Of all Outer Banks fishing locations, many would argue that Cape Hatteras is the mecca, the big kahuna, the place that serious anglers call home.
Some would even say it’s the North Carolina sport-fishing capital. And, believe us, Hatteras Island fishing is serious business. Cape Hatteras charter fishing boats go after the big game of the Gulf Stream that’s easily accessible from Hatteras Village marinas year round. The notoriety of the Outer Banks fishing experience has spread so far and wide that many visitors come here for that alone. Nevermind the beach, sound, shopping or whatever else those other visitors come for. For anglers with the penchant for Hatteras Island fishing, nothing else hooks their attention.
So, why is Cape Hatteras fishing such a big deal? It’s the chance to head offshore on a fishing charter to fight blue and white marlin, sailfish and giant bluefin tuna or to bring in a healthy catch of yellowfin tuna and mahi-mahi. If you ever experience the thrill of strapping into a chair, feeling that initial tug and then hanging in through the long, sometimes exhausting and always exhilarating reeling in of that huge fish, you know that it’s an experience you want to repeat. There’s fishing, then there’s Cape Hatteras charter fishing.
We know — it almost sounds like an exclusive club of Hatteras Island anglers in the know, right? But, actually, anyone can charter a boat to take them offshore fishing. The boats take up to six passengers and supply all the bait and tackle you’ll need plus a mate who’ll do everything but reel in your fish. And, with six Hatteras Village marinas, you can get on a boat somewhere!
Of course, offshore fishing charters aren’t the only draw for the fish-afflicted. Fishing the Hatteras Island sound, on near-shore wrecks, in the surf and from piers is equally popular. During certain times of the year, especially fall and spring, surf fishing is phenomenal on the Outer Banks. Red drum, striped bass and bluefish are some of the favorite fall surf catches, along with flounder, trout, sea mullet and pompano in the summer. If you need a little surf fishing advice, ask at the local Hatteras Island tackle shops. Numerous guides are available to take you out on inshore fishing trips in the sound or on near-shore ocean wrecks. There are currently two fishing piers in this area.
A NOTE FOR ANGLERS: Saltwater anglers in North Carolina are required to buy a Coastal Recreational Fishing License. The license can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or lifetime basis or combined with other licenses issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Children younger than 16 do not need a license. For-hire vessels and ocean fishing piers have the option to purchase a blanket license that covers all their fishing patrons, so you may not need the license to fish on a certain pier or charter boat; be sure to ask. Fishing licenses can be purchased online at www.ncwildlife.org or by calling (888) 248-6834 or at many of the local tackle shops.