrimp, clams, oysters and fish are coated in a light batter and quickly fried to lock in the freshness.
  • The Sunset Beach Pier is the southernmost fishing pier in North Carolina.
  • The Ocean Isle Beach Pier features an arcade and a beach grill.
  • The Holden Beach Pier features a campground with 60 beachfront, full hook-up sites.
  • The Ocean Crest Pier has an onsite weather station measuring wind speed, water temperature and more.
  • The Oak Island Pier is in the process of being rebuilt and is set to be completed by next April.
  • The Kindred Spirit Mailbox is the center of Nicholas Sparks’ highly anticipated novel, Every Breath which is set to be released on October 16.
  • Old Baldy is North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse.
  • The Oak Island lighthouse has 131 ship ladder steps instead of the traditional spiral stairway that many lighthouses have.

CONTEST RULES: The following rules will be required for entry.

1. ENTRY:

a. No purchase necessary to enter or win.

b. Fans may enter by Facebook or Instagram:

i. If entering by Instagram, follow @NCBrunswickIslands and use both hashtags #BrunswickIslandsLandmarks and #BrunswickIslands. Include the location of where the photo was taken in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. The user account settings must be public to be considered for entry.

ii. If entering by Facebook, submit the photo entry directly to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ Facebook account page and include the hashtag #BrunswickIslandsLandmarks. The user must also identify where the photo was taken in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Be sure you have liked North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ Facebook page.

c. By submitting entries via hashtag on Instagram and Facebook, entrant is agreeing to all contest terms and conditions.

d. By entering the contest, the entrant attests and warrants as follows: (a) I have the right to post the Content; (b) neither the Content nor the use of the Content by the Permitted Parties will infringe upon or violate the intellectual property rights or other rights, including, without limitation, any right of publicity and/or copyright, of any other person or entity or any applicable laws; and (c) the photo was taken in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands.

e. Entries must be submitted within TUESDAY, 10/9/2018 at 9 a.m. EST and MONDAY, 10/22/2018 at 4 p.m. EST to be considered for entry.

2. ELIGIBILITY: This contest is open only to legal U.S. residents. Employees of Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority (along with its contractors, affiliates and subsidiaries) and their families are not eligible to win. Void where prohibited by law. Contestants residing in those areas where the contest is void may participate in the contest but may not win any prizes.

3. WINNER SELECTION: Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority will judge the contest. Submissions will be judged based on how much it shows the beauty of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands and its famous landmarks. All decisions of the judges are final.

4. PRIZES: First and Second Place winners will be chosen from Facebook entries and First and Second Place winners will be chosen from Instagram entries.

First Place Grand Prize Winners: $100.00 Visa® Gift Card and North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands Beach Towel.

Second Place Prize Winners: North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands Beach Towel and hat.

Random Prize Winners: 1 winner will receive a North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands beach tote bag and 1 winner will receive a North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands Beach Towel.

Terms and conditions may apply. Incidental expenses and all other costs and expenses which are not specifically listed as part of a prize in these Official Rules and which may be associated with the award, acceptance, receipt and use of all or any portion of the awarded prize are solely the responsibility of the respective prize winner.

5. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winners will be notified through Instagram or Facebook within two (2) days after the contest end date. It is the winners’ responsibility to monitor their Instagram and Facebook accounts for notifications. If a potential prize winner does not respond to the Sponsor within five (5) days after being notified of winning via the Instagram account or Facebook page used for submission, or if the prize is returned as undeliverable, that potential prize winner shall forfeit the prize.

6. GENERAL CONDITIONS: Participants hereby grant Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to broadcast, publish, store, reproduce, distribute, syndicate, and otherwise use and exhibit the Submission (along with their names, voices, performance and/or likenesses) in all media now known and later come into being for purposes of trade or advertising without further compensation or recognition. Participants represent and warrant that they have full legal right, power and authority to grant Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority the foregoing license and if applicable, have secured all necessary rights from any participants in, and contributors to, their Submission in order to grant such a license.

