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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.

Country Girl Head Boat

Pirates Cove Marina
1 Sailfish Drive
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. Gulf Stream 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 way 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

Pirates Cove Marina
2000 Sailfish Drive
Docks at Pirate's Cove Marina
Nags Head
(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
MP 16.5 on the Beach Road
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. 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.

Jill Louise Headboat

OBX Marina
708 Harbor Drive
OBX Marina
Wanchese
(252) 453-9501

A new offering from Corolla Bait and Tackle is the Jill Louise, a 50-foot, stable headboat that can take up to 49 passengers out for inshore and offshore fishing. She cruises at 20 knots, so you reach the fishing grounds quickly and have more time to have your line in the water. She's the only headboat out of Wanchese certified to go up to 100 miles offshore. Another plus is that she's air conditioned -- on those hot, summer days, you'll appreciate this feature. Jill Louise also goes out for daily sunset cruises, and she also does Purple Martin tours in late July and August. If you haven't seen this sunset phenomenon at the old Manns Harbor bridge in Manteo, you're missing an image you'll never forget. On the inshore fishing trips, you can expect to catch croaker, spot, sea mullet, pigfish, flounder, bluefish, puppy drum and trout. The captain is a long-time local who knows these waters well. All you need to bring along is a cooler for your fish, snacks, ice, suntan lotion, sunglasses and a hat!

Miss Oregon Inlet

98 NC Hwy. 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
Oregon Inlet
(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

2000 Sailfish Drive
Nags Head/Manteo Causeway
Nags Head
(252) 473-3906
Toll Free
(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, you might want to take a fishing trip yourself. Pirate’s Cove offers several options for getting to the fishing grounds. Twenty-one private charter boats are available to take you offshore fishing, and other boats are available for inshore fishing charters. Makeup charters are available. Call for details.

Visit the Ship’s Store to discover something for everyone! There are large assortments of t-shirts, sandals, resort wear and sunglasses as well as tackle, snacks, beverages, toys and gifts!

TW’s Bait and Tackle

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
815 B Ocean Trail
Corolla
(252) 453-3339

TW’s Bait and Tackle 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. The shops have a warm friendly atmosphere and a helpful experienced staff. Stop by, weigh a fish and share your fishing story.