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Inshore Fishing on the Outer Banks

I was asked the other day,  “Why is inshore fishing on the Outer Banks so popular”?


Slot sized redfish put smiles on everyones face


Heck where do I begin!?

I am not a scientist, but I will give you a little background….

In the waters right off the coast of the Outer Banks, the cold Labrador currents from the north converge with the warm Gulf Stream currents from the south, funneling many different fishing species into our waters.  With easy access for the fish and the fisherman alike to our inlets, grass flats and unique landscapes  — affords the Outer Banks the perfect estuary and the reason for our waters’ world renown recognition as a prolific game fishing destination.  

The opportunities to catch fish in the NC coastal waters are mind-boggling and continues to ensure our area its rich historical commercial and sport fishing heritage.

Ok Ok, enough science, here’s the quick skinny.

Catching fish really depends on your passion in how you prefer to catch them:

  1. Chasing a school on a charter boat 

  2. Kayaking in your hidden honey hole

  3. Pier fishing into the early morning hours

  4. Following a group of birds on the beach, to catch a school of fish running in the surf

  5. Wading through the flats

What kind of fish can you catch…

Quarter ounce jigs for flounder and specks….check — slot sized red drum on gold spoons..check — striped bass, check…  —mondo cobia breaching the 90 pound mark… check check check!

Backwaters, the grass flats loaded with reds and specks.   Shorelines yield flounder, specks and reds.  Blues can find your jigs anywhere.  Ranging from 1 pound to the behemoth world record just shy of 32 pounds.  Sheephead swim round pilings. Nibbling at your sandfleas.  Flounder in the sloughs on any sandbar drop off.

Striped bass show in late fall through spring with fish from 3 to 65lbs!   Topwater, jigs, flys, and live bait all can apply here.

Inlets provide more opportunities.  The strong flood and ebb currents slide bait fish such as silver mullet and menhaden to open the buffet to all these fish.  Just outside the inlet the game stays hot but the game changes.  Black tip sharks, mackerel, and piggy cobia abound.  Many Boats will troll spoons for taylor blues and spanish mackeral while always keeping a keen eye out for a cobia.

The shores often prove amazing encounters with rays, turtles, dolphin, ocean sunfish, seabirds, and so much more.

Surf fishing is a year round activity, however the peak is in the fall.  In September one could toss out a piece of fresh shrimp and hook 15 plus different species of fish.

  1. Spot

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  1. Croaker

  2. Seamullet

  3. Black drum

  4. Flounder

  5. Bluefish

  6. Redfish

  7. Pompano

  8. Speckled trout

  9. Gray trout

  10. The list goes on!

World class redfishing along the surf is alive and well.  Many fish topping 40 pounds, a not so unusual occourance.  The world record of 94lbs was landed along our shores!  Congrats Mr. Duel around 84′ I think, in or near Avon.

The Outer Banks offers big fish or fun family action fishing opportunities.  World records have abounded in our waters from everyday fisherman, just like you!


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