North Carolina's Morehead City Top Contender in World Fishing Network's Ultimate Fishing Town

May 17, 2012, 10:17 ET from Crystal Coast Tourism Authority

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C., May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Set along sparkling clear water lined with rows of charter boats gently bobbing like fishing lures, Morehead City – located in North Carolina's Crystal Coast – has been nominated for World Fishing Network's 2012 "Ultimate Fishing Town." With hundreds of locales originally vying for the title, diverse, year-round fishing has launched Morehead City into the top 15. With fans casting votes from now until May 31, 2012 – the winning town receives $25,000 – a huge investment for a town that is reliant on fishing as its No. 1 resource for the past 400 years.

Fishing has been an integral part of Carteret County's heritage and economy for nearly 400 years, and the goal of the Carteret Catch Program is to once again make fishing a viable lifestyle for the nearly 1,850 local fishermen and preserve a culture that characterizes the central coastal region of North Carolina. With populations reaching only 350 in some areas, the hometown feel reinforces the sense of obligation and responsibility the fishermen have for their communities, and the fishing way of life is interchangeable today with the first settlers of Carteret County in the 1700s. From the whaling industry in the early 18th century, through the mullet and oyster trade in the 19th century, to the thriving modern seafood industry, Carteret County has consistently relied on the bounty of the sea for its livelihood.

Home to the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament held every year in June, Morehead City reels in world-class fishermen in hopes of winning big. Boasting the largest purse of any big game fishing tournament in the country, anglers race to catch gamefish, including a record setting blue marlin of 831 lbs.

Due to warm Gulf Stream currents, anglers reel in abundant catches year-round, from large Speckled Trout and fighting Amberjack to delicious Wahoo and enormous Red Drum. Whether fishing inshore, offshore or deep-sea bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper, the Crystal Coast offers charter boat captains and head boats to suit every angler's lifestyles and needs. The Morehead/Beaufort Causeway public pier is also a local hot spot to reel in the big catch of the day. With miles of shimmering shoreline to choose from, fishermen flock to the beaches to get their lines wet while surf fishing for hundreds of species of fish.

Dangling like a delicate strand of pearls off the coast of North Carolina, the favored Atlantic beach destination of generations represents one of the only remaining natural barrier island systems in the World. The Islands are strung together with 85 miles of silken coastline along the southern Outer Banks, 56 miles of which are in the protected Cape Lookout National Seashore. The barrier islands take a southward curve, blessing the Crystal Coast with beaches that course east and west with views of the dazzlingly bright sun rise to greet the day and then slip into the shimmering translucent blue waters during a spectacular North Carolina sunset.

For more information on Morehead City and North Carolina's Crystal Coast, call (800) 786-6962 or visit



SOURCE Crystal Coast Tourism Authority