7. NOT ENDORSED BY INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK: By participating in this contest, you acknowledge that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook and release Instagram or Facebook from any and all liability arising from or related to this contest. The information you are providing for this contest is being provided to Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority and not to Instagram or Facebook, and will be used to notify you if you have won.

8. CONDUCT: All contest participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person it finds to be tampering with the entry process, the operation of its web site or is otherwise in violation of these rules.

9. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority is not responsible for late, lost or misdirected email or for any computer, online, telephone or technical malfunctions that may occur. If for any reason, the contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort, Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority may cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest. Entrants further agree to release Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority from any liability resulting from, or related to participation in the contest.

Sponsor’s Address: Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority is located at 712 Village Road SW, Shallotte, NC 28470.

To learn more about North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, and to plan your trip, visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

You can follow the North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands on social media at https://www.facebook.com/NCBrunswick/ and https://www.instagram.com/ncbrunswickislands/.

 

Make Travel Plans for Labor Day Weekend in NC’s Brunswick Islands

Still considering Labor Day travel plans for your family? Make crowded beaches and umbrella mazes a thing of the past with a holiday getaway to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Our 45 miles of pristine, uncrowded beaches will take you back to the beach vacations of your childhood. With a uniquely relaxed atmosphere and plenty of beach for your blanket, there is no better place to celebrate the end to a fun-filled summer. Our six island beaches house a collection of family-friendly activities perfect for saying farewell to summer. Be sure to check out these suggestions for ways to make the most out of your long weekend in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands.

Shallotte River Swamp Park

Families can experience the swamp like never before with an action-packed, high flying adventure. The park features a two and a half hour zipline tour, seven course adventure park, 50-foot Pelican Dive jump and more. Park owners did not want to sacrifice the beautiful, natural surroundings for adventure, but rather enhance guest experience by seamlessly weaving the two together. The park is uniquely designed around the landscape and rangers educate guests about the ecological benefits of the natural habitat. With an outdoor adventure perfectly suited for ages four and beyond, there is something for every member of the family.

Shallotte River Swamp Park

Last Turtle Talks of the Year

In North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, summer is sea turtle season. For centuries our beaches have been home to loggerhead sea turtles, and every summer local sea turtle protection organizations offer free weekly family-friendly seminars to share important information about loggerhead sea turtle conservation efforts. These “Turtle Talks” are held late spring through summer, with the last of the popular events scheduled just before and over Labor Day weekend. Be sure to check the calendar of events and see if your family can make one of these fun and educational seminars.

Ingram Planetarium

Looking to expand your family’s horizons this Labor Day holiday? Venture to Sunset Beach to explore the Ingram Planetarium. The state-of-the-art planetarium features an 85-seat SciDome Sky Theater with high definition digital projection and surround-sound system. Families can catch thrilling and educational programs about space exploration and astronomy before wondering through the many interactive exhibits.

Planetarium

Waterfront Dining

The vibrant communities of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands are home to countless culinary hot spots serving up the tastiest coastal creations. Whether families are craving seafood, home-style dishes or international cuisine, there is a dining experience for everyone. Some of the best parts of a beach vacation are the views, and the Brunswick Islands boast beautiful waterfront dining spots with a family friendly atmosphere. There are many great options that offer incredible views, fresh seafood and a friendly atmosphere.

Ice Cream Shops

Everyone loves a sweet treat, and lucky for families the Brunswick Islands have numerous local ice cream shops that serve up smiles every day. Each island and town has several spectacular ice cream choices as unique and individual as the islands that house them. Say cheers to the season with the signature treat of summer.

 For even more family-friendly Labor Day travel ideas, be sure to visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

Enjoy Dinner with a View with Waterfront Dining in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Few scenes seem more signature of a beach vacation than a restaurant patio overlooking waves lapping the beach or the tranquil waters of the Intracoastal Waterway; and in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, fresh seafood with fantastic waterfront views is in no short supply. Each of our islands and towns are bursting with flavor and brimming with beautiful coastal views. The area boasts waterfront dining set along the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway and more, making for memorable meals for any getaway to the Brunswick Islands. With so many unique places to see and sample, discovering where to dine next will be an exciting culinary adventure. Top off your foodie bucket list with a visit to “The Seafood Capital of the World” in Calabash, and you’re in for a treat! Take your pick of the below waterfront dining options in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands.

