North Carolina’s Outer Banks: A Destination Any Time of Year

Thank you for the recent feature, Sara Kendall, of the Epicurean! “Spanning over 200 miles in a string of narrow barrier islands, the Outer Banks is an ocean haven anytime of the year. The locals refer to them as OBX, and millions of people make these islands their vacation destination. Looking to book a winter retreat or plan next summer’s getaway? The Outer Banks is a fabulous choice no matter the time of year you decide to venture to the ocean breezes.” http://www.epicureancharlotte.com/travel/

This Article from the Charlotte Epicurean on just a few of the reasons why the OBX is so special hit the nail on the head! We have so much to do here and a ton of great dining options! What are you going to choose to do today?

Kayak Fishing, Growing Larger Than a Fisherman’s Tale

http://www.kittyhawk.com/adventures/hobie-kayak-charter-fishing-tour/

Kayak fishing is quickly becoming one of the most popular water sports around. The blend of affordability, versatility, and an improved perspective of fishing have driven the sport far beyond what anyone expected. With the 4th Annual Outer Banks Kayak Fishing Tournament on Saturday, we wanted to take a moment to tell everyone exactly what this sport is all about.

 

 

http://www.kittyhawk.com/adventures/hobie-kayak-charter-fishing-tour/What is so great about “kayak fishing”?

For starters, kayaks are a much more affordable vessel to traverse the water on. You can get yourself into a quality kayak for less money than it would cost to purchase the trailer for a larger boat. Not only do they cost less, but they are incredibly versatile. You can use a kayak in any body of water, whether it is a river, a pond, the bay, or even the ocean. The ability to use kayaks in many bodies of water means you can use it more frequently and easier than with a larger boat. The constant question of “how can I get my boat in to fish that spot?” is no longer a problem. The variety of fishing locations means a variety of fish as well. In our Hobie Charter Fishing Tours alone, we have already had customers catch Drum, Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Blue Fish, Flounder, Trout and much more! You can fish in northern lakes for Muskie, Pike, and Walleye or head to the bay for Drum, Speckled Trout and Flounder. Once on the water, the real fun begins. You get the rush of being right in the water, low to the surface similar to wading, but with the kayak, in a dry and stable platform that gives you a steady spot to reel in your catch.

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What makes the Outer Banks such a great spot for kayak fishing?

Similar to the sport itself, the Outer Banks provide a broad array of fishing styles. The area boasts surf fishing just off the shores, deep sea fishing, sound-side fishing, even fishing back into tributaries like the Alligator River. With such a wide variety, there’s no better way to hit all of them than in a kayak. Pick up some smaller fish back in the rivers and streams; maybe stay near the beaches and reel in some False Albacore, Spanish Mackerel, Blues and Croaker. Or venture further out and go after some deep sea Drum or Mahi. The wild life here is incredible, and the sights you’ll have while out on the water are unmatched. From sunrises in the ocean, to sunsets on the sound, you simply can’t beat the views.

Kayaking Outer Banks-All Season Beauty

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Enjoying a Currituck Sound sunset by kayak.

The northeast wind off the ocean is a chilly reminder that winter is coming. Out on the sounds, the duck, geese and swans are carpeting the water, migrating to the bays and estuaries in a cycle of life that as constant as the change of the seasons.

Yet even this time of the year, as the days get shorter and the the Outer Banks goes back to its small town roots, there are still some great opportunities to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

One of the best ways to explore the natural world of the Outer Banks is by kayak, and the fall and winter are great times to get on the water. There are a number of reasons for that.

Wind is the bane of many kayakers existence, and yes there usually a northeast wind at this time of the year, but the waters of Outer Banks sounds are to the west and are well-protected from the wind.

Because there are so few visitors at this time of the year, renting kayaks at almost any time should not be a problem.

Bugs are the great irritant of summer kayaking—yes, bug repellant does work, but it is nice to be on the water without a swarm of insects overhead.

Guided tours are still offered at this time of the year, but availability is very restricted so be sure to call ahead if plans include a guided tour. But for more experienced kayakers, the offseason is a golden opportunity to get on the water.

We’re including a list of kayak put-in sites with a couple of notes about some of the sites. We may have missed a few sites, but this is a good starting point.

Corolla

Whalehead Club

Offers a wonderful and different view of the storied art nouveau mansion. Paddling north leads to classic estuarine waters.

Duck

Duck town boardwalk

There are a number of docks designed for easy kayak access.

Southern Shores

No public put-in. However, civic associations maintain docks and parks along the Currituck Sound.

Kitty Hawk

Dock of the Bay, Bob Perry Rd.

A great access point to Kitty Hawk Bay and Albemarle Sound. Located on a wide creek. Great fishing too.

