The Melvin R. Daniels Bridge is one of the favorite places to fish on the Outer Banks. Better known as the “little bridge”, it was once one of the local’s best kept secret. But with its central location, easy access, amenities and abundance of action most of the year, this bridge is now known as one of the best places to catch fish.
The Daniels Bridge is located in the town of Nags Head on Rt. 64/264 Manteo Causeway just west of Whalebone Junction. The concrete structure has easily accessible guarded walkways on both sides of the bridge. A five foot concrete barrier on the south side provide protection from wind and traffic.
The parking lot on the west side of the bridge can accommodate dozens of vehicles. And adjacent to the parking area, visitors will find a nice picnic area, covered pavilion and modern restroom facilities. There is also fish cleaning table and running water as an added convenience.
When fishing this bridge, most anglers will start on the south side and work their way along the walkway from west to east. After working the south side anglers will typically flip to the northern side of the bridge.
Many species of fish can be found around this bridge. The key is watching the bait fish and other anglers. Try to mirror their actions. The sound bottom is mostly sandy with minimal structures outside the bridge footprint. Unless jigging, it is a safe bet to fish close in toward the bridge pilings. Fast moving current under this bridge is the angler’s best friend.
Most anglers use a light to medium fishing gear to either bottom fish or jig for roving schools speckled trout or stripers. The standard two hook bottom rig tipped with small #4 hooks with fresh shrimp or cut bait is best for bottom fishing. When jigging, anglers typically use small lead head jigs fitted with a swim bait or other artificial plastics.
The best advantage for anglers who fish on the bridge is they don’t need any special equipment. It is important to just keep it simple. A simple light rod and reel, a two bottom rig and some fresh bait should help to get the action started quickly.
Anglers who want to fish on the Daniel’s bridge need to purchase a saltwater fishing license and obtain a copy of the local fishing regulations. It is also imperative that all anglers know the creel and bag limits for each species.
The saltwater license, a copy of the regulations, fresh bait along with any fishing gear can be picked up at any local tackle shop.
So for a great place for the beginning angler, kids of all ages, families or the experienced angler looking for that trophy fish, the Melvin R Daniels “Little Bridge” is the place to go.
Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony