Outer Banks Fishing

Outer Banks FishA whole other world opens up when you wet a fishing line. Time stands still as you wait and wait, hoping for a little tug on the end of your line. With a lot of patience and a little luck, you’ll encounter creatures that are both fascinating to look at and tasty to eat. Outer Banks fishing is some of the best in the world. Due to the islands’ location where the Labrador Current and Gulf Stream interplay, there’s a wide variety of fish to be caught here. And because Outer Banks fishing is so good, getting to the fish is remarkably easy and convenient. Tackle shops are found in great abundance on these islands, and the people who work in them are very cooperative and helpful. They'll get the novice angler outfitted, share where the fish are biting that day and happily share a finny tale or two.

Outer Banks Fishing Charters

If you don't have a boat or want to be guided by someone who knows the best Outer Banks fishing spots, check out the popular charter fishing trips. Offshore fishing to hunt for big game fish was born here, and the tradition continues in full today. Hundreds of offshore fishing boats leave Outer Banks marinas every day in the summer, and when the fish are biting in the off-season, to go after billfish, tuna, wahoo, maui-maui and more. These offshore boats usually carry up to six anglers plus the captain and a mate. Inshore charters that stay in the sounds and go after flounder, spot, croaker, trout and other tasty treats are also popular. Head boats, large fishing vessels that can hold lots of people and charge by the head, are great ways to experience Outer Banks fishing, especially if you're inexperienced or have a large group that wants to have a day or half-day on the water together. Head boats have mates that help you bait your hook and pull the fish in if you need such assistance. Plus, Outer Banks fishing reports will keep you up to speed every day on what's biting and where. 

Remember, there’s a reason they call it fishing and not catching. You won’t catch something every time you go out – a law that anglers call “paying your dues.” But if you’re persistent, you’ll have something to show for it.

For all the details you need to know about Outer Banks fishing, including fishing licenses, piers, offshore charters and more, go here.

Outer Banks Fishing by Area

Corolla | Duck & Southern Shores | Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills & Nags Head
Roanoke Island & Manteo | Hatteras Island | Ocracoke Island

Outer Banks Fishing by Category

Albatross Fleet Marina at Foster's Quay

57976 N.C. Highway 12, Hatteras
(252) 986-2515

Albatross Marina at Forter's Quay is home base for the three Albatross offshore vessels. It's located between Oden's Dock and the Village Marina in the heart of Hatteras Village. Here you can charter full- or half-day charters with Captain Ernie Foster and his other captains and mates. The Fosters were the pioneers of offshore Gulf Stream fishing on the Outer Banks starting in 1937!

Backin' Up Sportfishing Charters

Pirate's Cove Yacht Club & Marina
1 Sailfish Drive, Manteo
(252) 202-6651

Ritchie Howell is the personable and seasoned captain who runs Backin' Up Fishing Charters. Backin' Up operates out of Pirate's Cove Marina and is an inshore and near-offshore fishing vessel. At 46 feet, it's the largest inshore boat in Pirate Cove's fleet, which means you have lots of space to relax in between pulling in those fish from the three fighting chairs. Ritchie restored the... read more

Corolla Bait and Tackle

1070 Ocean Trail, Corolla
(252) 453-9500
603 Currituck Drive, The Shoppes at the Currituck Club, Corolla
(252) 453-9690

Keith Cummings, owner of Corolla Bait and Tackle, goes beyond the call of duty when it comes to sharing his fishing knowledge. Everyone who comes through the door of this Outer Banks shop gets fishing instruction. This full-service tackle store sells every major brand of tackle for fresh and salt water plus gear, fresh bait, crabbing supplies, ice and more. The advice is free. Corolla... read more

Country Girl Head Boat

Pirate's Cove Yacht Club & Marina
1 Sailfish Drive, Docks at Pirate's Cove Marina, Manteo
(252) 473-5577