Calabash seafoodThe Calabash seafood phenomenon began in the town of the same name, now home to several restaurants along the Calabash River. The folks at Waterfront Seafood Shack own their fishing and shrimp boats, and the fresh catches go straight to the seafood shack, ready to be prepared and eaten all in the same day. Visitors to this dining locale find themselves in the vacation mood with tiki-style décor and outdoor picnic tables for a true coastal dining experience by the water. Diners looking for scenic river views and an authentic Calabash seafood dining experience will find the perfect setting at Captain John’s Seafood HouseCaptain Nance’s Seafood, or Dockside Seafood House Restaurant. Visitors can also check out Calabash’s newest waterfront dining option, The Oyster Rock. Diners to The Oyster Rock can enjoy fresh seafood and scrumptious raw bar items with a scenic backdrop of the Calabash River.

Moving up the coast, Twin Lakes by the Sea in Sunset Beach boasts panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Take in the beautiful sunsets while you dine on fried, sautéed, grilled, broiled or blackened seafood. Chef Clayton Williams creates Calabash-style seafood with southern flare for guests to enjoy by the Intracoastal Waterway.

waterfront diningOn nearby Ocean Isle Beach, The Isles Restaurant & Tiki Bar sits along the ocean, serving fresh seafood in a family-friendly atmosphere. Enjoy a summer evening at The Isles’ oceanfront tiki bar. Over on the Intracoastal Waterway, Sharky’s Restaurant is Ocean Isle’s oldest restaurant and features 200 feet of boat docking for easy water access. The menu includes a variety of seafood, along with unique twists on other casual dining favorites. Next door on the Waterway, the Ocean Isle Fish Company Restaurant features a tiki bar on its upper deck where diners can enjoy expansive views (including boats bringing fresh seafood right to the dock) while feasting on coastal favorites. On the other side of the causeway, Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille overlooks the water with spectacular sunset views each evening. Menu items highlight fresh, local seafood, and guests can also get on island time at the restaurant’s raw oyster and tiki bars. On the mainland, The View at Brick Landing Plantation offers Intracoastal Waterway views from multiple patios and the spacious dining room. The restaurant’s seasonal menu is full of fresh seafood options and traditional dishes.

Toward the mainland, The Grillin’ Crab sits along the river on Shallotte’s Main Street. The restaurant’s covered waterfront deck is positioned perfectly for sunset views over the Shallotte River. Featuring Southern Coastal Fare, the menu showcases fresh seafood, along with prime cut steaks, as well as casual lunchtime options. On the Intracoastal Waterway and Shallotte River, the Inlet View Bar & Grill has been family owned and operated for nearly 40 years. Diners can savor fresh seafood with the shrimp on the menu coming straight from the family’s boat.

waterfront dining

Several restaurants sit along the Intracoastal Waterway in Holden Beach. Dock House Seafood and More offers an eclectic menu with unique items including a seafood pot pie and a mac-n-cheeseburger with an elevated view of the Waterway, including outdoor seating. Famous for their incredible shrimp burgers, Provision Company is a laid-back, open-air dining destination providing views of the boats passing along the Waterway.  Betty’s Waterfront Restaurant specializes in seafood including combo platters and items from the steamer. It’s menu favorites includes a Low Country Boil Pasta and shrimp & grits.

