North Carolina Coast Outdoors

On Water
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Wreck Diving

There are numerous wrecks to explore off the North Carolina coast, and-lucky you-they all lie beneath clear, warm, Gulf Stream waters. With 100-foot visibility and 80-degree temperatures in the water, it's no wonder that Scuba Magazine named North Carolina the best wreck-diving destination in North America. The hazardous currents, shoals, and storms have sent about six hundred ships to a watery grave. Check out the U-352, a German U-boat torpedoed in 1942, the World-War-II tanker Papoose, or a WWI-era wreck, the Schurz, all accessible from Morehead City.FishingWhat's your fishing fancy? Fresh, brackish, or saltwater-you'll find good angling action here. Known as the"Billfish Capital of the World", the North Carolina coast is a hot spot for blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish; cast your line from late spring to early fall. All along the shoreline you will find plenty of tremendous fishing with blues, flounder, cobia, red drum, and many other species of coastal fish available. Indeed, you might get lucky and land something larger than the 745-pound speckled trout that was landed near Beaufort. Fresh- and brackish-water fishermen will find largemouth bass, white and yellow perch, and even some catfish ready to take the bait.


Want to get away from it all and really get a taste of the beautiful North Carolina coast at the same time? Whether you'd rather ride the waves in a sea kayak or glide through the salt marshes in a canoe, paddling is a great way to go. Ocean explorers can keep an eye out for dolphin pods as they explore the nooks and crannies of tiny, uninhabited islands. Take a kayak tour of Nags Head Woods and paddle past blue herons, turtles, lizards and 500-year-old trees that dwell in this rare maritime forest. Or try a kayak from Morehead City or Beaufort and explore islands where wild horses have roamed for centuries.

More Sea Kayaking from Beaufort

In the Water

Would you rather be one with the waves or looking down on the Atlantic from high above? From body surfing to parasailing, you'll find great water sports all along the coast. The Outer Banks is known as the"Wind Surfing Capital of the East Coast". The steady winds, temperate weather, and shallow, warm water draw visitors almost year-round. Windsurfing is also popular in the Basin, a partially protected body of water at the south end of Pleasure Island near Wilmington. A 3.3-mile breakwater known as the Rocks encloses the Basin, which provides wind and water conditions, as well as limited boat traffic. More advanced windsurfers might try Bank's Channel on the south side of Wrightsville Beach.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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