If anglers don't mind cold weather and perhaps rolling seas, they can head to Oregon Inlet Fishing Center to try for humongous ocean-run striped bass.

"They're catching stripers everywhere, from right outside Oregon Inlet to Duck to just before Rodanthe, which is a 5- or 6-mile stretch of beach," said Bambi Scarborough of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center (252-441-6301 or 800-272-5199).

Scarborough said boat anglers are landing limits (two fish per angler per day, minimum length 28 inches) "every day."

"The (striper) fishing hasn't been like this for five or six years," she said. "On New Year's Day, we called local police to help direct traffic at the boat launch for private boats behind the (fishing center), and it was five years to the day the last time we had to do that."

Scarborough said walk-up charters are always available on weekends, but only one or two boats have been going out of Oregon Inlet on Monday through Friday.

"You must apply in person to be placed on a charter boat or you can apply through our web site (http://www.oregon-inlet.com)," she said.

Oregon Inlet does not arrange trips by telephone.

Medium-size boat charters cost $82 per person and large boat charters are $112 per angler.


"Weekends are good times to come for general or makeup charters," she said. 'We have approximately 20 (charter) boats going out Saturdays and Sundays now.'

The N.C. record for ocean run striped bass was broken twice in two days near Oregon Inlet, once on Jan. 5 by angler Stephen Furlough of Roper for a 63-pounder caught aboard Capt. Charles Haywood's Rigged Up, and then on Jan. 7 angler Kevin Angel of Sand Bridge, N.C., landed a 64-pounder on Capt. Devin Cage's Poacher.

Motel/hotel accommodations can be found by visiting www.OuterBanks.org and clicking on northern beaches or Nags Head.

"The Comfort Inn South does give deals to anyone who books a fishing trip with us," Scarborough said.


Oregon Inlet Fishing Center is off N.C. 12 south from Nags Head and near the north end of the Bonner Bridge.