Belhaven is located on Pantego Creek just off the Pungo River portion of the ICW at 35.5402° N, 76.6230° W. Safe harbor may be found at five full service marinas, and free docking is available at Cooperage landing on Pantego Creek. For further details see “Outdoor Links” below.
There are three North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission boat launch ramps within 20 miles of Belhaven that provide access to the upper and lower Pungo River, Pamlico Sound, and the myriad tributary creeks. Free of charge and open to the public, the ramps are located at Wright’s Creek, Rose Bay, and in Belhaven.
Kayaks can be rented at Dowry Creek Marina, located on paddler-friendly Upper Dowry Creek. and Belhaven Marina, located on Pantego Creek which is surrounded and protected by vast pristine wetlands. Dinah’s Landing at Goose Creek State Park also offers a quality paddling stream open to the public.
The Pungo River is a sub-estuary of the Pamlico Sound estuarine system, hemmed in from the Atlantic Ocean by the Outer Banks.
Its temperate latitude places it in the northern range of many southern species, and in the southern range of several northern species. Combined with a range of brackish salinity the location and seasonal temperatures allow the system to support a broad diversity of fisheries within short distances of each other.
Whether fishing from the bank for White Perch with a cane pole or stalking Giant Redfish and Tarpon from a boat, the Belhaven area has fishing choices for every angler. Other popular species include Speckled Trout, Southern Flounder, Striped Bass, and Spanish Mackerel.
Pungo Charters is among the guide services offered in the region. Public fishing opportunities are available at the Cooperage Landing on Pantego Creek pier, the Town Dock at Wynn’s Gut, the foot of the Route 99 bridge on the southbound side, and at Bell Island Pier in Swan Quarter National Wildlife Refuge. Essential tackle may be purchased at Riddick and Windley Ace Hardware and Baker Building Supply.
The Pungo River and its numerous tributary creeks are home to a healthy population of Blue Crabs.
Several of Belhaven’s cottage and room rentals feature private piers and public crabbing locations include Cooperage Landing on Pantego Creek pier, and at Bell Island Pier in Swan Quarter National Wildlife Refuge.
Line and nets can be purchased at Riddick and Windley Ace Hardware and Baker Building Supply. Bait, (chicken necks, and pieces) are available at Food Lion in Belhaven. Machapunga Ecotours offers a charter specifically dedicated to learning the blue crab life cycle and crabbing.