I have a tarpon 120 and limited experience. I’m going to the core banks, Portsmouth I. Does anyone have any tips tricks or advice for a rookie to saltwater?
Go with Friends who have been there
Also bring a head net for the mosquitos.
Second the friends
They might have stuff that you need but don’t have yet either - reduce your costs to be safe. GPS in case of fog (I am assuming you don’t have a deep marine background, excuse me if I am wrong.) Get a proper waterproof chart so you can figure out a route that will keep you out of shipping lanes. Against a ferry or a barge, you lose.
Carry some kind of emergency bivy and water in case you have to ditch, change of clothing too.
Watch the channels going out
through the barrier islands. If you are not familiar with tides and tide rips. A strong outgoing tide and windswell or large incoming groundswell can cause very serious issues if you don't know what you are doing. Also check locally about prevailing winds, often on the coasts afternoon winds kick up, if they are strong offshore you can also get into trouble. Ask at the local kayak shops about where it is safe to paddle for someone with no ocean experience.
Biggest rules are don't get between the beach and your boat in the surf and don't turn your back on the ocean, keep an eye out for large waves, changes in wind and current. When I worked in New Jersey, my friend used to vacation where you are headed, he had lots of waterspout pictures, so I expect you want to be prepared for summer wind/thunderstorms.
For the sound side
I end up getting out and dragging my boat over sand bars every trip. A bow line that is 3/8ths or thicker is easy on your hands dragging a loaded boat.