The Outer Banks is a 200-mile-long string of what are called “barrier islands.” Lying off the coast of North Carolina and a very small portion of Virginia, the Outer Banks offer stunning natural beauty, a temperate climate, and some of the best fishing opportunities in the country. After a long winter spent with fishing gear put away, many avid sport fishing fans are all too eager to once again take up the challenge of landing fish of all types, and they often head to the Outer Banks to do so. Spring and summer fishing in the Outer Banks appeals to fisherman from all over the country, and for good reason.
Ease of Travel to the Outer Banks
There are many reasons why the Outer Banks is a great fishing destination in the spring and summer months. It’s easy to get to the Outer Banks by car from most any location in the U.S. and Canada. Interstate highways connect to well-maintained state roads and highways in North Carolina and travel by car to OBX, as the Outer Banks are commonly known, is scenic.
Norfolk International Airport in Norfolk, Virginia, lies only 82 miles to the north, with easy travel by car directly from the airport. Raleigh Durham International Airport in North Carolina is about 192 miles west of the Outer Banks, and the drive is both easy and scenic. There are also air charters available that fly directly into airfields in and around the OBX.
Ground transportation in the Outer Banks includes car rentals, limos, shuttles, and tour buses. Ferry service between the mainland of North Carolina and OBX and its islands is also a fixture. It’s very easy for sport fishing enthusiasts to focus on fishing and not on getting from island to island, or fishing area to fishing area, and this is a definite bonus when you’re interested in maintaining your focus.
Fishing the Outer Banks
There are many ways to fish the Outer Banks, including offshore in larger watercraft, off a pier, inshore, or near-shore in small boats and in the surf areas. Offshore fishing in the Outer Banks typically means a two-hour or so boat ride to the waters of the Gulf Stream, and spring and early summer months provide not only warm temperatures but also calmer waters.
Scheduled offshore fishing excursions in the Outer Banks usually depart no later than 6 AM so that fishing areas are reached by 8 AM to allow for a full day of quality fishing. Different species of deepwater fish make their way through the Outer Banks in the spring and summer, such as yellowfin tuna in the spring and various size fish and dolphin in the late spring and early summer months.
Many anglers heading to the Outer Banks prefer inshore and near-shore fishing rather than deepwater fishing. In boats, trolling fishing may net Outer Banks anglers a range of species such as Spanish and king mackerel. Other fishing fans prefer plying their sport on various piers dotting the Outer Banks in the spring and summer months, and bait and tackle shops are conveniently located near many OBX piers.
Outer Banks Surf Fishing
Successful fishing in the surf along the Outer Banks can be an exciting experience where technique, understanding of local currents, and determination make it an enjoyable spring and summer pastime. Some beach fishing area in the Outer Banks have their own opening and closing schedule, and on Hatteras Island U.S. National Park Service rules dictate which beach surf areas are open to off-road vehicles.
The NPS also has other requirements and rules Outer Banks surf fishing fans must follow, and it’s a good idea to learn them prior to showing up and trying to cast tackle rigs into the water. Outer Banks surf fish species include speckled trout, croaker, bluefish, and sea mullet.
Outer Banks Tourist Traffic
The Outer Banks area is a natural tourist destination. As spring melts into summer in OBX, greater numbers of visitors begin pouring in and fishing charter businesses may book up, making it important to reserve early. Popular surf and inshore fishing areas in the Outer Banks may also become more populous in the summer than in the spring, and air temperatures can also sometimes become balmy when offshore breezes subside.