Outer Banks catch of the day

Fish­ing, Wright Brothers first-flight at­trac­tions, horse­back riding and bar­be­cue

The Prince George Citizen - - Travel - Steve MACNAULL Glacier Me­dia news

Damn, this fish is de­li­cious. Of course, I’m bias in my as­sess­ment of the catch of the day we’re gob­bling up at Sonny’s Restau­rant on Hat­teras Is­land in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Af­ter all, my 26-year-old son, Alex and I caught the blue­fish, trig­ger­fish and mack­erel our­selves just two hours ear­lier in the ad­ja­cent Pam­lico Sound.

We’d been out an­gling with cap­tain Ernie Foster and first mate Sum­ner Mat­tingly of The Al­ba­tross Fleet and had a star­tlingly suc­cess­ful morn­ing.

As soon as Sum­ner launched four fish­ing rods in trolling for­ma­tion, the blue­fish start to bite.

Ernie may have cap­tained the boat to his prime spot at the mouth of the Hat­teras In­let and the first mate been re­spon­si­ble for bait­ing the hooks and casting the lines, but Alex and I take all the glory.

We coax the catch re­peat­edly to the boat with rhyth­mic tugs on the rods punc­tu­ated by fran­tic reel­ing, huge grins on our faces.

Sated with a big catch, we motor back to dock chat­ting ex­cit­edly of fish­ing con­quests past, present and future.

The sky is light blue, the water choppy and we’re fam­ished.

Luck­ily, Al­ba­tross has a deal with Sonny’s to fry up proud an­glers’ catches for lunch.

We’re sent off with the prime filets as BYOF (bring your own fish) cus­tomers to de­vour some of our catch lightly fried with French fries and cole slaw.

My son and I are lured to the Outer Banks not just for fish­ing brag­ging rights, but the re­gion’s Wright Brothers first flight his­tory, horse­back riding, beaches, bar­be­cue and Southern hos­pi­tal­ity.

Our horse­back riding with Equine Ad­ven­tures, also on Hat­teras Is­land, is through mar­itime for­est and along wide swathes of At­lantic Ocean beaches.

As a chain of skinny bar­rier is­land off the coast of North Carolina, the Outer Banks ge­og­ra­phy is all sand dunes and beaches.

The soft­ness of the sand, and con­sis­tent At­lantic winds, is what at­tracted Wil­bur and Orville Wright to Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks for the first four flights by a mo­tor­ized air­plane in 1903.

Alex and I check out the newly re­fur­bished Wright Brothers Na­tional Me­mo­rial that com­mem­o­rates the ex­act take off and land­ing points of those four short world-chang­ing flights in a con­trap­tion made by the brothers of wood, cloth, wire and bi­cy­cle parts.

We’re in­spired to take flight our­selves and book a hang glid­ing les­son with Kitty Hawk Kites in Jockey’s Ridge State Park to run off the tallest sand dune and fly.

As be­gin­ners, our five solo flights are as short as Wil­bur and Orville’s, but they are a blast and give us the same thrill as the avi­a­tion pi­o­neers.

Even our ac­com­mo­da­tions are a nod to the brothers as we stay at the Days Inn Wil­bur and Orville Wright.

The ocean­side lo­ca­tion also means loung­ing and jog­ging on the wide beach and splash­ing in the At­lantic.

It’s also walk­ing dis­tance from Outer Banks Brewing Sta­tion, which we’ll fre­quent more than once for cel­e­bra­tory craft beers and pork bar­be­cue.

Air Canada has boosted daily ser­vice from Toronto, and will soon in­au­gu­rate flights from Montreal, to Raleigh, N.C., which is a three-and-a-half hour drive from the Outer Banks.

The flights are on mod­ern Em­braer and CRJ jets, not Wright Fly­ers or hang glid­ers.

Check out OuterBanks.com, Al­ba­trossFleet.com, Kit­tyHawk.com and AirCanada.ca.

CIT­I­ZEN PHOTO BY STEVE MACNAULL

A family searches for seashells on the Outer Banks beach near Avalon Pier in North Carolina.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KITTY HAWK HIKES

Kitty Hawk Kites takes peo­ple out hang glid­ing close to the site the Wright Brothers first flew a mo­tor­ized air­plane in 1903.

GLACIER ME­DIA NEWS PHOTO BY STEVE MACNAULL

Equine Ad­ven­tures takes groups horse­back riding on Frisco Beach.

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