Striper Fishing North Carolina 101, 7 Striped Bass Spots

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North Carolina situated along the eastern coast of the United States, has rightfully earned its reputation as a premier destination for striped bass fishing enthusiasts. With its diverse array of fishing locations, this state presents a plethora of opportunities to reel a striper. Whether you prefer coastal expeditions or inland adventures, North Carolina has a perfect spot for you. This article is a full guide for striper fishing in north Carolina.

Along the state’s scenic coast, numerous renowned striped bass fishing spots waiting for eager anglers. One such location is the Roanoke River, where avid fishermen can catch these mighty creatures. The Roanoke River is known for its abundance of stripers during the spawning season. Making it an ideal choice for spring and early summer fishing trips.

For those who prefer inland adventures, North Carolina’s lakes offer an exceptional alternative for striped bass fishing. Among the top choices is Lake Gaston, a sprawling reservoir located in the northeastern part of the state. This lake is renowned for its sizable striped bass population and presents anglers with opportunities for both trophy-sized catches and exciting angling experiences.

Timing plays a crucial role in ensuring a successful striped bass fishing expedition in North Carolina. Along the coast, the prime period typically spans from spring to fall when the fish migrate to these waters for spawning. The abundant food sources and favorable conditions during these months entice striped bass to gather in large numbers, offering anglers an opportunity to land impressive catches.

To maximize your chances of a successful catch, employing the right fishing method is crucial. North Carolina offers a variety of techniques that anglers can employ to lure striped bass. Trolling, a popular method, involves trailing lures behind a moving boat to entice the fish.

Striper Fishing Spots North Carolina

When it comes to striper fishing in North Carolina, anglers are spoiled for choice with a plethora of exceptional fishing spots. Here, we present a list of some of the best striper fishing locations in the state:

Roanoke River

The Roanoke River is an iconic striper fishing spot, particularly during the spring spawning run. Anglers flock to this picturesque river to take advantage of the abundant striper population. Whether you prefer trolling, casting, or jigging, the Roanoke River provides a variety of fishing opportunities to suit every angler’s preference.

Outer Banks Striped Bass

The Outer Banks, a captivating chain of barrier islands, offers prime striper fishing opportunities in the fall. This region provides a diverse range of inshore and offshore fishing options, ensuring that anglers can tailor their experience to their specific desires. Trolling, casting, and jigging are popular techniques employed by fishermen to entice the stripers that frequent these waters.

Pamlico Sound NC

The Pamlico Sound, a vast and shallow body of water, boasts a thriving striper population that beckons anglers seeking an unforgettable fishing adventure. This expansive sound presents numerous fishing opportunities, including trolling, casting, and jigging. As you cast your line across the sound’s surface, be prepared for the exhilaration that comes with hooking a powerful striper emerging from the depths.

Lake Gaston

Nestled in the northeastern part of North Carolina, Lake Gaston stands out as a premier inland striper fishing destination. With its abundant population of striped bass, this tranquil lake offers anglers a serene setting to cast their lines and reel in these prized fish. Whether you choose to troll along the lake’s vast surface or cast near submerged structures, Lake Gaston guarantees a thrilling fishing experience.

Lake Norman Striper Fishing

Lake Norman, known for its stunning beauty and diverse underwater structures, is another remarkable spot for striper fishing in North Carolina. This expansive lake, encompassed by rolling hills and captivating landscapes, serves as a haven for both anglers and striped bass. Its clear waters create an ideal environment for stripers to thrive, while providing anglers with various opportunities to employ techniques such as trolling, casting, and jigging.

Striper Fishing Gear

Using the right gear for striper fishing in North Carolina is crucial for effectively targeting and handling these powerful fish, ensuring a higher chance of success and minimizing the risk of equipment failure or injury.


The choice of rod depends on the size of the fish targeted and the fishing technique employed. For smaller stripers, a lighter rod like a medium-light or light action rod is suitable, while larger stripers require a heavier rod such as a medium-heavy or heavy action rod. Some recommended rods for striped bass fishing in North Carolina include the Shimano Stradic CI4+, St. Croix Legend Elite, and G. Loomis IMX-PRO.


