5 tips for crankbait fishing Rainbow trout being stocked in Hanging Rock State Park Expert tips for North Carolina's false albacore October is great month for cranking up bass in North Carolina waters

Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Festival Oct 10 in Bryson City

The Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Festival will take place this Saturday, Oct 10 in Bryson City on the Tuckaseegee River. This is the first such festival in what is planned to be a yearly event. From 9 AM to 5 PM, vendors will line up on Frye Street right at the train depot.

It’s a great time of year for the festival, as fall colors will paint the scenery of the mountainous terrain along the Tuckaseegee’s new 2.2-mile stretch of Delayed Harvest waters, and with this section having been stocked on Oct 7, anglers can demo rods in a real-world situation rather than in the parking lot of a tackle store.

October 09 at 10:45 am

Sept Bag-A-Buck contest winner announced

James Griffin of Spring Lake spent most of the 2014 deer season thinking, “What if?” because he had missed a beautiful 8-point buck the opening morning of bow season, rushing his shot and shooting under the buck’s belly.

But in mid-July, he noticed that the same buck was back in his trail-camera photos, now a 9-pointer with a much bigger body. When he had his chance on Sept. 19, the seccond Saturday of archery season, he didn’t miss, dropping the 191-pound buck.

October 09 at 6:45 am

New public fishing spot opens on South Fork New River

North Carolina anglers have a new place to wet a line thanks to the opening of a new public access area in Watauga County on the South Fork New River. The area, dubbed Pine Run Public Fishing Area, came about through an effort between the NCWRC and High Country Pathways, a non-profit group that finds ways to make these type of properties a reality.

The fishing locale is about 5 miles east of Boone, and its location makes it ideal for bank fishing or as a launch or takeout point for small boat anglers. With other access points nearby, it can help anglers make short floats or long floats possible.

October 08 at 11:45 am

McLeansville hunter kills big buck with borrowed bow

When McLeansville’s Jeremy Pickard looked at the trail-camera he had recently mounted, he saw a deer that made his heart pound. It was bigger than any deer he’d ever seen, and he knew††he was going to hunt only that one deer until he killed it. He had enough chances at other decent-sized deer that he was tempted a few times to forego his plan, but he ultimately stuck to it, and it paid off.

Pickard killed his dream buck a few evenings after his trail-camera first spied the deer. Between that first sighting on his trail-camera and the time Pickard arrowed it with his Whisper Creek bow, the deer had broken both his brow tines. The 8-point mainframe had three stickers, and measured a whopping 164 1/2 when green scored. The hunt was not without drama.

October 08 at 6:45 am

NCWRC has closed some game lands due to flooding

Several public game lands are being temporarily closed by the NCWRC due to flood waters and unsafe traveling conditions. Eight sites are being closed until further notice.

The NCWRC said they will continue monitoring the roads throughout the week, and will reopen roads as conditions improve.

October 07 at 6:45 am

Catch autumn's Neuse River bass with these tips

Fall weather is invading the Raleigh area, but it hasn’t pushed anglers like EJ Stern completely out of the area’s rivers. Stern, of Raleigh Flyfishing Guide service, said it won’t last much longer, but that right now, wet-wading is the way to go, especially in the Neuse River.

Stern has been catching a variety of species, with largemouth bass and bream making up the bulk of his catches. While the recent rains will impact the fishing on the Neuse for several days, the water levels have been low, so this shouldn’t hurt the fishing.†

October 06 at 6:45 am

Turn squirrel tails into fishing lures

Squirrel hunting season starts next week, giving North Carolina hunters a challenging game animal to hunt that is every bit as fun as (if not more fun than) deer hunting to most hunters who give squirrel hunting a chance.

Especially when using a .22 or .17 rife, shooting a squirrel high up in a tree is challenging, and training yourself to take only headshots will improve your rifle skills and preserve the meat which makes a tasty meal. And the action is much faster than deer hunting, because squirrels are plentiful, and much more likely to show themselves in daylight hours than deer normally do.

October 05 at 8:56 am

Catch more Cape Fear spotted bass with these tips

The Cape Fear is one of the longest and most diverse rivers in North Carolina. Beginning at the tailrace below B. Everett Jordan Dam, it flows 202 miles before reaching the ocean near the town of Southport.

