The island is a good place for both inshore, pier, surf and deep water sport fishing. Among the local fish to catch are speckled trout, redfish, flounder, tuna, blue marlin and mackerel. A North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License is required to engage in these activities, and it can be obtained for a small fee.
Scenic and mostly flat, Emerald Island is a good place to take a cruiser-style bicycle out for a spin. These are available for rent at a number of local bike and tourist shops. Ocean Drive and the dedicated bike paths are perfect for a nice, relaxing trip.
Swimming and Surfing
The tides and surf around Emerald Island can be quite rough, so much so that the area around that part of the island, called "The Point," should not be swum at all. However, most of the island's other beaches are suitable for boogie boarding and body surfing.
Sea kayaks for rent, group tours and kayaking classes are all available just across the inshore waterways and on the mainland. These trips include the waters off Emerald Island, plus the surrounding barrier island area, covering creeks, tidal marshes, inshore waterways and open sea.
Barrier Island Kayaks
160 Cedar Point Blvd.
Swansboro, NC 28584
There are a handful of scuba diving operations exploring the depths off Emerald Island. The local waters are the habitat of the sand tiger shark, a big and impressive-looking shark that is nonaggressive and harmless to humans. The North Carolina coastline, including the stretch within a diving day trip's distance of Emerald Island, has been nicknamed "The Graveyard of the Atlantic" for the sheer number of wrecks there. These include gunboats, submarines, fishing boats, freighters and tankers. Dives are offered in a range of difficulty from open water to technical diving.