Sandy Run Park, The Woods Road

Beautiful setting. A little difficult to get out of the pond.

Kill Devil Hills

Dock Street boat ramp Between W. Durham and Avalon Dr.,

Access immediately to the sound.

Second Bridge leading to Colington, Colington Road

Protected area leading to wide expanse of Kitty Hawk Bay.

Nags Head

Jockey’s Ridge State Park/Soundside Road

A little more remote and harder to find, but interesting paddle.

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center

Almost at the foot of Bonner Bridge

Manteo

Bridge leading to Roanoke Island Festival Park

Very protected setting. A great paddle around Ice Plant Island that is the home of Roanoke Island Festival Park.

Washington Baum Bridge Boat Ramp

Across from Pirate’s Cove entrance. Maintained by NC Fish & Wildlife

Hatteras Island

New Inlet

Nature abounds. A real favorite. Part of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Mainland

Milltail Creek, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

One of the most popular kayak paddles around and for good reason. Beautiful and relatively protected.

Most NC Fish & Wildlife ramps have provisions for kayaks.

Kayak Fishing Tournament Coming to OBX

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The Outer Banks has always been famous for it’s fishing, and when fall rolls around it’s tournament time. There are so many fishing tournaments that we’re not even sure we can list them all, but the Kitty Hawk Surf Company Kayak Fishing Tournament coming up September 19 really seems to standout just because it’s so different.

It seems as though fishing from a kayak keeps getting more popular all the time, which makes a lot of sense because it is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the Outer Banks and have some fun at the same time.

All the action will be in the sounds, and almost all of the Outer Banks is in play. The rules call for kayakers to fish from Hatteras Inlet to the Wright Memorial Bridge, including the western shoreline of the sounds.

This is a catch and release tournament—bring your camera because that’s how the judging is going to be done. Flounder, Speckled Trout, and Red Drum will be the catch of the day.

Tournament rules call for a first light start time–that’s 6:48 a.m. on September 19. All pics must be to the judges by 5:00 p.m.

There is a $40 entry fee and a mandatory meeting on Friday, September 18 at Kitty Hawk Surf Company at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing in Nags Head. Proceeds will benefit the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust.

Competition Fills OBX Fall Schedule

Handmade kite flying at the 2014 Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition.

Handmade kite flying at the 2014 Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition.

Summer on the Outer Banks is winding down, but there are still a lot of reasons to visit. More and more, it seems, fall is becoming a second season all it’s own with some great events that are really worth checking out.

The autumn—especially September—seems to have become the time for competition on the Outer Banks. Kitty Hawk Kites is sponsoring three competitions—with our 30th Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition the granddaddy of them all. Just about the only Outer Banks competition that has been around longer is our springtime Hang Gliding Spectacular.

Here are some upcoming competitions that seem to cover almost every sport on the Outer Banks.

KITTY HAWK KITES BIC SUP ONE DESIGN-FINAL EVENT IN MANTEO

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Sep 6, 2015

Kitty Hawk Kites, Manteo

A family-friendly competition—free to the public. Whether you’re paddling for the first time or you’re already a pro, this is a great activity for all!

30th ANNUAL OUTER BANKS STUNT KITE COMPETITION

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Sep 12, 2015 – Sep 13, 2015

Outer Banks Event Site, Nags Head

OBSKC is a regional kite competition bringing some of the nation’s best kite fliers to the Outer Banks. Two days of kite flying fun for the whole family. Saturday Kitty Hawk Kites and friends will host demos and a FREE family fun fly day. Enjoy massive display kites flying high, and participate in stunt and power kite lessons given by pros.

KITTY HAWK SURF COMPANY KAYAK FISHING TOURNAMENT

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Sep 19, 2015

This is a kayak and SUP fishing tournament. All fish caught must be caught from your watercraft, no wading. Registration is online or at mandatory captains meeting September 19th at 6p.m. at Kitty Hawk Surf Co. in Nags Head.

This is a photo catch and release style tournament. Click here for rules and regulations. Competitors are allowed to launch at first light Saturday morning. All photos must be received by 5pm on Saturday in order to be eligible for judging. All pictures must show the fish length from upper lip to end of unpinched tail.

ESA EASTERNS SURFING COMPETITION

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Sept. 20-26

Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head

Highlighting the best of East Coast amateur surfers, skim boarders and body borders, the ESAs are a must-see event. Don’t let the “amateur” label prejudice your view. The level of competition is outstanding and the water skills excellent.

AMERICAN WINDSURFING TOUR’S HATTERAS WAVE JAM

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Sept. 21-26

Hatteras Island

An annual part of the AWS pro circuit, the competition is intense and spectacular.