The pier remains the heartbeat of Kure
Beach. It costs $8 for a day’s fishing,
but there’s no fee just to stroll to the
end and take in the sights. The family
friendly atmosphere encourages
anglers of all ages.
ALLISON POTTER 42
Under Bill’s ownership, the pier saw the establishment of an arcade,
tackle shop, and gift shop. Today, Mike and faithful employees like Russ
Kirtright, who has been working the night shift here for 31 years, keep
Bill’s original vision intact. Paul, representing the younger generation,
hopes to add and adapt to modern-day developments, including social
media and a live, 24/7 webcam.
As modern methods such as sharing on social media become the new
norm for marketing, one thing remains. The oldest fishing pier on the
East Coast is still entirely classic.
It’s the middle of the day, hot, and the pier is overflowing with fisher-men,
tourists, barefoot beachgoers taking a break from the sand, and a
“We’ve got that Wrightsville Beach water today,” Mike says.
The water is a crystal-clear turquoise, and the sky is entirely void of
passing clouds. There’s a man scaling a freshly caught fish. A teenage boy
tosses bait to an eager pelican. There are waves crashing, distant conver-sations,
and a smell of sunscreen, salt, sand, and the occasional fish guts.
“I love working here and living here,” Mike says. “I’ve gone other
places, but I always come back here. When it gets bad, I get in my truck
and ride out on the beach, and sit there, watch the birds and the waves,
then come back in peace.”
The sun continues to rise in all its glory, painting the ocean in shades
of crimson, gold, and purple. Another morning begins at the iconic Kure
WBM november 2018