New Bern NC is a beacon to all power boaters, sailors, kayakers, and sports fishermen.
The mighty Neuse River has miles of sandy beaches, clearly marked channels, and provides easy access via the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (or ICW to those in the know) and Pamlico Sound out to the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the shoreline forms a boundary of the vast Croatan Forest and there are public recreation areas with swimming and picnic facilities near the Minnesott Ferry terminal and at Flanners Beach south of New Bern.
A clearly marked channel up the Neuse from the ICW will bring you into historic New Bern. The natural channel runs between 8' and 12' with little noticeable tidal effect. A strong easterly wind will raise the level, while a sustained westerly breeze (25 knots) can lower this level by as much as two feet. Also note the sapling net stakes dotting the river, strung with nets in the early spring and late fall. The Neuse is a very wide river, inviting day or night sailing in addition to motor cruising and water skiing.
Check the local bait stores for info, they will tell you what is running, what they're biting, and the owner might just close up the store and go with you if business is slow.
Many boat rentals for singles or crowds are available. Boat rentals in New Bern are available as well if you want to cruise...or pull up some dinner.