Gaston County Fish Camps

  • Photography by Emily Chaplin

What makes these fish camps different from regular seafood restaurants. We'll tell you, and share 13 fish camps you shouldn't miss.

Fried catfish at Twin Tops.

The county has played host to numerous fish camps and seafood restaurants over the years. So what separates a makes a fish camp from a regular seafood restaurant?

A camp is usually family-owned, often more modest in appearance, and almost always serves up larger dishes than a seafood restaurant, explains Walter Israel, director of Gaston County Travel & Tourism.

But there is one test that a restaurant has to pass above all others: “A fish camp’s old standby has been fried, fried, and fried,” he says.

For fresh fried fish and hushpuppies, checkout these Gaston County fish camps:

AmberJack Seafood & Steaks
4235 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC 28056
(704) 824-5502
Hours: Monday, closed; Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Saturday, 3-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Black’s Bluewater Seafood & Grill
1118 S. Main Street
Mount Holly, NC 28120
(704) 827-1230
Hours: Monday-Tuesday, closed; Wednesday-Thursday and Saturday, 7 a.m.-11 a.m., 4-9 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Captain’s Cap (3 locations)
670 Park St
Belmont, NC 28012
(704) 825-4103
Opened in 1994
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3:30-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Closed

1218 N. Highway 16
Denver, NC 28037
(704) 483-2121
Opened in 2001
Hours: Sunday-Monday, closed; Tuesday-Thursday, 3:30-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 3:30-9:30 p.m.

3140 Linwood Rd
Gastonia, NC 28052
(704) 865-7433
Opened in 1981
Hours: Monday, Closed; Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 4-9 p.m.; Friday, 4-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3:30-9:30 p.m.

Catfish Cove
1401 Armstrong Ford Road
Belmont, NC 28012
(704) 825-3332
Opened in 1989
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 4-9 p.m.; Friday, 4-10 p.m.; Saturday 3-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Firehouse Fish-N-Fixins
1206 Linwood Rd
Gastonia, NC 28052
(704) 854-3474
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Closed

Lineberger’s Fish Camp
1101 Union Road
Gastonia, NC 28056
(704) 396-6274
Open 1948-1998, re-opened in 2012
Hours: Monday-Tuesday, 4-9 p.m.; Wednesday, Closed; Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 4-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Long Creek Fish Fry
1425 Lower Dallas Highway
Dallas, NC 28034
(704) 922-3998
Opened in 1948
Hours: Monday-Tuesday, Closed; Wednesday, 1:30-9 p.m.; Thursday, noon-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

North Star Seafood
3150 Dallas High Shoals Rd.
Dallas, NC 28034
(704) 922-7715
Opened in 1985
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Closed

Sharkey’s Place
141 W. Main Avenue
Gastonia, NC 28052
(704) 867-7427
Opened in 2012
Hours (including music after 10 p.m. and bar): Sunday-Monday, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, 3 p.m.-2 a.m.; Opens early for lunch: Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.; Saturday 12 p.m.

Surf & Turf Lodge
808 N. 14th St.
Bessemer City, NC 28016
(704) 629-0561
Opened 2006
Hours: Monday-Tuesday, Closed; Wednesday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Twin Top Fish Camp
4574 South New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC 28056
(704) 825-2490
Opened in 1968
Hours: Sunday-Monday, Closed; Tuesday-Wednesday, 4-9 p.m.; Thursday, 4-9:30 p.m.; Friday 4-10 p.m.; Saturday, 3-10 p.m.

Hours are subject to change. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to confirm a restaurant is open.

This list was compiled by Jonathan Black, and editorial intern at Our State during the summer of 2013.

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30 Responses to Gaston County Fish Camps

  1. Wayne says:

    Sunny Mountain Fish Camp in Mill Spring has some great food. It’s small, family run, and very reasonably priced. Very Nice. Staff is great too!

  2. Bette Laursen says:

    Are there fish camps nearer Raleigh? Visitors from San Francisco want to eat at a fish camp but we live in Oxford….Gastonia is a long way!

