A table full of tackle and lures

Types of Fishing In The OBX

A Joe Lamb Jr. Blog Series –

Welcome to our blog series on everything fishing in the Outer Banks. For the next few months, we will explore types of fishing, different species of fish, popular fishing holes, and much more. So all of you outdoor junkies make sure you check back every month to see what’s new in the world of OBX fishing!

Numerous fish species thrive where two major currents intersect. In reality, the waters surrounding the Outer Banks of North Carolina are one of the world’s richest fishing areas.

With infinite options for all types of recreational fishing, it’s no surprise that these magnificent barrier islands are regarded as a fisherman’s heaven on earth.

Are you a weekend traveler planning memories to last a lifetime and ever wondered “What types of fishing can be done in the OBX?” when visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina?

You are not alone!

There are plenty of ways to fish here on the Outer Banks. This blog post will guide and educate you on the 4 most popular types of fishing in the OBX.

Beach Fishing

Grandfather and grandson fishing on beach

Fun In The Sand

If you do not have a boat or even a kayak, don’t stress. Simply go out the door of your oceanfront vacation rental and cast your line from the sand.

Beach fishing is free along the Outer Banks’ more than 100 miles of lovely, sandy shoreline. A fishing license, a surf rod, bait, a tackle box, and a cooler to hold frozen bait and freshly caught fish are all you’ll need to get started reeling them in! A rod holder, beach chair, and fishing cart are all good choices to bring with you too. 

Online, at any NC Division of Marine Fisheries office, and many local tackle shops, fishing licenses are available. A 10-day Coastal Recreational Fishing License, which covers most OBX fishing for ages 16 and up, costs $5 (for NC residents) and $10 (for non-residents). (Children under the age of 16 are exempt.)

Even if you’re an experienced angler, you’ll enjoy the challenging excitement of catching surf fish. So many different types of species may be caught depending on the season and weather.

Do you intend to keep your catch? 

Keep in mind the official restrictions. Some species are entirely unrestricted, allowing you to retain as many as you like, no matter the size. Other species, on the other hand, are closely regulated. 

Sound Fishing

A man standing in the reeds fishing in the sound

On A Dock, In The Reeds Or Floating On A Craft

The Outer Banks of North Carolina offer more than just saltwater fishing. To the west, these islands are surrounded by an intricate network of sounds, canals, and inlets where freshwater (from inland rivers) meets salt water (from the Atlantic) to create a brackish blend.

We have rental units that are really close to some amazing sound side spots. You will not have to battle a ton of crowds to get to them either!

These brackish waters provide plenty of attractive food for baitfish thanks to grasses, marshes, and lush flora. Those baitfish, in turn, attract larger game fish that are hungry. As a result, a rich and fertile fishing area has emerged.

Sound fishing is also a great way to use a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) or kayak to help you get into the unreachable nooks where fish like to hide. 

Both SUP boards and kayaks have their perks. There’s nothing more freeing than getting out on a board and reeling in a monster, and nothing more thrilling than attempting to stay steady while doing so. On the other hand, Kayaks are a far more versatile all-arounder that can get you to locations where a board simply isn’t safe.

It all comes down to your fishing style, physical ability, and personal preference at the end of the day. SUP angling is a lot of fun if you’re fishing calm waters and enjoy a challenge. A kayak would be a better option if you want to pack more gear and don’t want to stand all day. Whichever option you choose, one thing is certain: you will have a great time sound fishing here in the OBX!

Pier Fishing

OBX pier at night

Access To Bigger Fish

Are you ready to explore a little further from the coast but not too far offshore? Fish from one of the Outer Banks’ legendary ocean piers, which may be found just a few blocks away from our vacation rentals in Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Hatteras Island (Avon and Rodanthe). You won’t need to get individual licenses because blanket licenses cover all piers. You will, however, have to pay a small pier-fishing fee.

If you prefer, bring your own rod and reel. Alternatively, you can usually rent your gear from any pier-side bait-and-tackle shop.

It’s easy to get started. Simply choose a location and cast your line for some truly awesome saltwater species.

Early morning or sunset are, in general, the greatest times to fish from a pier. Moving tides draw a large number of baitfish to the area, which draws the huge and ravenous of the fish kingdom as well.

Pier fishing in the Outer Banks is easy to do, inexpensive, and most importantly, enjoyable. Fishing from a pier is a dream come true, with plenty of fish to catch and a slew of like-minded fishermen to keep you company.

Charters / Fishing Excursions

A rack of fishing rods on a charter boat

Dream, explore, and discover culture & tourism on a big boat!

Ready to catch a few large fish farther away from the comforts of your vacation rental on the Outer Banks of North Carolina? Book an offshore fishing trip. These trips can be a little more pricey, but they may be shared among friends and family so it would be worth looking into how many people can come with you on the boat.

The average excursion lasts a full day. You’ll board a specially prepared boat with a seasoned captain and crew and go to the Gulf Stream, where enormous sportfish species thrive. Most charters include bait, equipment, and ice, as well as any necessary information and help. Children are usually allowed on board, allowing the complete family to join in the wonderful event.

Each charter fishing adventure is unique, which adds to the thrill. You must also approach it with an open mind. Don’t get your hopes up by having unrealistic expectations about what you want to capture. There isn’t a tour that isn’t different from the last. Some days are better for catching fish than others, and occasionally the weather just won’t cooperate despite your best efforts. 

Culture chasers and bucket listers alike who enjoy charter fishing will undoubtedly be an experience you will not soon forget, whether it is a good or bad day. It always helps to be open-minded and ready for whatever the day throws at you, whether it’s your first or fiftieth excursion deep sea fishing in the OBX.

More To Come …

Make sure to follow this blog for more great fishing-related topics in our series over the next few months! We will be covering what types of fish you can catch in the Outer Banks next month, and we will help you discover some great local spots to cast from in the month after. In the meantime check out some other super fun things to do and until next time, we wish you tight lines!

Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades. 

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community.

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