For the past several years, it seems like one crew after another manages to land a 1,000-pound blue marlin - or one pretty close to it - during the tournaments held in the waters off North Carolina. Long known as one of the cradles of big-game sport fishing, North Carolina boasts a late-summer blue marlin bite that gives stateside anglers their most legitimate shot at catching a blue topping 800 pounds. With that said, the white marlin bite off Hatteras and the Outer Banks comes in second to nowhere when they really turn on. Last year North Carolina enjoyed a tremendous white marlin season, with local boats scoring 10- to 20-fish days with surprising regularity. And the state's large and experienced charter fleet allows walk-up anglers the opportunity to fish with world-class captains and mates. A trip on a North Carolina charter boat is more than just a fishing trip; it's a big-game education that can shave years off your learning curve if you sit back and pay attention.
The area's large charter and boatbuilding community continually spits out a seemingly never-ending supply of top captains who go on to make names for themselves - guys like Paul Spencer, John Bayliss and Paul Mann, just to name a few. North Carolina also hosts some of the largest, most popular blue marlin tournaments on the East Coast, like the Big Rock out of Morehead City and the Pirate's Cove out of, you guessed it, Pirate's Cove Marina on the Outer Banks, which also hosts an 18-boat charter fleet. And anyone who fishes in the Atlantic should definitely stop by the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center to see where this whole offshore game got started.
Oregon Inlet Fishing Center
Pirate's Cove Marina