Outer Banks fishing report for mid May

Anglers are bringing big catches of tuna and dolphin back to the docks at Outer Banks Marina this May.

Meat fish make up big part of mid-May fishing report

The Outer Banks fishing report has been all about the meat fish for anglers fishing in the past few days. And these fish have been a sight for sore eyes. The folks at Outer Banks Marina in Wanchese described the last few days as “May fishing finally showed up!”

SeaWolf, Hit Man, STOLAT, Doghouse, and other OBX charters boats have been coming in loaded with dolphins, tuna, king mackerel and wahoo. Bottom-fishing vessels like Grandpa Charters are catching lots of grouper, including some day-makers.

And it’s not just offshore boats that are bringing in the meat. Wild Card has been catching loads of Spanish mackerel and numerous cobia.

Surf anglers are getting their share of the fun as well, although some tough winds have made it difficult throughout sections of recent days. Still, plenty of surf anglers are landing bull red drum. Sea mullets and pompano have been spotty, but biting great on some days.

The fishing will continue to improve as the weather stabilizes

At Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo, anglers have similar tales to tell. Their offshore fleet has reported big catches of dolphin, and numerous citation bigeye and yellowfin tuna. They’re also reeling in nice catches of king mackerel and wahoo.

James Grdich caught a citation yellowfin of 75 pounds. Fran Donato caught a citation, 100-pound bigeye tuna. Douglas Root caught a 110-pound citation bigeye. And Rocco Principe got a citation for a sailfish release, all on May 18 while fishing out of Pirate’s Cove.


Frank & Fran’s Fisherman’s Friend in Avon said the wind has made the fishing tough on some days, but anglers who stick it out are being rewarded with puppy drum and speckled trout, as well as sea mullet. A few pompano, including a citation-worthy one, have been caught here and there. One of their customer’s caught a 29-inch speckled trout just north of Avon.

Outer Banks fishing report
This 29+ inch speckled trout bit an artificial lure just north of Avon on May 17, 2021.

The weather is slowly but surely getting just right in the OBX. The offshore bite is expected to get even better in the coming weeks, and the nearshore, inshore, and surf Outer Banks fishing report should all improve as the spring weather stabilizes in the next week or so. Right now is a great time to go because some days have been top notch, mixed in with some tough windy days. It’s still less crowded right now than it will be in a few weeks, and that always makes for better fishing.

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About Brian Cope 1998 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of CarolinaSportsman.com. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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