Nags Head Fishing Including Kill Devil Hills Fishing & Kitty Hawk Fishing

Folks, especially fishy folks, know that Nags Head fishing—along with Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk—is some of the best you can get. From flounder and stripers to tuna and billfish, our waters are rich in species. Nags Head surf fishing is probably the most popular way to wet a line here, but you’ll also find anglers piloting small boats for inshore excursions, dropping a line from the piers and Nags Head Causeway or checking out the marinas for offshore Outer Banks fishing adventures.

Knowing what’s running seasonally and at the moment helps get you started. You can answer those Outer Banks fishing questions a number of ways. One way is to stop in at a Nags Head fishing pier. The people who run these piers know what’s biting and how to get it to bite your line—in other words what bait and rods to use (and maybe even how to hold your mouth for that important finishing touch). They can also advise you on the Nags Head surf fishing experience. Heck, probably anything you need to know about the overall Outer Banks fishing scene, these folks can tell you. The same will be true at the many tackle shops you’ll find up and down the area. Another great local source is books written by a local fellow named Joe Malet. He’s written several illustrated tomes, Surf Fishing and Pier Fishing and Let’s Go Crabbing that specifically speak to species and methods for our area. He also runs a fishing school that we’ve listed below.

So, if haven’t already qualified for the Nags Head, NC, fisherperson of the year award and want to go for the title this vacation, what do you do? Well, you can follow the advice of the folks mentioned above, grab your gear and get yourself to the ocean or sound. Or if you want your feet to leave terra firma, you can venture out into the Outer Banks waters in your own personal vessel or rent one while you’re here. If guidance is needed, you’ll find plenty through the marinas where experienced captains and mates book a variety of half- and full-day fishing charters including head boat fishing (a big boat that generally fishes inshore and charges “by the head”) and Gulf Stream excursions. The tackle shops are a good place to investigate fishing regulations. The waters are patrolled, and limits and size restrictions are strictly enforced. Ask the people you talk with to guide you on appropriate bait and lures to give you a positive head start. Piers rent tackle, or you can bring your own or make purchases while here. Citation fish add to the lure of our waters. Learn more about these award-winning fish at any number of official weigh stations running along the Outer Banks.

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 gets fishing instruction. This full-service tackle shop sells every major brand of tackle for fresh and saltwater plus gear, fresh bait, crabbing supplies, ice and more. The advice is free. Corolla Bait and Tackle rents rods, reels and crab pots. Surf fishing classes are offered as well. See Outer Banks Charter Fishing Adventures for guided fishing opportunities. 

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 30 passengers and provides plenty of room for everyone. This is a great Outer Banks activity to get a big group of friends together for a day on the water. You’ll catch a variety of species, including black sea bass, triggerfish, gray tile fish, grouper, amberjack and more. The cost is $120 per person, with a minimum of 15 people. Bait, tackle and license are furnished. The Country Girl is also available for bird watching, marine mammal excursions, bachelor, bachelorette and scattering ashes at sea.

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 $45 for adults and $35 for children 10 and younger. Roanoke Island Cruises are $20 adults and $15 for children 10 and younger. The vessel is available for private charters, bachelor, bachelorette, family functions and more. Small coolers are welcome.

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 educational programs and excellent opportunities for sightseeing from the 1,000-foot-long pier. Owned and operated by the N.C. Aquariums, Jennette’s Pier was awarded the coveted Platinum LEED Certification by the U. S. Green Building Council in 2012. In addition to its three iconic wind turbines towering over the pier, the green facility boosts a unique reclaimed water system and geothermal wells that provide heating and cooling. Anglers can find everything they need for a day of fishing inside the pier house. Various types of rod and reel combos can be purchased or rented by the day for $10 (photo ID required). There’s plenty of bait and tackle for sale as well as drinks, snacks and souvenirs items. The pier has a blanket license for all anglers, so you do not need a fishing license. A daily fishing pass is good all day and night until the pier closes; call for hours as they change with the seasons.
The pier staff offers educational classes for all ages, and the children’s programs are stellar. Call for more about the pier programs. Jennette’s is open year round and is a fun Outer Banks thing to do in any weather.

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. 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, the morning trip leaving at 7 a.m. and the afternoon trip leaving at noon. In May, September and October they run one trip a day, in the morning, starting at 8 a.m. Arrive 30 minutes early for all trips. All bait and tackle are supplied, and the boat has a blanket fishing license that covers all its anglers. Bring your own snacks and drinks, but make sure your cooler is 13 inches or shorter so it will fit under the bench. Tickets cost $46 for adults and $35 for children 6 and younger. You’ll find the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center about 8 miles south of Nags Head just before you get to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet.

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center

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

Charter a variety of inshore and offshore fishing ventures here including half-day and full-day trips and head boat excursions. Trips are booked year-round with experienced captains and mates (weather permitting). Anglers go for a variety of species depending on the season including marlin, tuna, dolphin, king mackerel, stripers, drum, bluefish and cobia. All tackle and bait are provided. Bring your own food. The center includes a store chockfull of tackle, bait, snacks, T-shirts and hats. Check out the world-record blue marlin mount (1974) displayed in an outdoor case, and take a photo of your group in front a record setting 805-pound blue fin tuna mount. The giant was caught in 2011. Air pump, boat ramp, restrooms and ample parking are available.

Pirate's Cove Yacht Club & Marina

1 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 love this, and the anglers are usually friendly about sharing their experiences of the day.

If you’re more of a hands-on type, escape from the same old beach routine and head over to Pirates Cove Marina and Yacht Club to experience the thrill of a lifetime fishing from one of their offshore charter boats. Your adrenaline will be pumping listening to the scream of the drag while you are reeling in your tuna, dolphin, wahoo and marlin. Or book a near-shore trip and drop deep to catch tile fish, sea bass, trigger fish and grouper, or troll for Spanish mackerel and bluefish. No matter what you choose, Pirates Cove’s charter fleet will show you a great time. Back at the docks you can stop by the Pirates Cove Ships Store, where you'll find a great selection of T-shirts, resort wear, gifts and one of the best selections of sunglasses on the Outer Banks.

TW’s Bait and Tackle

815 B Ocean Trail, Corolla
(252) 453-3339
3864 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 4, Kitty Hawk
(252) 261-7848
2230 S. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 10.5, Nags Head
(252) 441-4807

TW’s Bait and Tackle stores in Corolla, Kitty Hawk and Nags Head have been an angler’s landmark destination for many years. Each location is a full-service tackle shop offering the latest and greatest selection of inshore, offshore, surf, fly and freshwater tackle. TW’s stocks quality tackle from some of the top manufacturers such as Avet, Daiwa, Shimano, Costa Del Mar, Black Bart Lures, Berkley Gulp, Bluewater Lures and Yeti Coolers to name a few. When it comes to bait, TW’s has it covered, from lively eels, bloodworms and minnows to a huge selection of fresh and frozen fish-catching delicacies. TW’s also carries ballyhoo, high-speed jigs and accessories for the offshore angler. They also carry fun and functional clothing for the whole family, stocking brands such as Columbia, Under Armour, Pelagic,Salt Life, Calcutta, Guy Harvey, Costa Del Mar, Buff, Heybo and Drake. Get your “Fish On” with their awesome selection of gifts, fish mounts, Tervis and Signature Tumblers, custom T-shirts, sweats, hats and decals. TW’s is one-stop shopping for those who love to fish or just look like they do. The shops have a warm friendly atmosphere and a helpful experienced staff. Stop by, weigh a fish and share your fishing story.