Nags Head, NC
Trips start at $575.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $625.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $2100.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $350.00
Max guests: 5
Trips start at $1450.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $1950.00
Max guests: 6
Situated just south of Kill Devil Hills on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Nags Head is one of the region’s most popular destinations. From the iconic Bodie Island Lighthouse to the sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head is rich in Outer Banks history. Being a beachfront town, the community’s lifestyle is heavily intertwined with the Atlantic Ocean. Tourists and residents alike flock to the beaches in the warmer months, and the fishing is fantastic year round.
Speaking of fishing, Nags Head is known to provide some of the best that the East Coast has to offer. Whether you are fishing from a pier or in the surf, inshore or offshore, a day fishing in Nags Head is sure to deliver.
Anglers visiting or living in Nags Head can wet a line at one of the area’s fishing piers. At 750 feet, Nags Head Pier is among the longest on the Outer Banks, and offers anglers an opportunity to catch a variety of inshore species including bluefish, sea trout, and smaller red drum, known locally as “puppy drum.”
Fishermen and women looking for more action can hire a Nags Head fishing guide who knows the inshore area well. These locals know where to find the biggest striped bass, red drum, flounder, and seatrout. Striped bass, or stripers, school in the inlets, and are known for their feeding frenzies. Watch for birds circling a disturbance in the water. They are usually picking up the scraps of a striper feast. A topwater plug or live bait thrown into the mix will typically trigger a bite in short order. The striper bite starts heating up as the weather cools down, and the Outer Banks is one of the last coastal stops these fish make on their migration before heading offshore. Striped bass enthusiasts from around the country flock to the area to capitalize.
Red drum are also among the most highly sought after inshore fish along the Outer Banks, and Nags Head is no exception. Although they can be caught in the surf, the biggest ones will be a bit further off the beach. Red Drum are very strong, and can grow to be over 50 pounds. Fish in the 36” range will often school together, meaning that if an angler hooks up to one this size, there are likely others close by. Common bait for red drum are mullet or menhaden, but artificials work as well. These fish are also a prime target for fly fishermen, but conditions need to be ideal. Windy weather can make effectively casting a fly near impossible. Fishing for red drum usually begins in the Spring, and peaks in October. Anglers in the area report schools so dense at peak migration that the water could appear to have a bronze tint. Your Nags Head guide will have the best insight into where the biggest fish have been biting during the run.
Although the inshore fishing is world class, Nags Head’s relative proximity to the Gulf Stream is what makes it a true international fishing destination, and this means heading offshore. About 30 miles out of the Oregon Inlet, the Gulf Stream gives anglers an opportunity to catch some bucket list fish. Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Tuna, and Mahi Mahi are plentiful, and there is something to catch 12 months out of the year.
Among billfish, the Blue Marlin is regarded as the gold standard. Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea famously details the battle between a fisherman and a massive marlin, and the fish is practically a world-renowned symbol of open water angling. The summer months offer the best blue marlin fishing off of the Outer Banks, with fish averaging 250-500 pounds. Multiple specimens over 1,000 pounds have been caught over the years. Marlin strike with explosive energy, typically breaching the surface immediately after being hooked. The ensuing battle is not for the faint hearted.
Another offshore giant, the Bluefin Tuna, is also a worthy Outer Banks adversary. Bluefin Tuna fishing starts picking up in December, peaking in February and March. A real heavy-tackle test, Bluefin Tuna can weigh over 700 pounds. Similar to Marlin, trolling is one of the most popular techniques to catch these beasts. Tuna are known for “treating” anglers to a massive, line stripping run after hookup that can be sustained for over 200 yards depending on the tackle and size of the fish. An experienced captain is key, as they will be able to pilot the boat to your advantage during the fight.
Anglers looking to fill a cooler will be interested in pursuing Mahi Mahi. These colorful fish are known to be among the best eating that the Atlantic has to offer. Fish under 20 pounds start showing up in late April, while catches up to 50 pounds or more become more common in the middle of summer. Your captain will be looking for bait-attracting weedlines or floating grass mats in the open water. Mahi are typically close by. These fish travel in schools as well, meaning if you hook up to one, there are likely more. An offshore trip in June or July is sure to see you heading home with enough filets for the whole family.
Whether you are looking to tangle with stripers and red drum inshore, or try your hand at the fish of a lifetime in the Gulf Stream, Nags Head has you covered. Although the town has plenty to offer, a visit to the Outer Banks is not complete without a day on the water. Reserve your Nags Head fishing trip with a 10% deposit today on FishAnywhere.com!