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Pirate's Cove Big Game Fishing

Pirate's Cove Fishing Tournament Facts:

  • Held August 15th-19th, Manteo, North Carolina
  • Fishing boundaries are between N41350, S40000, and E26700
  • All Billfish except blue marlin weighing over 400lbs or 100 inches short length must be released
  • Teams may fish 3 out of 4 days, August 16th through August 19th
  • Fishing hours are between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00pm daily.
  • The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries requires a recreational fishing license for anyone participating in fishing aboard a vessel

Pirate's Cove Fishing

Boats fishing the Pirate's Cove Big Game Tournament must use circle hooks when deploying natural baits or natural bait-artificial lure combinations. This regulation allows the use of "J" hooks with artificial lures in tournaments. There are no recreational circle hook requirements outside of billfish tournaments. The National Marine Fisheries Service defines a circle hook as a hook originally designed and manufactured so that the point of the hook is turned perpendicularly back towards the shank of the hook to form a generally circular or oval shape. The unique curved shape of a circle hook, essentially like that of a capital "G" helps prevent it from catching in the gut or throat of a fish, where it can cause significant internal injury. This hooking location allows for easy removal with a minimum or trauma to the fish and helps fish survive the catch and release experience. Offsetting a circle hook (bending the point to one side of the shank) reduces the conservation benefit of circle hooks

For more information refer to the official tournament website-

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Pirate's Cove Big Game Fishing Tournament Forecast and Fishing Data

When targeting Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin during the Pirate's Cove Big Game Fishing Tournament, Buoyweather provides the best Chlorophyll, SST, wind and wave information available on the web. Stay on top of the bite with our Tide and Moon phase charts optimized for the North Carolina fishery.

Buoyweather premium members can stay on top of the offshore bite by utilizing the Bouyweather mobile marine weather service or accessing the full range of Buoyweather features through our web app. Additionally, forecast alerts can be emailed to your mobile device or personal email account. TRY BUOYWEATHER PREMIUM 15 DAYS FREE - Sign up to become a premium member now.

Pirate's Cove Big Game Fishing Tournament Tips

  • Check the for 7 day wind and swell forecasts for the area offshore of Manteo, North Carolina. This will give you a good idea of what conditions to expect and where to fish during the tournament.

  • Blue Marlin can often be found feeding close to the surface in water temperatures between 72 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Check SST and Altimetry charts to find temperature breaks within the tournament boundary. Current breaks hold bait and serve as natural migratory pathways for bait and the Pelagics that feed on them

  • Look for eddies that will bring clear blue water into the areas offshore of Manteo, North Carolina that will often hold higher than normal concentrations of Blue Marlin, White Marlin and tuna.

  • Dead-Bait and Trolling Spreads with dredges combined with two lures are the preferred method of catching White and Blue Marlin in the Pirate's Cove Big Game Fishing Tournament.