When it comes to fishing in North Carolina, many types of fishing may come to mind, but did you know that this state has a killer billfish fishery? It sure does. This is due to the position of the coastline in relation to the Gulf Stream and the continental shelf. While this does bring the ingredients together for an overall epic offshore fishery, the Marlin fishing is what we want to talk about today. 

White Marlin in North Carolina

Beautiful white marlin real billfish sport fishing

White Marlin are the smaller of the two marlin species caught offshore in North Carolina. What these guys lack in size, they make up for in pure adrenaline pumping fun.

Let me explain:

White Marlin have an average weight of 50-100lbs. Now, don’t get me wrong a 50lb fish is nothing to sneeze at, so when we call these “small” it is only n relation to the Blue Marlin (which we will talk about next). What is really cool about these guys is that they hunt in packs. With this, it is not uncommon to have several baits being hit at the same time. Some charter fleets even report having caught around 200 in a give day.

Another cool aspect to fishing White Marlin is that it is actually performed on lighter tackle (again by “lighter” we aren’t talking a crappie rod, only in comparison to Blue Marlin gear). The rigging itself needs to be put together by an experienced White Marlin angler. Though aggressive, these guys will not hit just any old presentation. So, with a properly presented bait on a light action rod, you can totally expect to get into one of the greatest offshore fights you can have while fishing. But speaking of expectations, you can also expect to get a handful of hits before an actual hookup occurs.

Finally, the beauty of it all. White Marlin will put on an aerial display while hooked up. We mean, “awe inspiring acrobatics” to put it more plainly. These fish are beautiful to look at boat side (see above image). I say “boat side” because most fishery responsible anglers will release White Marlin catches in order for them to be caught again another day.

Again, due to the Gulf Stream and the Continental Shelf, but also heavy bottom structure, White Marlin fishing in NC can be good all year, with peaks in August-Sept.

NC Blue Marlin Fishing

Blue Marlin

Blue Marlin, this – this is the gold crown for many offshore anglers worldwide. With sizes reaching 1000lbs, “break your arms” strength, and decidedly harder to hook up with than Whites, this fish is sought after by many fishing adventure junkies.

In North Carolina, Blue Marlin are in near the same boat as White’s as far as availability and peak seasons. Where they differ in regards to fishing is that these are not pack fish, they are harder to hook up with, and namely – you must be specifically targeting them to get one hooked up. What this can mean is a slow day of fishing, with massive spreads loaded with teasers and big baits designated solely for this ocean going King. Whether it takes hours or days, all that prep will soon be forgotten once a hookup occurs. Your mind will race, your heart will pound, you might scream a little, and your drag will smoke.

In the end, once you get a Blue Marlin on, you will remember that fish for the rest of your life. So what is your best bet for hooking up with a Marlin in North Carolina? We only have one answer – Instigator Sportfishing. Captain Josh Wentling and the crew at Instigator have the experience and the equipment to get you on one of these bucket list fish. Located in Virginia Beach, these guys are right in the heat of things. They have an awesome boat, a custom built 57′ Carolina sport fishing boat with twin diesels – boasting both power and speed. I will list their contact info below, and I hope you get your NC Marlin fishing mission accomplished. Tight Lines!

Instigator Sportfishing


Website: http://instigatorsportfishingcharters.com/

Phone: 757-404-1226

Charter info here