The Country Girl can be chartered for full-day Gulf Stream trips for parties of six or more people. Call for rates and schedules. These Outer Banks charter fishing trips usually yield tuna and mahi-mahi, wahoo, king mackerel, marlin or sailfish depending on the season and conditions. The Country Girl also offers head boat-style wreck fishing. The 57-foot sportfisher can accommodate up to 27 passengers and... read more

Crystal Dawn Head Boat

Pirate's Cove Yacht Club & Marina
1 Sailfish Drive, Docks at Pirate's Cove Marina, Manteo
(252) 473-5577

Whether for head boat fishing or cruises, you will enjoy the 65-foot, big and comfortable Crystal Dawn. You will fish in the inlet or sound for a variety of fish such as flounder, croaker, spot, trout, sea mullet, sea bass and more, depending on the season and conditions. All bait, tackle and licenses are furnished. Cost for head boat fishing is $48 for adults and $38 for... read more

Hatteras Harbor Marina

58058 N.C. Highway 12, Hatteras Village
(252) 986-2166
(800) 676-4939

This full-service marina books offshore and inshore fishing trips year round with a 24-boat charter fleet. They offer deepwater slip rentals with water and electric hookups and sell diesel fuel. Shower and laundry facilities, apartment rentals, a gift shop and the Harbor Deli are on site.

Jennette's Pier

7223 S. Virginia Dare Trail, The Beach Road, MP 16.5, Nags Head
(252) 255-1501

Jennette’s Pier is a state-of-the-art educational center and fishing pier complete with a pier shop, classroom and banquet hall, and it's the newest Outer Banks attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year. The pier features wide, clean public beaches, free parking and a bath house with outdoor showers. With its mantra of Fishing, Family and Fun, Jennette’s offers something for everyone. There’s world-class fishing, unique... read more

Miss Oregon Inlet

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center
98 N.C. Highway 12, Nags Head
(252) 441-6301

Miss Oregon Inlet is the resident head boat at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, the closest marina to the renowned fishing grounds of Oregon Inlet for the northern beaches. The head boat takes up to 49 people for half-day inshore fishing trips every day except Sunday. From Memorial Day through Labor Day they run two trips, with the morning trip leaving at 7 a.m. and... read more

OBX Bait and Tackle

815 Ocean Trail, Monteray Plaza, Corolla
(252) 453-3339

OBX Bait and Tackle is an angler’s paradise. Conveniently located to serve the northern beaches and beyond in Corolla’s Monteray Plaza, OBX Bait and Tackle is a full-service tackle shop that specializes in freshwater and surf-fishing equipment along with rods and reels at all price levels, a wide variety of fresh and frozen bait, crabbing supplies and other necessities such as coolers, ice, soft drinks,... read more

OBX Marina

708 Harbor Drive, Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park, Wanchese
(252) 473-9991

One of the most popular things to do on the Outer Banks is to go fishing. OBX Marina offers centralized booking for offshore and inshore charter fishing equipped with a fleet of 15 charter boats. Their booking service provides hassle-free, book-where-you-board convenience. OBX Marina offers many varieties of fishing charters, from full-day excursions to the Gulf Stream to half-day, light-tackle trips in the sound. They also... read more

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center

98 N.C. Highway 12, Nags Head
(252) 441-6301

Charter a variety of fishing excursions at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center year round (weather permitting). Nearshore, inshore and head boat vessels offer half-day or full-day trips, while offshore vessels offer full-day trips. Anglers go for a variety of species depending on the season including billfish, tuna, wahoo, Spanish mackerel, flounder, drum, bluefish, cobia and more. Anglers aboard charters do not need to purchase fishing licenses,... read more

Pirate's Cove Yacht Club & Marina

2000 Sailfish Drive, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway, Manteo
(252) 473-3906
(800) 367-4728

Just about every afternoon between 4 and 5 p.m., a dozen or more sport fishing boats return from the Gulf Stream to the Pirate’s Cove Marina to unload their catches of tuna, dolphin, wahoo and other deep-sea fish. If you’re interested in seeing the fish before they’re cleaned, head down to the docks and watch the mates hurl the whopping creatures onto the docks. Kids... read more