Everything You Need to Know About Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, NC
The Outer Banks of North Carolina has a rich fishing history that dates back well before the Wright Brothers made their first attempt at flying off Kill Devil Hill.
Tens of thousands of vacationers flock to the narrow strip of barrier island – shaped by wind and water – each year to relax, spend time with family and friends, and sometimes, go fishing.
From the 4-wheel drive beaches in northern Corolla to the southern tip of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Outer Banks is one of the very best places to be on the East Coast if you are a fishing enthusiast. Anglers can expect to catch anything from red drum and stripped bass, to rockfish, bluefin tuna, and mahi-mahi.
While many vacationers prefer to spend their day fishing off of a boat – others would rather drop a line in the water while hanging out on one of the half dozen or so area piers. Many years ago, the fishing landscape on the Outer Banks was changed forever when the island’s first pier – Jennette’s Pier – was constructed in Nags Head, NC way back in the year 1939.
The original, landmark structure paved the way for its predecessors that now line the North Carolina coast. Jennette’s Pier has taken a beating over the years from countless hurricanes and nor’easters. In 2003, Hurricane Isabel smashed into the coast of North Carolina, causing millions of dollars in damage to the area’s impacted. Isabel was to blame for severe flooding, immense beach erosion, and the destruction of 540-feet of Jennette’s Pier.
The storm completely devastated the landmark structure.
After the damage was assessed, the North Carolina Aquariums division, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, and local officials and legislator worked together to come up with a plan for a more permanent rebuild of Jennette’s Pier. Hurricanes aren’t going to stop occurring and it’s not very cost-effective to keep rebuilding the structure after a storm.
The group agreed on a plan to rebuild Jennette’s Pier into an all-concrete, 1,000-foot-long center for fishing, special events, and educational programs. Construction on the $25 million dollar structure began in 2009, and was completed about two years later with a grand opening ceremony on May 21, 2011.
Jennette’s Pier is a celebration of the Outer Banks’ rich fishing history, and the structures three wind turbines are a symbol of the islands progress towards being as environmentally friendly as possible. (Did you know the local grocery stores only use paper bags instead plastic?) In addition to wind-powered energy, there are many measures in place that allow the structure to reuse much of the water that’s used to operate the facilities bathrooms and sinks.
Area visitors should certainly make it a point to visit this Nags head attraction during their vacation. With its concrete pilings, indoor aquariums, and top-notch facilities, Jennette’s Pier is well-worth checking out! And if you are a soon-to-be bride, consider choosing Jennette’s Pier for your wedding ceremony or reception venue. It won’t as cheap as a wedding on the beach, but your guests are almost guaranteed to have a terrific time while enjoying one of the very best views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding area beach.
Let’s not forget about fishing either! After all, this is a pier, which is one of the best places to drop a line in the Atlantic in hopes of catching a tasty fish. Anglers of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to grab their fishing pole, load up their tackle box, and head to Jennette’s Pier! Oh, and before you go, you can see what’s biting by checking the daily fishing report on Jennette’s Pier’s website or Facebook page.
Pier Hours of Operation
May through August: 5:00 a.m. till Midnight
April, September, October, November: 6:00 a.m. till Midnight
December through March: 8:00 a.m. till 5 p.m.
Fishing Rates and Passes
Adults: $12 (Day)
Children (12 and Under): $6 (Day)
3-Day Pass: $30
7-Day Pass: $65
Annual Fishing Pass: $275 (365-Day)
Two-Adult Annual Fishing Passes: $400 (365-Day)
Walk on Pier Rates
Adult Walk-On: $2
Children (12 and Under) Walk-On: $1
Equipment Rental Rates
Rod Rentals: $10 (Day)
Pin-Rigs: $3 (Additional Per Day)
7223 S Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959