The Outer Banks is renowned for its fishing. And there is more than one way to catch a fish here: Offshore fish-fighting adventures, inshore fly-fishing and light tackle trips, pier and bridge fishing, surf fishing, head boat fishing and kayak fishing are some the options.
Recreational anglers older than age 16 are required to obtain North Carolina’s Coastal Recreational Fishing License. The license is required to recreationally fish in the state’s coastal fishing waters, which include sounds, coastal rivers and their tributaries and out to 3 miles in the ocean. You do not need a license to fish off a charter boat, headboat or ocean pier. They are covered by blanket licenses that the owners have purchased for your benefit.
Licenses can be purchased online and are available at many, but not all, local tackle shops and the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla.
The license can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or lifetime basis. For more information, or to purchase a license online, see the NC Wildlife Resources Commission website.
Anglers are also required to adhere to the state’s recreational size and possession limits. For regulations, visit any Outer Banks bait and tackle shop, pier or see the Division of Marine Fisheries website.
The Outer Banks has a number of fishing piers that are seasonally open to anglers. No matter what area you’re staying in, a fishing pier is within easy walking or driving distance, and can offer exceptional fishing at a relatively low cost.
Best of all, fishing licenses are not required on the piers since they all carry their own license. Admission is generally cheap, offering an inexpensive alternative to an in-shore charter.
Avalon Pier • MP 6 • 2111 N. virginia Dare Trail • Kill Devil Hills • 252.441.7494
- Avalon Pier is one of the older Outer Banks fishing piers, having been built in 1950. Located in central Kill Devil Hills, the pier offers a snack bar, a gift shop, and even a tackle shop on premise, and is seasonally open 24 hours a day for night fishing. Parking is $10 for beach access during the season.
Nags Head Pier • MP 11 • 3335 S. Virginia Dare Trail • Nags Head • 252.441.5141
- The Nags Head pier was opened in the late 1950s offers a tackle shop, gift shop, and snack shop. In addition, the Nags head Pier features a restaurant and outdoor, covered bar on-premise. The pier is pen seasonally, and during summer months, is open 24 hours a day.
Jennette’s Pier • MP 16.5 • 7223 S. Virginia Dare Trail • Nags Head • 252.255.1501
- Jennette’s Pier originally dates back to 1939 and was one of the first tourist attractions for early anglers. After a complete remodel following years of hurricane damage, this 1,000 foot pier partners with the North Carolina Aquarium and features a seasonal exhibits, snack shop, bath house – in addition to excellent Outer Banks fishing. There are plenty of educational exhibits and activities for the whole family.
Outer Banks Pier • MP 18 • 8901 Old Oregon Inlet Rd • South Nags Head • 252.441.5740
- This smaller – yet well established – pier features a tackle shop, small gift shop and an outdoor restaurant and bar. The Outer Banks Fishing Pier is also seasonally open 24 hours a day and provides great fishing for those staying in the less populated South Nags Head area.
Avon Pier • 41001 Hwy 12 • Avon • 252.995.5480
- In the center of Hatteras Island you’ll find Avon Pier, which features a tackle shop, snack shop, gift shop for any angling supplies you’ll need, from beer to hot dogs to sweatshirts. Open seasonally, the Avon Pier is adjacent to a restaurant and beach club.
Rodanthe Pier • 24251 Atlantic Drive • Rodanthe • 252.987.0030
- The Rodanthe Pier has taken a number of hits by hurricanes over the past couple of decades, but has always rebuilt and come back to welcome anglers for the new season. Located in the center of Rodanthe, the pier offers a small tackle shop, snack bar and game room with pool tables and other entertainment, and some of the best ocean views that the tri-villages have to offer.
Most, but not all, offshore and inshore fishing charters are based out of a local marina, which acts as a central booking agent. Visit the marina website to find links to the various charter boats. Several marinas also offer head boat trips.
NORTH OF OREGON INLET
- OBX Marina • 708 Harbor Drive • Wanchese • 252.473.9991
- Thicket Lump Marina • 219 Thicket Lump Dr • Wanchese • 252.473.4500
- Pirate’s Cove Yacht Club and Marina • 2000 Sailfish Dr • Manteo • 252.473.3906 or 800.367.4728
- Oregon Inlet Fishing Center • 98 N Carolina 12 • Nags Head (north end of Oregon Inlet bridge) • 252.441.6301 or 800.272.5199
- Hatteras Harbor Marina • 58058 N Carolina 12 • Hatteras • 252.986.2166 or 800.676.4939
- Hatteras Landing Marina • 58848 Marina Way • Hatteras • 252.986.2077 or 800.551.8478
- Oden’s Dock • 57878 N Carolina 12 • Hatteras • 252.986.2555 or 888.544.8115
- Teach’s Lair Marina • 58646 N Carolina 12 • Hatteras • 252.986.2460 or 888.868.2460
- Village Marina • 57980 N Carolina 12 • Hatteras • 252.986.2522
- Anchorage Inn & Marina • 205 Hwy 12 • Ocracoke • 252.928.6661