Oregon Inlet: Famous, infamous

Oregon Inlet, crossed by NC 12 over Bonner Bridge, offers access to some of the best offshore fishing grounds in the world.

Oregon Inlet is a prominent port in the sportfishing world and familiar to most big-game fishermen. The inlet is often rough and always unpredictable, but the offshore fishing is typically excellent.

In recent years the channel through the inlet has migrated, and the inlet has filled and deepened without regard to the fishermen that use it. One wind fills the inlet with sand, and the opposite direction sucks it out. North Carolina or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are almost always dredging in Oregon Inlet.

In spite of the dangers, Oregon Inlet remains a premiere fishing destination, used by a large charter fleet and a huge numbers of private boats. The commercial fleet from nearby Wanchese and Manteo use it also.

The cold waters of the Labrador Current run down the Outer Banks and collide with the warm water of the Gulf Stream, typically a little south of Oregon Inlet in a general area called The Point. This impact disperses nutrients, bait and fish typical of both the cooler Labrador Current and the warmer Gulf Stream current over the area from roughly Cape Hatteras north to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Oregon Inlet is the only inlet between Hatteras and the Chesapeake Bay.

About Jerry Dilsaver 1172 Articles
Jerry Dilsaver of Oak Island, N.C., a full-time freelance writer, is a columnist for Carolina Sportsman. He is a former SKA National Champion and USAA Angler of the Year.

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