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Guide to Outer Banks Fishing | Outer Banks, NC | Coastal NC Realty

The Outer Banks has so much to offer, not the least of which is world-class fishing. With a chain of barrier islands sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and multiple sounds, any fisherman—from novice to world-class angler—will find what they need to ensure a memorable fishing experience on the Outer Banks.

If you're an avid fisherman with your own gear (or even if you need to rent a rod or two), you can't beat surf fishing on the Outer Banks, which offers over 100 miles of beach to cast your lines. You'll want to make sure you have the right permit if you're over 16 (children under 16 do not need a permit to surf fish), while also ensuring you understand catch limits. Any OBX tackle/bait shop will be able to help you with these permits and rules, but you can also visit the North Carolina Marine Fisheries website for more information. And while you're at the tackle shop, make sure to pick the brain of their local and knowledgeable staff, as they will be able to guide you regarding the best times of day to fish, along with information about what's biting, tides, winds, etc. From May to September, you're most likely to catch bluefish, drum, spot, flounder, croaker, sea mullet, and Spanish Mackerel, but fishing in the fall and early spring will also yield results. 

If you're in the market to make incredible lifelong memories, we suggest booking an offshore charter fishing trip. From the predawn departure to the ride out to the gulf stream (with amazing sunrises!) to catching a big one, this day-long experience will not disappoint. During the summer months, you might catch marlin (blue and white), sailfish, dolphin (mahi-mahi), wahoo, and yellowfin tuna (their peak season is spring and fall, but you can catch them year-round). (Hot tip: even if you don't book a charter, it is 100 percent worth it to head to Oregon Inlet Fishing Center or Pirate's Cove Marina in the late afternoon to see the boats returning to the dock and throwing their day's catch up on the deck; it's always a fun time!). For more information or to book an offshore fishing trip, check out either Oregon Inlet Fishing Center or Pirate's Cove Marina. Both full-service marinas are brimming with impressive boats, the expert captains and mates who man them, and a store with anything you may need for a day on the water. Pirate's Cove even offers two restaurants on-site: Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar offers fresh, local seafood prepared in exciting and delicious ways with panoramic waterfront views of the marina and Bodie Island Lighthouse. Mimi's Tiki Hut, located on the deck overlooking the marina, is a bit more laid-back and features daily drink specials and live entertainment.  

If you're not ready to dedicate a full day to fishing, how about an hour or two? You could try pier fishing at one of the seven OBX piers that run from Kitty Hawk to Hatteras, where they offer daily, weekly, and monthly passes. Some of these piers also rent poles, gear, etc., so you don't necessarily need to bring your own. Have children or grandchildren who love to fish? The Avon Fishing Pier on Hatteras Island hosts a weekly "Kids Frenzy Fishing Tournament" during the summer, and Jennette's Pier teaches "Fishing 101" classes each week. Beyond the gear rental, classes, and tournaments, a few Outer Banks piers also have restaurants, bars, and even live music—a perfect place for your family to enjoy themselves as you wait for your big catch (or to celebrate afterward!). 

While the above information focuses on ocean fishing, don't sleep on the fishing opportunities in the Albermarle Sound. The water will be brackish, with salty ocean water flowing in from the Atlantic mixing with fresh water from nearby rivers, but will still offer plenty of fish to be caught. Outer Banks Sound Fishing offers a wealth of information on sound fishing, including what types of fish you're most likely to catch by month (for summer months, your best bets are Spanish Mackerel or Tarpon). For OBX sound fishing, you can bring your own boat, or there's also the option of booking a charter (half-day or even full-day). Finally, without the rolling waves of the ocean, there's a good chance you will avoid any potential seasickness when fishing in the sound, so it's a perfect chance to expose any newcomer to the wonders of Outer Banks fishing. 

Whether you're visiting the Outer Banks for a week in the summer, you're a year-round resident, or you're looking to make the Outer Banks your second home, make sure to take advantage of the fishing opportunities on the Outer Banks. From the amazing waters and varieties of fish to the local experts here to help, you will definitely be hooked. 

More helpful resources:

Guide to Outer Banks Fishing

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