Outer Banks deep sea fishing is where the area earned it name as the Billfish Capital of the World. There is an incredible number of blue and white marlin as well as sailfish in these waters. OBX fishing season is from spring through early fall, but prime blue marlin season is in June, with white marlin and sailfish in August and September. This is all catch and release; however, ship hands will fly a flag for each billfish caught and released that day to display to all back at the dock the success of the day.
The Gulfstream, located about 30 miles off the Outer Banks, is an hour and a half from Hatteras Inlet and about two hours from Oregon Inlet. This is a full eight hour day excursion. In addition to billfish, your Outer Banks deep sea fishing trip could target king mackerel, wahoo, mako shark, and black fin tuna to name a few, depending on the time of year.
One of the locations most frequented by the Outer Banks charter fishing fleet is The Point, which is about 37 miles off of the Outer Banks. This area is rich in game fish such as tuna, billfish, shark, and Wahoo. Yellowfin, bigeye and blackfin tuna are present year round. The Point is located at eth edge of the Continental Shelf, and is the last "point" that the Gulfstream touches the Continental Shelf before it heads off in an east by northeast direction. The combination of the warm Gulfstream water and the continental shelf makes it an ideal location for bait fish, which bring in the bigger fish.
Another location identified as a prominent Outer Banks fishing area features bluefin tuna. This area was discovered about 20 miles off of the Hatteras Inlet around a bunch of old shipwrecks. Hatteras and Ocracoke marinas primarily head for this area. This catch and release fishing which revived winter Outer Banks deep sea charter fishing, with the bluefin tuna weighing in anywhere from 200 to 800 pounds. These fish are federally protected and there are restrictions on the catch.
Outer Banks deep sea fishing can be enjoyed year round, with the bluefin fishing trips from Hatteras booking January through March. Deep sea charters generally accommodate six people. You will be expected to bring your own food and drink, as well as sunscreen and seasickness medicine. Dressing in layers is also highly recommended, as the weather can turn without notice, and it is generally chilly during the early morning hours. All bait, tackle, and instructions are included in the charter boat price. Do expect to type the boat hands 15 to 20%, as they work on tips. Expect to pay between $800 and $1,400 to charter the boat. Gulf Stream charters out of the Hatteras marinas tend to be a little less than those out of Oregon Inlet. Boats generally leave the docks between 5:30 am and 7:00 am, and expect to start returning around 4:00 pm.
The captains and hands having been working these waters for generations, and know where to expect to find the fish based on studying trends of recent years. In addition, there is a "family" atmosphere amongst the captains, and when one hits a good location, they generally call in the other boats to let them know where the fish are to help all maximize their Outer Banks deep sea fishing experience.