Back on the ocean, Island Way in Oak Island is a fine dining establishment with 18 large windows for guests to enjoy the coastal views. Perfecting steaks and seafood, the restaurant is ideal for celebrating a special occasion. On the other side of the island, the Fish House Restaurant offers fresh seafood and Intracoastal Waterway views. Just over the bridge to the mainland, The Dead End Saloon Fish Factory Grille is located at the South Harbour Marina on the Intracoastal Waterway. Bring the whole family to enjoy the dog-friendly patio, and the restaurant’s “fun” (rather than “fine”) dining and casual atmosphere. Also on the Marina, Joseph’s Italian Bistro serves award-winning cuisine with fantastic views of the Waterway. Try the fresh seafood options with the restaurant’s authentic Italian flavors.

waterfront dining

Head over to Southport for views of the Cape Fear River and Intracoastal Waterway as they meet the Atlantic Ocean. The Historic Yacht Basin is a picturesque waterside area with a host of eateries featuring scenic water views, many accessible by both land and water. The well-known Fishy Fishy Café has true vacation vibes with colorful décor, fun cocktails and delicious seafood small plates and entrees. Be sure to catch a sunset from the outdoor deck! The menu at Yacht Basin Eatery includes homemade comfort food and North Carolina beers, all to be savored overlooking the stunning waterfront views. Next door, The Provision Company of Southport is a no-frills seafood shack offering quality seafood with unobstructed water views. Sit on the covered patio for a delicious meal, and feel the waterside breeze.The Frying Pan offers yet another option for admiring a breathtaking waterfront view with a spectacular meal, including variations of classic seafood dishes with southern twists. Oliver’s on the Cape Fear, originally a ships chandler dating back to the 1700s, is now a fine dining restaurant with large windows facing the water, ideal for watching boats make their way up or down the river from the Atlantic. Sip on a seasonal cocktail at the restaurant’s outdoor patio just steps from the water.

Half the fun of vacation is discovering new dining spots to taste culinary creations and local flavors of the area.

To explore more dining options in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, please visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/dining.

Get Active During Your Beach Getaway To North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

kayaking in Brunswick Islands

Get Active Along the Coast at North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Who says beach getaways are just for lounging? Sun, sand and scenic ocean views are undoubtedly a well-deserved treat, but those looking for a little adventure on their next vacation will find it in no short supply at North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. While the Brunswick Islands offer 45 miles of scenic, sandy beaches just beckoning for you to plant a plush towel or beach chair, there are plenty of exciting ways to get up and get active on your next vacation.

Decompress and Destress

Treat yourself by treating your body with a beachside yoga session. Feel the tension and stress from home slowly slip away with every move and stretch. Many visitors come to the Brunswick Islands looking for some quality relaxation, and there are few activities better suited to test your fitness in a tranquil setting than a yoga session along one of our pristine beaches. Area instructors offer classes all summer long to ease your stress and keep you toned. Be sure to see if any classes are scheduled for when you are in town!

SUP NC's Brunswick Islands

Check Out What’s SUP

Check out “what’s SUP” during your stay in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. The smooth waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, creeks and island canals are perfect for stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Stop by one of the many local outfitters to rent a board and take to the peaceful waters for a breathtaking and active aquatic adventure. Visitors can even take their beachside yoga experience up a notch with a SUP yoga class. Carolina School of Surf offers SUP yoga classes for all skill levels from beginner to seasoned SUP pros.

Tour by Water

There are countless ways to get out and explore the beautiful North Carolina scenery and vibrant communities of the Brunswick Islands. Active beachgoers can take to the water to tour their coastal home away from home. With miles of salt mash creek and rivers as well as the Intercoastal Waterway, there are plenty of picturesque paths to explore. Individual kayak rentals and guided tours are available to give visitors the equipment and expertise they need to enjoy a fun-filled day on the water. From nature watching to exploring and sunsets to stargazing, guided tours are available to help visitors capture the best of the Brunswick Islands.

Old Baldy and Oak Island Lighthouse

Take a Climb  

For many, lighthouses evoke images of serene and magical coastal settings. While maritime magic and serenity perfectly describe the Brunswick Island lighthouses, journeys to the top are not as whimsical. To reach the top of Old Baldy, North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse located on Bald Head Island, visitors must climb 108 steps but at the top one is rewarded with stunning views of the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean. Across the way on Caswell Beach is the 153-foot Oak Island Lighthouse, the last lighthouse built in the state. The top of the 15-story lighthouse can only be reached through a series of ship’s ladders. While many find the climb a challenge, visitors agree that the spectacular views are worth every step.

For more information on attractions, activities and ways to stay active at North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, please visit www.NCBrunswick.com.