This was about a feet feet north of the Kitty Hawk pier. People fish off that pier. I would think the sharks gravitate towards the bait, but not sure.
Yep, any pier is a) a structure, food chain love structures b) folks fishing w live bait or discarding (the ought not) cleaned fish remains also get the food chain excited.
I am continually blown away by the number of folks that seemed puzzled by that - more to the point allow their kids to swim/play in the water near a pier.
Also, it appears that the rays are tiling and are everywhere, hard not to step on one - often times their wing tips break the surface and are mistaken for shark, especially if at an angle and the second tip looks a bit like a sharks tell (their caudal fin). I got bumped by one (at least that's what I hope it was