Outer Banks Fish Species and Seasons

The Outer Banks has an amazingly diverse population of offshore species with incredible size and breathtaking beauty that can excite even the most experienced deep sea anglers. The shapes and colors of each of the species varies greatly and every one can be even more outstanding than the previous one. This page will help you identify the local offshore fish species as well as when you might want to try fishing for each of them if a certain species is your target.

Blue Marlin Summer-Fall

Outer Banks Blue Mralin

Without much argument the most sought after fish in the Atlantic Ocean is the blue marlin. Reaching weights of nearly 1000 pounds and averaging over 300 pounds, the blue marlin is the apex predator in our waters. Blue marlin are a bonus species on any charter trip and are the primary target species of many East Coast tournaments. The fact is they are aggressive and strong which makes them the almost perfect sportfishing game fish. Oregon Inlet is fortunate to be a premier location for late summer blue marlin fishing.

White Marlin Summer-Fall

White Marlin

Oregon Inlet is rated by sportfishing experts as having some of the best white marlin fishing anywhere in the world. White marlin look like a smaller version of the blue marlin with some subtle differences in color and fin shape they and rarely grow over 80 pounds. But what they lack in overall size they make up for in aggression and acrobatics. Traveling in small schools, it is not unusual to hook two or three at the same time. This is another respected species that is often the target species in East Coast tournaments.

Sailfish Summer


The sailfish is a rare but extremely exciting mid-summer time visitor off Oregon Inlet. With an average size in the 60 pound range and their use of a giant sail on their backs for leverage, they make a very tough species to actually catch and land. But when you do you are in for a glimpse of one of the most colorful and amazing fish that swims in our oceans. Sailfish are mostly caught off Oregon Inlet while trolling.

Yellowfin Tuna Spring-Summer-Fall

Oregon Inlet Yellowfin Tuna

Our outstanding yellowfin tuna fishing off Oregon Inlet has been legendary for decades. The waters where the northward flowing Gulf Stream and the southern flowing Labrador Current meet and form water temperature variations are a natural collecting area for tuna and smaller prey species as well. Yellowfin tuna traveling in giant feeding schools which can attack an entire trolling spread of seven lines all at the same time and create pandemonium.

Bluefin Tuna Fall-Winter

Oregon Inlet Bluefin Tuna

Outer Banks charter anglers often have the unique opportunity to hook up with one of the most sought after food species in the world. The highly prized giant bluefin tuna can grow to weights over 500 pounds with some approaching 1000 pounds. It takes special tackle to even hope to land one of the bulldog behemoths. Pirate's Cove charter boats are all rigged and ready when the bluefin tuna show up. It's always a good idea to keep checking the fishing reports because the action can turn off or on without notice.

Wahoo All Year


Some say that this species got its name from those drag screaming runs it makes or maybe it might be the fact that it often propels itself several feet into the air when it first takes the lure. Wahoo grow to an average weight of 40 pounds but are often caught up to and sometimes even over 100 pounds. This is a very tough predator with bullet fast strikes and teeth that can slice even braided steel. Another one of the things that makes the wahoo so popular for sportfishing is that it has a very tasty white meat filet that is prized table fare in any seafood restaurant.

Mahi Spring-Summer-Fall


The darling of nearly every charter fishing trip would have to be the mahi. It goes locally by many names including mahi-mahi, dorado, and dolphinfish. This fast growing species roams the waters between the Gulf Stream and Oregon Inlet in great abundance and is a willing sportfish that can be caught b a variety of methods. Mahi are extremely colorful and change their colors several times even while you are battling them on rod and reel. They could come to the boat green, blue, silver, and any mixture of colors. They are also excellent on the table.

So Many Possibilities!

Beuatiful Oregon Inlet Offshore Sunrise On The Sandra D

Of course these are not the only species that you will have an opportunity to catch off Oregon Inlet. Our waters might also produce striped bass (rockfish), blackfin tuna, several species of sharks (including the mako), king mackerel, spanish mackerel, large chopper bluefish, taylor blues and more. Join us for a fishing charter to experience the natural wonders that the incredibly exciting sportfishing off the Outer Banks can provide.


Social Media