Visitors can cast off for some exceptional fishing, while enjoying a bit of local history, with a visit to the Kure Beach Fishing Pier. Family owned and operated since it was first built, this unmistakable beach landmark is a fantastic destination for newcomers who want to check out the fishing scene, enjoy a full day at the beach and neighboring restaurants, or just enjoy the ocean views that span the coastline from Carolina Beach to Fort Fisher State Park.
This pier has a distinctive title as the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coastline. First built in 1923 by local L.C. Kure, (whose father originally owned the majority of what is now "Kure" Beach), the initial goal was to create a pier that would be the centerpiece of a grand entertainment complex for Wilmington visitors. Many attractions were built adjacent to the pier, including pavilions, bars,bath houses and cottages, but the pier remained standing long after these other early Kure Beach attractions were gone.
The current pier, however, is not the original 1923 structure. In fact, the initial 120' foot long pier was destroyed within a year, thanks to sea worms and other marine burrowers, and was replaced with a 240' foot long structure with reinforced concrete. Completed in 1924, this pier was a local institution until 1954's Hurricane Hazel completely wiped the pier, (and most of southern North Carolina), entirely off the map. The pier was rebuilt, once again, and once again enjoyed nearly three decades of prosperity, until 1984's Hurricane Diane swept through and took half the pier with her.1996's Hurricane Bertha also left a devastating mark, and tore through the pier, once again, leaving nothing left.
The new owner, the grandson of the original L.C. Kure, paid careful attention to the construction of the "new" pier after Bertha, reverting back to the original three-piling structural base, and raising the elevation to sit an impressive 26' feet above the ocean. These recent renovations have worked, and the long wooden pier, despite having minor brushes with hurricanes over the past decade or so, has remained strong despite the weather conditions.
Today, the pier remains a popular destination for visitors from Wilmington and all along the East Coast. Beach lovers can stroll along the wooden pier for free and enjoy the endless views in all directions, or enjoy a break from the sun at the on-site concession stand, arcade, and ample souvenir store.
Of course, the biggest draw for pier goers is the fishing, and this region of the Carolina coastline boasts some spectacular seasonal catches. Depending on the time of year, visitors can expect to reel in flounder, bluefish, pompano, drum, spot, sharks, and even King Mackerels, which are arguably the pier's most popular catch.
The pier hosts regular fishing tournaments, for both targeted species like King Mackerel, and for specific groups including young anglers, women, and fishermen with special needs. In fact, the Cape Fear Disabled Sportsman's Fishing Tournament, held annually in April, is one of the most popular tournaments on the pier, attracting nearly 300 entries every year. More information on upcoming pier events and tournaments can be found online.
Fees to access the pier are nominal, and sightseers can take a stroll along the pier for free. Fishing on the pier generally runs around $5.00 per person, (for one rod and reel), with higher rates for both King Fishing with multiple rods, and shark fishing. The pier, and the pier house facilities including restrooms,is open 24 hours a day, generally from April 1st until November 30th. Kure Beach Fishing Pier is a family friendly destination, and as such, no alcohol is allowed on the premises. Questions regarding hours of operation, rates, or what's biting can be answered by calling the pier house at 910-458-5524.
Kure Beach visitors will also find a half dozen restaurants within a block of the pier, for a fishing break that includes a hot meal and an ice cold drink, and visitors who can't view the action up close can check out the pier cam online to see the Kure Beach waves, weather, and fishing conditions from anywhere in the world.
A local landmark that has a surprising honor in history as the oldest fishing pier on the East Coast, Kure Beach Fishing Pier holds the same charm for present-day visitors as it did in the 1920s, welcoming devoted anglers and curious families alike. Spend a full day or night enjoying the gorgeous views and exceptional fishing, and it's a safe bet that after a big catch or a coastal sunrise, Kure Beach Fishing Pier will have you hooked.
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