Thankfully, Jennette’s Pier is open for business, and fall fishing remains fabulous along the Outer Banks. That’s why it attracts two of the largest tournaments in the world.

The biggest surf fishing event on record gets underway on the beaches surrounding Jennette’s Pier Thursday and Friday Oct. 4-5. The 67th Annual Nags Head Surf Fishing Club’s Invitational brings 480 anglers to town for two days of fishing and three nights of fun.

A handful of Pier employees take off work to fish this tourney, which entails 80, six-person teams striving to score the most points from catching the longest and most fish.

Once again, Jennette’s plans to host the annual N.C. Lions Visually Impaired Persons Fishing Tournament or simply “VIP Tourney” on Tuesday, Oct. 23, which has some impressive numbers of its own.

Organizers say it’s the largest service project of its kind in the world. The three-day event attracts more than 350 visually impaired persons, 130 sighted guests, and 300 volunteers to the Outer Banks.

Each of the ocean piers on the northern Outer Banks and both head boats host the VIPs for free. Jennette’s and the rest open up their doors for fishing from around 8 a.m. to mid-afternoon.

Former aquariums director Rhett White, his wife Gwen and their sons have worked tirelessly for decades to make the event what it is today.

And while folks enjoy fall fishing, our Green Team plans to reduce the number one source of plastic pollution from our beaches — cigarette butts.

Thanks to a sustainability grant from the N.C. Aquariums Society, educator Meredith Fish will lead the effort to inform our visitors about the problem as we equip our parking lot with PVC cigarette receptacles donated by the Outer Banks Surfrider Foundation.

The design allows us to easily gather the butts, so they can be shipped out to be recycled into new products by TerraCycle.

Say “bye-bye” to unwanted butts.

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