The Outer Banks is a sport fisherman’s paradise. The sheer quantity of angling opportunities makes our waters some of the best in the world. Surf and pier fishing, brackish, fly and sound fishing, inshore and offshore charter fishing – you’ll find an unparalleled array of catch on the Outer Banks. Often called “The Billfish Capital of the World," the International Game Fish Association lists over 90 world records for fish caught on the Outer Banks.
Anglers say there’s no better way to relax than fishing. We say there’s no better place to fish than the Outer Banks. So grab your rods and reels and check out our seven recommendation for those looking to land the perfect catch:
DAY 1:PIER FISHING AT AVALON PIER
The Avalon Fishing Pier was built in 1958 and stretches 696 feet out over the ocean. Bait and rod rentals are available at the pier, which is open from 5:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.during the summer. Admission is $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for kids 12 and under. Daily rate is good the entire day. A 3-day pass is $33.00 while a week pass is $69.00. Season passes are also available for $300.00..
Avalon Fishing Pier
2111 N. Virginia Dare Tr. (Milepost 6)
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
DAY 2: FISHING AT CAPE POINT ON HATTERAS ISLAND
One of the most popular and unique fishing areas on the entire Outer Banks is Cape Point on Hatteras Island - part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Often referred to as "the point" due to its literal geographic shape, Cape Point is the location in Buxton where the northern part of Hatteras Island meets the southern part of Hatteras Island at a bend, or a point. This unique land shape causes interesting shoals and tides and makes for fantastic fishing. This area is usually open to ORVs (off-road vehicles) depending on the season and nearby bird or turtle nests. Driving on the beach on the national Seashore requires a paid permit and watching a safety video. Click here for more information on driving on Hatteras Island. If the beach at Cape Point is open and you have your permit, the drive down to Buxton is well worth the trip. Nowhere else on the beach will you experience such a unique landscape while also having a prime opportunity to reel in the catch of a lifetime!
DAY 3: SURF FISHING
For the surfcaster, there are more than 100 miles of accessible beach for surf fishing. There are a variety of fish species available at different times throughout the year so your catch may depend on the season but you are always guaranteed a good time. Surf fishing is a unique experience in that you have to learn how to distinguish between the pull of a catch and the pull of the waves and it can take a little practice to get the hang of it. Not to mention, different changes in weather or the tides can impact the success of reeling in something great. There are numerous local tackle shops that sell bait and fishing equipment and are your best source for fishing information if you aren't sure what to use or aren't sure where to go.
DAY 4: OFFSHORE FISHING IN THE GULF STREAM
The Outer Banks is "The Billfish Capital of the World," and for good reason. Hundreds of blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish are caught and released in our waters every year. The billfish season is long with the peak for blue marlin in June and white marlin and sailfish most plentiful in August and September. All are caught consistently from late spring to early fall. Another big draw are yellowfin tuna which are caught year-round.
The Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, Wanchese Marina and Pirates Cove Marina are both full-service marinas offering Gulf Stream charters and excursions on the sound.
4457 Mill Landing Rd.
Wanchese, NC 27981
Pirates Cove Marina
2000 Sailfish Dr.
Manteo, NC 27954
Oregon Inlet Fishing Center
98 NC 12 Hwy.
Nags Head, NC 27959
Seaside Vacations guests are eligible for various discounts and exclusive deals on charters that dock at the above mentioned marinas. Check out our Club Seaside page for the current specials on half day, three-quarter day and full day fishing charters!
DAY 5: PIER FISHING AT JENNETTE'S PIER
Fishing on these barrier islands was forever changed when the first fishing pier – Jennette’s Pier – was opened in Nags Head back in 1939. But in September 2003, Hurricane Isabel swept the North Carolina coast, knocking down about 540 feet of Jennette’s Pier and practically shutting down an Outer Banks institution. It then became time to rethink the fishing pier concept with the NC Aquariums taking the lead to rebuild Jennette’s as an all-concrete 1,000 foot-long educational ocean pier.
Anglers can fish the pier year round (closed on Christmas day) 6AM to midnight May through October, 7AM to 9PM April through November and 9AM - 5PM December through March. As of late, folks are catching spot, blues, croaker,flounder, sea mullet, trout, spadefish, Spanish mackerel and an occasional cobia. The gift, tackle and snack shop is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The cost is $14.00 for adults and $7.00 for children. Rods can be rented for $10.00. If you just want to walk-out on the pier, a $2.00 walk-out fee is charged ($1.00 for kids under 12). There are also several multi-day and annual pass options available. As a bonus, Jennette's Pier has a blanket license for all anglers on the pier but for those looking to purchase a license, they can be bought at the main register.
Jennette's Fishing Pier
7223 South Virginia Dare Tr. (Milepost 16.5)
Nags Head, NC 27959
DAY 6: KAYAK FISHING
Experience Outer Banks fishing in a whole new way. Kayak fishing has exploded as a sport throughout the world over the past decade. Outer Banks Kayak Fishing employs the newest and best fishing kayaks on the market to ensure a comfortable and fun day of fishing.They offer all the fishing equipment and additional kayaking gear you will need. After spending a few hours on the water, you'll understand why this is one of the best values in action sports in the area. From beginner to extreme and everything in between, they can accommodate everyone.
Outer Banks Kayak Fishing
From Duck to Hatteras Island Kill Devil Hills, 27948
DAY 7: HEADBOAT FISHING ON THE CRYSTAL DAWN
Another great way to fish is by small boat in the sounds. Although surf fishing and offshore fishing is a great experience, the Outer Banks is unique in that there are also 100 miles of sound coast meaning even more options for the avid fisherman. From your own boat or a chartered vessel, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including spot, flounder, spanish mackerel and cobia. You can also fish alone or with a party on a headboat, which can carry 40-50 people, run half-day trips and stay in the sound and inlet waters. The boats provide experienced and helpful crews, bait, equipment, tackle and restrooms.
The Crystal Dawn is a 65 foot headboat powered by twin 6-T1 diesels. It has a capacity for 150 people, but for your comfort and more fishing room, they have limited their fishing trips to 50 people and non-fishing cruises to 100 people. The Crystal Dawn has the most modern equipment including all new tackle, CB radios, fathomers, and fish finder technology.
The Crystal Dawn
2000 Sailfish Point
NORTH CAROLINA SALTWATER FISHING LICENSE
Effective January 1, 2007, a North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License is Required on the Outer Banks. North Carolina's Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL), administered by the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or lifetime basis, or combined with a variety of licenses issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC). This license allows recreational fishermen to harvest fin fish for personal consumption; fin fish harvested under this license cannot be sold. Fishermen using this license are held to the state's recreational size and possession limits. For more information, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
*Charters or piers usually offer a blanket license meaning those using their service do not need to provide their own individual license. Always check with the fishing provider for additional clarification. Park rangers do patrol fishing areas and those fishing without a license may be issued a citation.
**All hours, admission costs, and location information updated as of 2019 but can change at any time or for inclement weather. Be sure to check with the individual facility with specific admission questions.