Seining and Cast Fishing

Most people do not know that the shallow brackish creeks and bays of North Carolina serve as a nursery area for 90% of the fish and shellfish species harvested commercially in the state. Most of the fish that are important to our commercial and recreational fisheries spawn in the ocean and their young make these areas their temporary homes. High salinity submerged grass beds also offer vital nurseries for numerous species of fish and shellfish. At any point in time during the summer one can catch literally hundreds of young fish with one swipe of a seine net.

Capt. Jess Hawkins with Crystal Coast Ecotours can provide the opportunity for people to experience these spectacular kindergartens of the sea. They can easily take you to areas containing grass beds or shallow creeks. Feel the excitement of sampling the water the way marine biologists have done for years using a seine net. Touch with wonder the hundreds of young fish, crabs, and shrimp that live in those very waters. Listen as Capt. Jess interprets the experience, describing the fascinating organisms observed, their habitats, and their social and ecological importance.

Crystal Coast Ecotours has several sizes of cast nets for those who would like to try their hand at catching fish in this unique way.

Personalized Experiences

Your Outer Banks adventure will depart from the Beaufort Hotel.

Capt. Jess Hawkins has fished recreationally in the waters of coastal North Carolina for over 50 years. Also, he studied fish his entire career as a marine biologist and has taught fishing classes to people of all ages. He loves sharing his passion for fishing with others and specializes in having fun with individuals or families while fishing the nearshore waters and sounds. So, don’t worry about any lack of experience!

Half-day Ecotour: $400 – 4 hours
Full-day Ecotour: $500  – 6 hours

Payment is accepted by cash or personal check.

Contact Capt. Jess directly to make your arrangements during your stay for this once in a lifetime experience.

Advance Reservations Only

Call Crystal Coast Ecotours directly to book at (252) 808-3354 or (252) 241-6909. Be sure to tell them you are staying at the Beaufort Hotel. You can also email Capt. Jess at

Please note that these are individualized experiences so they are in high demand and book up very fast.

Three people walking through water with a large net

Locals Recommend

“A day on the water with Captain Jess has been the highlight of all our trips. My son caught not only his first fish, but his first three fishes ever! We can’t wait to schedule a trip (or two) when we come back next year!”

Where your Outer Banks adventure begins.

Situated on ten acres, the Beaufort Hotel is offers the privacy of a boutique hotel within minutes to some of the best experiences you’ll enjoy on the Southern Outer Banks.

During your stay, discover, experience, and explore Beaufort – named the Best Small Town for Adventure in America by USA Today.

The Beaufort Hotel is a private escape that’s close to every kind of adventure you can imagine. We encourage you to explore like a local, as we give you a slice of what it’s like to live here on the Crystal Coast.

Attraction Details

Experience Beaufort North Carolina’s Attractions

Discover 300 years of Beaufort’s history and step back in time and experience some amazing local attractions during your stay.