Probably a dumb question but a friend wants to go that doesn't have a license or the money for one, do you need one to fish off the bank at a public river in NC?
Yes Damien unless he is handicapped or under 16. I will move this thread to the North Carolina freshwater forum - take a look at the lakes and the stickies at the top. All your questions can be answered with a little research here. Especially look at the North Carolina Division of natural resources for license info, size and bag limits.
Its not so dumb a question - after a bit of looking I also see that they have this.
Unified Subsistence Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing License Waiver:
Statewide basic 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 joint waters. It does not include fishing in designated Public Mountain Trout Waters and fishing in trout waters on game lands. License Waiver can be obtained through the County Department of Social Services upon request.