One afternoon you should take the family to Oregon Inlet, Wanchese, Pirates Cove, or Manteo around 3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Kids of every age will be fascinated to see what the charter boats catch in the waters off the Outer Banks. For about the next hour or so the fleet boats will come back from the fishing grounds with their catch.
You can stand right on the dock and watch the boats power into the marina and deftly turn so that the stern faces the slip. Before you know it, the captain backs the boat into the slip, and the mate ties the mooring lines to secure the boat. Then the fun begins.
The mate opens the fish boxes and rinses the catch with a hose. He then grabs each fish and slings it onto the dock in a neat line until all the fish are unloaded. There is usually a crowd of people around each boat as it is being unloaded. You never quite know what you’ll see.
Boats that have caught, tagged, and released majestic big game fish (marlin, swordfish, sailfish) will be flying catch flags from their rigging. The catch and release program allows the species to propagate and survive for future generations.
Boats that fish for smaller sport fish (tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, mackerel) are where you can really see something special. You will marvel at the size and beauty of the fish that were caught.
If you listen to the conversations as you walk around, you’ll hear many fantastic fish stories – some unbelievable! This environment certainly makes it easy to imagine hooking into one of the ocean beauties and fighting to bring it back to the boat.