Matching the reel to the targeted fish size and fishing style is crucial. Smaller stripers can be handled with reels from the 2500 or 3000 series, while larger stripers require more robust reels from the 4000 or 5000 series. Popular reel options for striped bass fishing in North Carolina include the Shimano Stella, Daiwa BG, and Penn Spinfisher V.


Choosing the right fishing line is essential for successful striper fishing. Lighter lines, such as 12- or 15-pound test, are suitable for smaller stripers, while heavier lines like 20- or 25-pound test are necessary for larger fish. Some recommended lines for striped bass fishing in North Carolina include PowerPro braid, Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon, and Suffix 832 Performance Monofilament.

By using the appropriate rods, reels, and lines, anglers can optimize their chances of landing striped bass in North Carolina’s abundant waters. It is important to consider the target fish size, fishing technique, and the specific gear characteristics to ensure a successful and enjoyable fishing excursion.

Best Time Striper Fishing North Carolina

The best time for striper fishing in North Carolina can vary depending on the location and the behavior of the fish. Understanding the seasonal patterns and movements of striped bass is key to planning a successful fishing trip. Here is a detailed overview of the best times to fish for striped bass in NC.

Lake James, another great fishing spot in NC.


Spring is a prime season for striper fishing in North Carolina, particularly along the coast. As the weather warms up, striped bass begin their annual spawning migration from the ocean to the rivers. During this time, rivers like the Roanoke River become hotspots for striper fishing. Anglers can use various techniques, including trolling, casting, and jigging, to target the migrating fish. The spring months offer excellent opportunities to catch both quantity and quality stripers.


Summer can be a challenging time for striper fishing in North Carolina. As water temperatures rise, stripers tend to move into deeper, cooler waters. Anglers can still find success by focusing on deeper channels, around structure, or near thermoclines where cooler water is present. Trolling with deep-diving plugs or using live bait can be effective during this time. Additionally, early morning or late evening fishing trips can increase the chances of hooking a striper during the summer months.

Fall for Stripers in NC

Fall is another fantastic season for striper fishing in North Carolina. As the water cools down, striped bass become more active and start feeding heavily in preparation for winter. Along the coast, the Outer Banks region is known for productive fall striper fishing. Anglers can target stripers as they migrate southward, offering opportunities for both inshore and offshore fishing. Trolling, casting, and jigging are effective techniques during this time. The fall season often yields larger stripers, making it a favorite time for many anglers.

Winter Striped Bass Fishing

Winter can be a challenging but rewarding time for striper fishing in North Carolina. Stripers move into deeper waters and congregate around thermal refuges, such as power plant outflows or deep holes in rivers and lakes. Anglers who brave the colder temperatures and target these areas can find success. Vertical jigging and live bait presentations are popular techniques for winter striper fishing. Patience and persistence are key during the winter months, but the reward can be landing trophy-sized stripers.

Here are the regulations for striped bass in north Carolina

Wrap Up

In conclusion, North Carolina offers exceptional opportunities for striper fishing, with a diverse range of locations and seasons to explore. Whether you prefer the coastal waters, rivers, or inland lakes, there is something for every angler’s preference and skill level. By understanding the behavior and migration patterns of striped bass, you can plan your fishing trips accordingly to maximize your chances of success.

From the exhilarating spring spawning run along the Roanoke River to the productive fall fishing in the Outer Banks, each season presents unique opportunities to target striped bass. Adapting your techniques and gear to the prevailing conditions, such as using lighter tackle for smaller stripers or heavier gear for larger specimens, will help you effectively target and handle these powerful fish.

While each season has its challenges, they also bring rewards. Whether it’s the thrill of landing a trophy-sized striper or the serenity of fishing in peaceful winter waters, the pursuit of stripers in North Carolina is a rewarding experience for anglers of all levels of expertise.

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