Hatteras, North Carolina
June 2 - 6, 2024

About the School

The Sport Fishing School, in its 70th year, is sponsored by the Office of Professional Development at NC State University. The School is a great opportunity for anglers who want to learn more about fishing for offshore big-game fish, and it is open to anyone interested in sport fishing; however, persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult. Professionals, retirees, families and vacationers are all invited to attend and learn about big-game fishing.

Special Features

Two days of classroom instruction covering all aspects of equipment, bait and techniques of big-game fishing and slow trolling.

Two major excursions into the Gulf Stream, one of the most productive offshore waters in the world for blue marlin, white marlin, dolphin, wahoo, sailfish and yellowfin tuna.

Small groups using select charter boats with captains and mates that have exceptional experience and records.

A half day of inshore fishing in the sound or inlet for trout, red drum and cobia.


  • Sunday Evening
    Fish Tales Meet & Greet and two presentations on area fishing at the Hatteras Civic Center
  • Monday
    Classroom day with the captains and mates
  • Tuesday
    Full day of fishing in the Gulf Stream
  • Wednesday
    Half day of inshore fishing, half day of classroom instruction and Hatteras fish fry
  • Thursday
    Full day of fishing in the Gulf Stream and closing banquet

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Give the Gift of Sport Fishing School!

Give them an experience they will never forget, and knowledge and skills that will last a lifetime. Registration for Sport Fishing School is the perfect gift for family members, friends, valued employees and clients. You will receive a customized gift certificate for you to give to your lucky anglers and want-to-be-anglers.

Sport Fishing School Gift Certificate



  • $2,595 if you register prior to March 1, 2024
  • $2,895 if you register on or after March 1, 2024

Friends-and-family discount — $300. Discount applies to individuals registered at the same time. First person pays the full amount, and each individual after the first person receives $300 off. Discount does not apply to the deposit.

The fee covers classroom instruction; boat charters for two all-day Gulf Stream fishing excursions and a half-day inshore excursion; necessary tips, bait, equipment and tackle; a Sunday evening social, Wednesday night fish fry and Thursday evening banquet.

Lodging is not included in the fee. Registration confirmation will provide a list of accommodations, so participants can make their own reservations. Housing, food, classes and docks are all within easy "casting" distance.

Cancellation notices for reimbursement or full fee to hold space in the School must be received no later than March 1, 2024. Phone registrations are accepted with a credit card number.

Forms of payment include check (made payable to North Carolina State University) and credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover).

For questions regarding registration or the School, please call 919.515.2261.

School Personnel

Captain Ernie FosterCaptain Ernie Foster, a native of Hatteras Village, owns and operates the oldest North Carolina charter fishing fleet, the Albatross. Captain Ernie has worked in the charter fishing business in Hatteras every season since 1958, when his father put him to work as a full-time mate. He is a graduate of NC State University and a retired educator.

Captain Rom WhitakerCaptain Rom Whitaker has been fishing the waters of the North Carolina coast since he was a young boy and for a living in Hatteras since 1986. Captain Rom has won or placed in numerous offshore tournaments, including the Big Rock Tournament, the Hatteras Marlin Club Tournament and the Hatteras Village Offshore Open. Captain Rom applies a holistic philosophy to fishing: how you are treated, how much you learn, angler participation, attitude of the crew, catching your target species and just watching all the other sea life offshore all go into making the charter trip a success.

Captain Ken DempseyCaptain Ken Dempsey, the inshore instructor, has been a full-time fishing guide since 1986. His favorite catches are big redfish, cobia and speckled trout. He is a seasoned captain and instructor who has been featured in such publications as Outdoor Life, Salt Water Sportsman, Wildlife in North Carolina, North Carolina Game & Fish and Carolina Sportsman. Captain Ken is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Herbert KirkDr. Herbert Kirk, the live-bait instructor, is an NC State University faculty member at the Institute for Advanced Analytics, and served as the vice president of education for SAS Institute until his retirement. Dr. Kirk has devoted his career to training; and, he has been a lifelong and avid fisherman.

Skip BlaylockSkip Blaylock, school director, grew up fishing on the coastal waters of North Carolina. After a long career in law enforcement, he retired as the Knightdale Director of Public Safety. He spends his free time as assistant chief of Hopkins Fire Department and running his own construction company. According to Skip, any day on the water is a good day.