The Billfish Report is counting down its Top 10 Billfisheries of the Year with our #3 Billfishery Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. Criteria for our Top 10 include fish numbers, variety of billfish species, reports, average size of fish, length of season and number of boats fishing. While reports were down in 2020 as many fisheries had limited days fishing or in some cases an entire season cancelled, we still had over 4,000 Reports. We want to acknowledge and congratulate those who were able to fish in 2020 as there was still some amazing fishing to be had.
Oregon Inlet, North Carolina – We guess it took a Pandemic to end the drought. It has been five (5) years since this iconic fishery has made our Top 10. While always in consideration, it takes a special year to enter our Top 10 and 2020 was every bit of that. This was by far the most reports we have received out of these boats in our history. It could be that more folks were fishing closer to home, but whatever it was it was damn good.
The flags were a flying for boats fishing out of Oregon Inlet. The first wave of fish showed up and it seemed like it lasted all season, with very little slow period. Blue Marlin, White Marlin and Sailfish all made their presence felt. There is always a chance for Grand Slam when fishing out of here, but 2020 was better than most. We had a total of thirteen (13) Grand Slams released, making this the the Best Place in the World for a Grand Slam in 2020. The Slams were flowing so well, that Rigged Up, Sea Toy and Pelican all released Double Grand Slams. We don’t keep the records on number of Double Grand Slams out of a specific fishery, but we would be surprised if this has ever been beat.
When you think of Oregon Inlet when it comes to numbers, White Marlin most likely comes to mind. It is not uncommon during the fall run to release 10-20 in a Day. Oddly enough, that bite never materialized as it has in past years. The Best Report on White Marlin came off the Fin Planner and Pelican, both with eight (8).
There are plenty of healthy size Blue Marlin off this coast, with a number of Granders to their credit. This year we had nine (9) Blue Marlin reported to us over 500 lbs. with the largest fish estimated at 600 lbs. While this number may not seem impressive it was good enough for the 3rd in the Atlantic in 2020.
This is a large fleet by our standards, with twenty (20+) boats reporting to us. We would be remiss if we did not mention this is one of the largest and greatest charter fleets in the United States. On Billfish, this fishery starts to fire in June and the bite will go into October, especially on the White Marlin.
Congratulations to Oregon Inlet, our #3 Billfishery for 2020.