Always a Tough Choice

Fishing the surf or ocean pier on the Outer Banks can afford the opportunity of the vacationing family to catch fish and enjoy the beautiful Outer Banks together.

Family vacation schedules are typically pre-planned months before they unpack their car after arriving at their cottage. And typically any modification to the tight schedule can throw off the week’s plans.

But finding time to cast a line either in the ocean or off a local pier can easily fit in any busy vacationer’s schedule.

But now the biggest question, how do we choose between fishing the surf or on an ocean or sound side pier. The answer depends on what the angler is looking for.

First, surf fishing can get the new angler up and catching fish quickly and is great for the whole family.  Just walk out on any beach, cast a line and wait for that bite. But there are also some important rules that need to be considered when fishing on the surf. The angler needs to start by purchasing a fishing license and having a good understanding of the various regulations that apply to this type of fishing. A local tackle shop can help with both of these items.

The next item is fishing gear. A simple rod and reel setup and fresh bait are basically the only things you need to get started. Of course, there are many items you can add to that list that will help you make your day successful, and really the sky is the limit.

Many surf anglers regardless of their experience, enjoy the solitude and nature at its finest. Then add a nice catch for dinner, completes their day.      

Fishing on an ocean pier is another great way to catch fish. Piers are safe and a fun place for the entire family.

A fishing pier gives the angler the opportunity to fish both close to shore and then hundreds of feet out along the pier into the ocean. The various depths of water combined with pilings add structure and safety for a variety of fish that make this location home.

All of our ocean piers carry a blanket fishing license which means you do not have to purchase a license to fish there.

Fishing piers have many advantages over surf fishing. On site tackle shops and professional staff can provide advice and specific techniques. Rod and reel sets with proper rigging can rented. They have variety of baits and can advise the angler on what’s biting and which bait to use. And all piers have a place where you can pick up a quick drink or snack.

On the piers, you will also find other anglers willing to provide advice, answer questions or lend a hand retrieving or releasing your catch.

The choice on which type of fishing to do is really up to the angler. Either type of fishing can make any family’s vacation week complete.

So regardless of whether you choose to wet a line on the surf or drop a line off one of our local ocean piers, the memories you make will last a lifetime.

Until next time – Tightlines,

Capt. Tony

Coming to a Close

Well it’s that time of year. Most of the Outer Banks Fishing Piers have closed for the season. Leaving only two to fish – Avalon and Jennette’s.

Fishing on an Outer Banks pier over the past eight months has provided much excitement, a learning experience for many and in some cases recorded some trophy catches.  

Although, it’s been a great year, the weather hasn’t always been kind to our fishery.

Occasional storms and hurricanes chased many anglers off the surf and piers. But on the same note, these fronts always relented quickly only to an improved catch days later.

The Thanksgiving weekend signals the un-official closure of some of my favorite places to fish.

But all is not lost though with two local piers, Avalon and Jennette’s, will remain open throughout the entire winter season.

The remaining piers, Nags Head, Outer Banks, Rodanthe, and Avon all closed just after the thanksgiving weekend. There may be staff in the tackle shops but access has stopped.

All is not lost, the Outer Banks surf should hold fish throughout the entire winter. Special gear will be needed but those dedicated enough to brave the elements can be rewarded.

The best bet for our winter anglers is to head south on the Hatteras or Ocracoke island beaches. There they will find slightly warmer water temperatures and fish should be around most of the winter season.

So if the sight of bright sunshine, sounds of crashing waves, and a brisk cool breeze against your face doesn’t chase you away, there are miles of surf to fish on or a railing on a pier waiting for you to hoist a fish over.

As we charge into the off seasons, there is much to do and learn for the coming season. 

Stay tuned!!

Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony