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The cheapest, easiest and most convenient way to get into Hatteras fishing is by Surf Fishing. All you need is a saltwater rod and reel and a North Carolina fishing license. You can buy both at the Red Drum in Buxton. You can buy a bucket of bait, usually shrimp, at The Red Drum, or you can dig your own at the waterline on the beach, usually mole crabs. A beach chair and sand spike (for your rod) are helpful. Just pack a cold beverage and you're set. You can theoretically fish anywhere along the front beaches, but ask at The Red Drum, Dillon's or at the store in Frisco to learn which spots are the most active the week you're fishing.

There are certain skills involved. If no one in your family or group has those skills, we'd recommend you stop by The Red Drum and hire a guide. Even if you only hired one for the first morning or evening, you would then know what you were doing the rest of the week. If you don't want to do this, try buying or checking out a book on surf fishing back home and reading up on it before you come. You can practice casting in your backyard using a freshwater reel and several old tires. If you're new to surf fishing, casting will be your biggest challenge. You'll need several days practice to get good at it. Many fishers go down to the beach in the mornings and practice casting, then go back in the evenings to actually fish.

You'll be fishing mostly for Sea Bass, Striped Bass, Flounder, Red Drum and Blue, although you may catch Spanish Mackeral and Sea Trout. You may even catch a Shark or Manta Ray.

Most veteran surf fishers fish with the tide. You can pick up a tide chart at the Red Drum. Ideal fishing is usually the hour before and after high tide. Tide charts indicate the tides at Buxton Beach. If you're fishing at Frisco or any other place, you have to add or subtract minutes. The guys at the Red Drum can advise you on this.

The ultimate Mecca for surf fishers is Cape Point, that is, the actual Cape Hatteras. This is the best surf fishing in the world. If you enlarge this photo, you'll see dune buggies and four wheel drive vehicles parked all along the water's edge and fishermen knee deep in the waves. And you can get there on foot. Right behind that pond, to the left is a national park campground, and to the right a road leads right to the beach. You can park at either place. The walk is about a mile from the campground and half a mile from the paved road parking lot. It's probably too far for the typical grade school kid unless you do a lot of hiking back home, but no problem for anyone in middle school or beyond. Realize, however, that this is not a swimming beach. Currents swirling around this point make the water treacherous. So if your kids are coming along, they must understand that the only thing they'll be doing is fishing. If you're not interested in hiking it, you can hire a guide to bring you out in a Jeep. Again, check with the Red Drum.
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