  3. Pingback: Seafood Sightings: August 29, 2013 | Mariner's Menu

  4. Eric says:

    I most frequent North Star Seafood in Dallas, they have a great lunch special too. I’ve also had great meals at both Capt. Cap’s. I’m very finicky when it comes to tarter sauce! I love the stuff. My favorite is the more runny type. Long Creek may still have this mastered. I haven’t been there in a while, but they may still serve it that way. Big turn off is when a camp charges for extra servings of tarter sauce. I never go back when that happens. Give me the squeeze bottle!!!

  5. Jeannie says:

    Catfish Cove! Delicious food and the owner was the cook for the original Lineberger’s Fish Fry for years. Raymond Stowe is the BEST when it comes to knowing how to cook for a Fish Fry.

  6. Keith says:

    Hi everyone my name is Keith and I grew up in Belmont I’ve have visited ever fish camp in gaston county twin tops, long creek, captains cap, linebergers, amberjacks, riverside, riverview,
    firehouse, and grahams which is was really good. since the late 50s and their has been times at every location that something wasn’t up to my standard. My favorites are,
    #2 Riverside clean place to eat with good fried fillet of flounder.
    #3 Captains Cap is really good all around, but they seem get things wrong to often.
    #4 Where Twin Top use to be #1 things just have not been the same for some time now.
    #5 Well Amber Jacks is big on the decorating building really nice but really don’t care for the food.
    #1 Would be Lineberger’s I eat there ever Friday night the place is nice & clean the staff are great and my opinion the fish and food may be some what better than the original Linebergers.
    Love the scallops & Jumbo shrimp.

    • Linda says:

      No more Lineberger’s …..Amber Jack is at this location now. Can’t go wrong with Amber Jack good seafood (try whole broiled flounder), all u can eat crab legs on Tuesdays and the Ribeye and NY strip steaks are the best!!!

  7. Gastonia Native says:

    As a born and bred Gaston County native, I can tell you a few things about the fish camps.

    1. Go as early as possible. The grease tends to get a little old by the end of the day.
    2. Twin Tops is still the best. Catfish Cove is right there with them. Lineberger’s, well I’ve heard it’s good but I havent been back to try them out.
    3. Green Shrimp is just popcorn shrimp.

  8. wanda says:

    Loved this article. I grew up on Gaston County where eating at the fish camp was family tradition for almost everyone. Linebergers’s was our family favorite along with TwinTops. I didn’t realize there were so many.

  9. Doug says:

    The best time to eat at fish camps is during the week. On weekends they all tend to fry up food in advance of the orders. Riverside has outstanding chicken tenders!

    Green shrimp are medium size between calabash (small) and large. They are my favorite and especially good if you get ‘em salt and peppered.

  10. danielle says:

    I noticed some of the menus offer green shrimp. What exactly is that?

  11. Cris says:

    Catfish Cove and Captain’s Cap are the best in the county!! Also, Riverside between Dallas and Stanley is another good one not on the list – love Riverside’s stuffed flounder!

  12. Betty Williams says:

    well they all used to be good …last t few times we went to TWINTOPS it was horrible we (8 of us) left most of the food on our plates it was so bad the service was bad too a shame as it used to be tops as we went there for 30 yrs or more I am going to go to Long Creek in Dallas next we live in Cabarrus County nothing good here

  13. Doug says:

    If you are looking for an authentic fish camp experience my recommendations would be Twin Tops and Catfish Cove in Belmont and Long Creek in Dallas. One not on the list Dotson’s Fish Fry on Henry Street in Mt Holly. Lineberger’s is the most storied name for fish camps in Gaston County, but the Lineberger’s on Union Road is not the original. They claim to use the same recipes as Luther & Stella Lineberger did when they opened in the 50’s, but after having eaten there several times I think it falls short. The food is still good, but it’s not exactly like the original. Captain’s Cap and Amber Jack – located at the original Lineberger’s location – are two of the better choices in a more modern day seafood restaurant surrounding.

    • Linda says:

      Lineberger’s closed down and it is now Amber Jack which has wonderful seafood and steaks….LOVE the ribeyes and NY strips and the all u can eat (after 4pm) crablegs on Tuesdays…Favorite is Broiled WHOLE flounder!!!

  14. Robert says:

    How about some comments on which ones are the best. Thanks.

  15. Bobby says:

    Born/raised in Gastonia. Now live on the Coast. Nothing compares with the Fish Camps of Gaston County. Delicious!

  16. Mike McGowan says:

    What about The Riverview Inn ?

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