How do you fish at outer banks?
The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a really unusual location. Life here revolves around the ebb and flow of the tide, and it is miles out in the ocean, surrounded by noises of the sea. With crews to match, these barrier islands create some of the best sportfishing boats in the world. The incredible fishing on the Outer Banks comes as no surprise.
What kind of fish can you catch in the Outer Banks? What are the finest fishing techniques and locations? In-depth coverage of the local fishing scene will include all of this and more. Prepare yourself to set out and catch the fish of a lifetime, whether you’re a seasoned seadog or a novice.
Therefore, if you’re planning to throw a line in the OBX, take a look at some of these tips to ensure yourself a memorable fishing experience!
When To Fish In Outer Banks?
Since most fish in the Outer Banks are seasonal visitors, planning your trip accordingly is essential if you’re looking for a particular species. If you make the correct plans, you might even be able to participate in one of the many fishing competitions held nearby while you’re here.
In the Outer Banks, spring and fall are the finest seasons for surfing and fishing. The largest Red Drum, Bluefish, and Speckled Trout appear at this time. There won’t be as many trophy Reds in the summer, but there will still be Sharks. You can stay warm by battling the winter weather and catching striped bass.
Are you more excited about bluefin tuna season? No, we don’t blame you! In the OBX, bluefin can be caught all winter long and well into the spring. The start and end of the bite are the greatest parts.
Check out our OBX fishing calendar for a complete schedule of when to fish, and read the Division of Marine Fisheries’ most recent proclamations for the most recent restrictions if you’re seeking information on a specific species. If you want to travel during the off-season, keep in mind that many charter services close during the winter.
License Information For Fishing In Outer Banks
On the Outer Banks, a Coastal Recreational Fishing License is necessary. 16-year-olds and younger are exempt. Charter boat and pier fishing, which is covered by a blanket license, do not require an individual to have a license. Anglers should be familiar with the most recent size and creel limits for maritime fisheries.
Outer Banks Fish Species
Anglers in the OBX have the best of both worlds. Inshore predators can be found in shallow waters if you go in one direction. For warm ocean currents and large game monsters, turn the other way. In other words, the ideal hunting grounds for game fish are all around you. A few of the species you can hunt are listed here.
- Red Drum
The Outer Banks’ shallows are dominated by redfish or drums. They roam the shorelines and waters in search of food or conflict. The ideal inshore sportfish, are large, resilient, and aggressive. They are typically caught on live bait by local fishermen, but if presented properly, they will also take most lures and even flies.
Did we mention how tasty redfish is as well? Smaller “Puppy Drum” provide meat that is sweet and flaky and is deliciously cooked anyway. Although larger “Bull Red” fish still tastes fine, we advise releasing them if you can because they earned it after the struggle they put up.
Without mentioning everyone’s favorite Flatfish, you can’t talk about seafood. Don’t let the fact that flounders aren’t particularly attractive—their faces are the stuff of nightmares—put you off. Once it has been filleted, all fish looks good, and nothing tastes better than freshly caught flounder.
Despite being a food fish, flounder may be a blast to catch. Any little bit that swims too close will be destroyed by them as they pursue your lure. And that’s just the motion of the rod and reel. Here, it’s common to go bow fishing and gig (spearing fish in the mud to catch them).
Every spring, cobia make the nearby wrecks their home and begin to attack anything that stands in their way, including fishers. Cobia is an inherently curious fish, and locals chum the water to pique their interest. Simply show there, set down your block, and before long you’ll have a fish on the line.
Cobia is a favorite in the spring, but what if you’re in the area in the fall? Simple: return to the same locations to battle the King Mackerel. Every autumn, “Smoker Kings” that weigh at least 30 pounds barrel through the town. These fish are typically caught with big live baits like menhaden.
There are several prominent local performers, but none of them come close to Bluefin Tuna. Local anglers earn their stripes by reeling in fish that are several times their body weight in the OBX, a true Bluefin battleground. They have perfected a distinctive hands-on method for catching these subaquatic freight trains throughout the years.
Mind you, there are more tuna species besides bluefin. In these seas, bigeye, blackfin, and yellowfin tuna can be found. To ensure that there is always something large and appetizing to target, the four species operate in shifts. You deemed Wicked Tuna to be thrilling, right? Just hold off till you see the genuine deal!
How To Fish In OBX?
You know what to aim for, but how should you go about it? Here is a list of the primary types of fishing in the Outer Banks, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
The Outer Banks are probably already on your bucket list if you enjoy surf fishing. Amazing catches have been made here in the surf, including a world record Red Drum, enormous Sharks, Stripers, Bluefish, and more. The added benefit is that you can spend the day at the beach with your family while still taking advantage of the local fishing.
When surf fishing in the OBX, there are a few considerations. Many locations are so far away that a 4X4 is required to reach them. Sometimes the best places are off limits to protect the native fauna. When you are there, it’s advisable to drop by a nearby tackle shop to acquire the most recent information on what and where is biting.
Go fishing with someone who is familiar with the area. Although it might be a local friend, most people need a guide. These waters are completely known to OBX charter guides. They have a strategy for each location and species. You can’t go wrong whether you’re looking for family entertainment or serious sportfishing.
There are a few very sensible justifications for fishing with a charter. They’ll supply you with everything you need to get by for the day, to start. Additionally, if you don’t have a boat, this is the only means to travel offshore. Even then, a few hours with a native will spare you days of experimenting. The greatest way to truly understand the region is to do this.
Simply put, fishing piers are fantastic places to catch fish. They lack the same sense of the great outdoors as surf fishing. You won’t experience the action or flexibility of a fishing charter. There are lots of fish to be found, and you can buy or rent all the equipment you need to catch them.
You can find anything from Redfish and Sheepshead to Kingfish and Cobia, depending on how far down the pier you go. The Outer Banks is home to twelve fishing piers. They’re all excellent, so get dinner at the one that’s nearest to you!
Head Boat Fishing
You share a head boat, a big boat, with several anglers. Consider them as being in the middle of a charter and a pier. They offer an inexpensive means of entering the water and catching fish for food. Along the way, you might also run with other fishermen and make some new friends.
Head boats have the drawback of not being particularly beginner-friendly. Be prepared to untangle your own lines since the team can only spend so much time with each person. Enthusiastic fishermen may become discouraged by the lack of activity. Either you’ll fish in pairs or you’ll be assigned a set place on the boat, neither of which is ideal for going for big fish.
It’s simple to understand why kayak fishing has been progressively gaining popularity over the years. You don’t have to hire a guide or trailer your boat. You are not confined to the coast and vying with the crowd for a casting spot. Instead, you simply stroll to the shore, launch your boat, and spend the day at sea.
Okay, but it goes a little bit further than that. Kayak fishing is extremely taxing, especially in choppy water. Exploring a new fishery can be challenging because it might be difficult to really see the fish. It’s difficult to fight a fish while seated, either. To put it briefly, you must be resilient and persistent to get the most out of it.
What Should I Take with Me on My Charter Fishing Trip?
We advise taking lots of energy, sunscreen, sunglasses, a camera, a bathing suit, or other wet-weather-appropriate apparel.
What Type of Obx Fishing Do You Recommend for Someone that Gets Seasick?
For anyone who is seasick, fishing in the sound from a dock is a fantastic option. A terrific option is to go fishing from Jennette’s Pier’s concrete structure.
How Should I Cook My Fish?
A lot of nearby eateries will cook your fish for you. Once you’ve decided on a restaurant, make a reservation to make sure you can bring your own catch.