It’s tough to beat pier fishing for a number of reasons. It gives anglers access to so many species of fish, some of which the could reach from the beach, but some that would be outside of casting range for the majority of anglers. It also puts anglers in a comfortable place, without getting sand and saltwater in their shorts, and it gives them solid footing that they won’t find in the shifting sand.

The Avon Fishing Pier on Hatteras Island has been having a great year. The 600-foot long wooden structure is no stranger to success. The current world record red drum was caught here in 1984 –– a 94-pound brute that has kept old drum hunters coming back year after year.

And while big drum are certainly one of the pier’s main species, it’s far from the only highlight. This pier juts far enough out into the Atlantic to put many species in range of its anglers.

Blues, Spanish mackerel, sea mullet, croakers, and several other species have been biting all summer, but a couple of recent catches have raised the bar.

A 31-inch dolphin was caught by an angler using live bait on a day when the water was crystal clear, and a day later Sammy Thornton of Nags Head caught another dolphin off Jeanette’s Pier

Jim Brown was recently fishing from the Avon Pier with a Got-Cha plug, which is commonly known as a Spanish mackerel or bluefish magnet. And he caught something that surprised folks despite the many different species of fish caught from this pier annually. Brown caught a juvenile sailfish.

While this was an eyebrow-raising catch, it’s not the first time a sailfish has been caught from the Avon structure. It happened in 2013 to John Kane of Virginia Beach when he was fishing on the pier, and it’s happened a few other times before that. Kane’s sailfish was about 24-inches long. While most have been small like Brown’s and Kane’s, anglers have reported seeing much larger sailfish swimming around and under the pier.