October is one of one of the best months on the Outer Banks. Most days, the weather is near perfect and the water surrounding the Outer Banks is still relatively warm. The local folks who support the tourist industry are able to take some time for themselves because the pace of life on the Outer Banks slows down. It’s the month when we begin to return to being a small town. Like September, there are many fun things to do on the Outer Banks this time of year. Here’s just a few items in our Outer Banks Bucketlist for October.
Catch a speckled trout
Similar to waterfowl, many saltwater species of fish migrate south in the winter past the Outer Banks. One of these fish is the speckled trout. When the surf is calm in October it’s likely that these fish will be close enough to the beach that anglers can cast to these fish. These fish are fun to catch on light tackle right in the surf. Anglers also love catching these fish off local piers. Finding a place on the beach where there’s a narrow deep channel between the beach and a sandbar is a good place to start fishing. Often these fish will be in the deep water nearby waiting for food to fall off the shallow sandbar.
It’s a good idea to scout out the beach at different tides to find a good spot. Most fish caught this time of year are between one and three pounds. Once in a while a fish over five or six pounds are caught. Catching fish like this in the surf on light tackle is a great experience! It’s a good idea to pick up some artificial lures from a local tackle shop. They’ll know what’s working best.
Go to the Outer Banks Seafood Festival
This event is held every year towards the end of October at the sound side event site in Nags Head. Before tourism became the mainstay of Outer Banks business, commercial fishing was the top Outer Banks industry. This event helps celebrate that heritage. It also offers the chefs of local restaurants the opportunity to show off their culinary skills. You’ll enjoy the fishing exhibits and the live music. There’s also a many local companies that are selling their local crafts and products. For more information about this event check out their web site here.
Explore Oregon Inlet
Oregon Inlet is a unique spot on the Outer Banks. As part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore this area has been protected from development. Besides four-wheel tracks, the only signs of man you’ll see are the bridge over Oregon Inlet, the coast guard buildings and Oregon Inlet Marina. This is the only inlet to the ocean between Hatteras and Virginia Beach. Water from as far away as Christiansburg, Virginia finds its way to the ocean here. That’s over 300 miles!
On the north side, you can either four-wheel drive or walk down to the point. Earlier in the year there may be parts of the inlet that are inaccessible because of bird nesting or turtle nesting. That’s typically over this time of year. There are all kinds of species of birds, crabs and mammals that make Oregon Inlet home. The actual inlet is over a mile south of the northern access from NC 12. Just seeing the square mile after square mile of undeveloped coastline is worth the visit.
The south side of Oregon Inlet is only accessible by foot but the inlet itself is much closer. A rock groin was installed the inlet to keep the inlet from moving south. In fact, when the inlet was formed in the 1800’s it was near the Bodie Island Lighthouse. That’s miles to the north! Similar to the north side there’s miles and miles of empty coastline to explore. However, you can also see the old coast guard station that the US Coast Guard vacated in the 1980’s when the inlet threatened it.
The slower paced, small town feel of the Outer Banks really begins to take hold in October. Along with this slower pace, there are many fun things to do. We hope you get a chance to try these three Outer Banks Bucketlist for October things and make a list with your favorities!