Outer Banks Fishing License Information

If you're looking to fish while visiting the Outer Banks, a Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL). is required. There are several different types of licenses, places to obtain them, and exemptions to this requirement (if you qualify). 

Here is a complete list of all North Carolina fishing license types and where to purchase them in the Outer Banks.

Fishing License Types
License TypeResidentNon-Resident
Short-Term Licenses

Short-term licenses are valid for the period specified on the license.

Inland Fishing­ 10-Day: Statewide inland fishing during the 10-day period specified on the license. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters.
$9
$23

Coastal Recreational Fishing 10-Day: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters during the 10-day period specified on the license. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters.
$6
$11
Annual Licenses

Unless otherwise specified, annual licenses are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
State Inland Fishing: Statewide inland fishing during a license term. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters.
$25
$45
Coastal Recreational Fishing: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters during a license term. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters.
$16
$32
Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing: Statewide inland and coastal recreational fishing for residents during a license term. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters.
$41
N/A
Subsistence Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing License Waiver: Statewide inland and coastal recreational fishing for residents who receive Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Work First Family Assistance through the county Department of Social Services. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands and fishing in joint waters. License Waiver must be obtained through the county Department of Social Services.
FREE
N/A
Special Device (inland fishing): Authorizes the taking of nongame fishes from inland waters (does not include joint and coastal waters) during designated seasons with seines, cast nets, gill nets, dip nets, bow nets, reels, gigs, spear guns, baskets, fish pots, eel pots, traps, and hand-crank electrofishers where authorized by local law. Includes the sale of these nongame fishes. Taking of nongame fishes with archery equipment is authorized under any of the licenses providing hunting or inland fishing privileges. Certain special devices may be used to take nongame fishes for personal use (bait or personal consumption) using any valid license that provides inland fishing privileges. Authorizes the taking of nongame fishes from inland waters (does not include joint and coastal waters) during designated seasons with seines, cast nets, gill nets, dip nets, bow nets, reels, gigs, spear guns, baskets, fish pots, eel pots, traps, and hand-crank electrofishers where authorized by local law. Includes the sale of these nongame fishes. Taking of nongame fishes with archery equipment is authorized under any of the licenses providing hunting or inland fishing privileges. Certain special devices may be used to take nongame fishes for personal use (bait or personal consumption) using any valid license that provides inland fishing privileges.
$80
$530
Lifetime Licenses

Comprehensive Inland Fishing: Statewide inland fishing. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters.
$265
N/A
Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing: Statewide inland and coastal recreational fishing. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters.
$477


N/A
Coastal Recreational Fishing: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters.


- Adult (ages 12 & older)$265
$530
- Youth (ages 1–11)
$159
$159
- Infant (under age 1)
$106
$106
- Senior
$16
N/A
Disabled Veteran Inland Fishing: Statewide inland fishing. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters.
$11
N/A
Disabled Veteran Coastal Recreational Fishing: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters.
$11
N/A
Totally Disabled Inland Fishing: Statewide inland fishing. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters.
$11
N/A
Totally Disabled Coastal Recreational Fishing: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters.
$11
N/A
Legally Blind Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing: Statewide fishing in all public waters for residents who have been certified by the Department of Health and Human Services as being legally blind. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters and fishing in trout waters on game lands.
FREE
N/A
Adult Care Home Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing: Statewide fishing in all public waters for residents of an adult care home. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters and fishing in trout waters on game lands. License valid during time of residency at adult care facility.
FREE
N/A


License Exemptions
  • Children under age 16 are exempt from the requirement of any fishing license and trout privilege license.
  • The game lands license is not required to fish in any waters on game lands or Wildlife Conservation Areas.
  • An inland fishing license is not required to fish in a private pond. 
  • July 4th is declared “Free Fishing Day,” and a fishing license and trout privilege license are not required in any public waters, including coastal waters, on this date.
  • A resident or nonresident of this State who served as a member of the Armed Forces and who separated under honorable conditions is exempt from the Mountain Heritage Trout fishing license requirements while fishing in waters designated by the Wildlife Resources Commission as Mountain Heritage Trout waters. In order to qualify the individual shall have valid documentation of their service on his or her person at all times during the fishing activity.
  • Residents with a valid Unified Subsistence Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing License Waiver are exempt from the requirement of a basic inland (does not include trout fishing) and coastal recreational fishing license.
Fishing licenses may be purchased online directly from Go Outdoors North Carolina!. calling (833) 950-0575 Monday thru Friday between 8 am and 5 pm, or from an approved Wildlife Service Agent. 


