You will catch a wide variety of fish while casting a line while fishing in the Outer Banks.
Here's a list of the most common fish that you'll catch in the Outer Banks. Some fish are worth the catch putting up a fight on the line, others make for tasty meals!
Channel bass / red drum/ puppy drum
There are generally two seasons of “drum runs” in the Outer Banks. The runs occur in the spring and one in the fall. It’s not unusual to see anglers reeling in fish after fish. Size varies but lucky anglers can reel in up to a 50 lb. drum.
Flounder and croaker are caught during the spring, summer, and fall months, and are both bottom feeders that can be reeled in from the beach or pier. The fish also provide a good meal.
Spanish mackerels can be caught from late May to early September and keepers can range from 12" or more. They’re especially tasty!
Striped bass can also be caught in the fall and winter months with heaviest numbers in November and December. They make for an excellent meal.
Bluefish or Blues are most caught off the beach and piers. They are smaller silverfish and range from a few short inches to a foot or more.
Sea Mullet, also known as King Mullet, are another species that is commonly reeled in off piers, or off the beach. The smaller fish make for excellent bait.
Cobia can be caught in the summer months, and at 30 - 60 lbs., these fish put up a fight!
Types of Charter Fishing
Hatteras Island is known as the Blue Marlin Capital of the World according to the Outer Banks visitor guide! A number of record-breaking blue marlins have been reeled in over the past years.
White marlins are rarer but can also be found off the coast. They are also usually caught at record-breaking sizes.
Mahi Mahi / Dolphin: The dolphin is an iridescent turquoise and lime green fish. It’s common when the weather is warm. It ranges from 10 - 50 lbs., and are usually found feeding along floating lines of sea grass or seaweed.
Tuna: Yellowfin tuna are available off the Outer Banks all year long. It really heats up in mid to late spring. Yellowfin range in size from 15-75 pounds.
Amberjack: Also known as Wreck Donkeys, or Reef Donkeys, the Amberjack can be found scuttling around wrecks or structures. Amberjack can put up a good fight and are known to break many lines.
King Mackerel can be caught throughout the year, but fishing for these good-sized species, between 20-40 lbs. is at its best in the fall.
Wahoo is a prize fish for experienced anglers, as its quick speed and razor-sharp teeth make this fish a struggle to reel in.
Want more? Check out the NOAA US National Fish Database