Some Agents can only sell licenses OR vessel registrations. Others can sell BOTH licenses and vessel registrations. Please note the Outlet Type below. Service Agents are presented for Dare, Currituck and Hyde Counties and are subject to change. 


Blanket (For-Hire) Fishing Licenses

A for-hire license is required to take paying passengers fishing in coastal waters. Blanket licenses cover the individual licensing requirements of the paying passengers. The non-blanket vessel license requires each individual passenger to obtain their own CRFL. The U.S. Coast Guard requires guides and captains operating for-hire vessels to comply with their licensing requirements.

If you're planning on chartering a boat to fish while vacationing on the Outer Banks, make sure to ask if they have a blanket fishing license, or if you will need to purchase your own.

Currituck County
Outlet Type
Name
Address
License and Vessel Agent
Currituck Sports Inc.
4306 Caratoke Hwy
Barco, NC 27917
(252) 453-2480
License Agent
Innerbanks at Knotts Island
395 Knotts Island Rd
Knotts Island, NC 27950
(252) 429-3305
License Agent
OBX Bait and Tackle
815 Ocean Trl, Suite B
Corolla, NC 27927
(252) 453-3339
License and Vessel Agent
Sur-Pak
257 Caratoke Hwy, Suite D & E
Moyock, NC 27958
(252) 232-9296

Dare County
Outlet Type
Name
Address
License Agent
TW's Bait & Tackle
3864 N Croatan Hwy
Kitty Hawk, NC 29749
(252) 453-3339
License Agent
Walmart
5400 N Croatan Hwy Suite 100
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
(252) 261-6011
License Agent
Stop 'N' Shop
100 S VA Dare Trl
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 441-6105
License and Vessel Agent
Bill's Marine
1648 Colington Rd
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 982-6595
License Agent
TW's Bait & Tackle
2230 S Croatan Hwy
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-4807
License Agent
Ocean's East Bait & Tackle
7405 S Croatan Hwy
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-7413
License Agent
Fishing Unlimited7665 S VA Dare Trl
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 423-0157
License Agent
Jennette's Pier7223 S VA Dare Trl
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 255-1501
License Agent
Hatteras Jack II, Inc
23902 HWY 12
Rodanthe, NC 27968
(252) 987-2428
License Agent
The Fishin' Hole
27204 Sand St
Salvo, NC 27972
(252) 987-2351
License and Vessel Agent
Frank & Fran's Fisherman Friend40210 Hwy 12
Avon, NC 27915
(252) 995-4171
License Agent
Dillon's Corner
46792 Hwy 12
Buxton, NC 27920
(252) 995-5083
License Agent
Red Drum Tackle Shop46948 Hwy 12
Buxton, NC 27920
(252) 995-5414
License Agent
Frisco Shopping Center
53610 Hwy 12
Frisco, NC 27936
(252) 995-5366
License Agent
Teachs Lair Marina
58646 Hwy 12
Hatteras, NC 27943
(252) 986-2460
License Agent
Village Marina, LLC
57980 Hwy 12
Hatteras, NC 27943
(252) 986252Hwy 122


Hyde County
Outlet Type
Name
Address
License and Vessel Agent
R.S. Spencer, Inc.
34910 US Hwy 264
Engelhard, NC 27824
(252) 925-9281
License and Vessel Agent
Swan Quarter Supply & Tackle
13221 US 264
Swan Quarter, NC 27885
(252) 926-7000


Source: Go Outdoors North Carolina! and NC Dept. of Environmental Quality April 24, 2024
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