Along its rout, it has been known as a great fishery for catfish, striped bass and redfish. More recently, it’s become known for another species — the spotted bass.

Most anglers associate the term spotted bass with other regions — and they aren’t wrong. The Alabama spotted bass is prevalent across the south; however, it is that fish’s cousin, the “northern spotted bass,” that has taken hold in the Cape Fear. Also known as the Kentucky spotted bass or simply a “spot” Micropterus punctulatus is the spotted bass species prevalent in the river, as well as in Lake Norman and other parts of the Catawba River system.

October 04 at 8:45 am

Catfish set to move shallow this month at Mountain Island

Kevin Custer of Statesville knows where he’d go if he had to choose a favorite catfish lake today. “If I was gonna go somewhere to catch (blue) catfish, I’d go to MountainIsland or LakeNorman,” said Custer, the vice-president of NC-CATS, a North Carolina catfish tournament trail.

Mountain Island, a Duke Energy impoundement of 3,281 acres with 61 miles of shoreline, lies northwest of Charlotte, downstream from Lake Norman’s 32,475 acres on the Catawba River, separated by Cowan’s Ford Dam.

October 03 at 6:45 am

Deer farm oversight moves to Dept. of Agriculture after reversal of legislature

The state legislature made a 180-degree turnaround early this week and handed over management of deer farms in North Carolina to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, taking authority from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the N.C. House had dropped a section of the Agriculture Bill of 2015-16 that turned over management of penned-in whitetail deer from the Commission to the Ag agency and passed the bill by an 86-13 margin. Another vote on Monday, Sept. 28, was 90-11 for the bill that kept the Commission in control. That same day, however, a seven-person conference committee of Republican members of the Senate and House rewrote the bill and put back in the section that had been dropped. The bill was quickly approved 70-44 on Tuesday, Sept. 29, in the House and 42-4 in the Senate and needed only Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature to become law.

October 02 at 6:45 am

Top 4 tips to stay scent-free while deer hunting

It’s a common practice for deer hunters to make themselves as scent-free as possible before heading to their stand, and over the past couple of decades, a whole category of gear has sprouted up to help with that task.

The top four tips for staying scent-free in the woods include using some of those products, along with some common sense.

October 01 at 4:00 pm

U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament postponed due to weather

The 2015 U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament Board of Directors announced after much consideration and consultation about weather concerns due to Hurricane Joaquin, have postponed the tournament to October 30th†& 31st.† The new tournament schedule will be as follows: registration on Thursday, October 29th†from 10am-12midnight at the Southport Marina and fishing on Friday, October 30th†from 7am-5pm and Saturday, October 31st†from 7am-4pm. †

October 01 at 3:48 pm

Pittsboro hunter kills big trophy, despite an unfavorable wind

Jonathan Phillips of Pittsboro killed a trophy buck that he didn’t know was on his property until just before the season started. After doing a little scouting one day in a field on his 30-acre farm, he saw two really big deer than got his blood flowing, but it was the last he saw of those deer.

“One was a gigantic 6-point that had an odd rack. I couldn’t see the rack on the other deer real well, but the deer was huge,” said Phillips, who put out a corn pile and set up a trail-cam that day, but those two deer never showed up on it.†

October 01 at 12:00 pm

Shotguns just as useful in tree stands as on the ground

Anyone who has ever been on a dog-drive or a man-drive for deer knows the advantages of using a shotgun for this type of hunting, but shotgunning for deer isn’t just for those on the ground. Some hunters prefer shotguns even when perched in a tree stand.

Ernest McLeod of Sumter is one of those hunters. He has killed his share of deer with rifles, but about ten years ago, he decided that for him, a shotgun was the way to go.

October 01 at 6:45 am

Thomasville hunter kills 160-inch, 11-point, full velvet deer

On Sept. 13, the second day of archery season, Calvin McCaskill of Thomasville killed his first-ever buck with a bow, and boy, what a start. The Moore County buck was a massive 11-point main-frame buck with two sticker points that scored better than 160 inches – still in full velvet.

McCaskill credits his success to the quality deer management practices he and his neighbors use on the farm they hunt. The huge velvet buck wasn’t the first trophy to come from the property; in 2014, McCaskill killed a 152-inch, 10 pointer with his muzzleloader.†

September 30 at 12:00 pm

Moriah hunter bags trophy 12-point buck

When a man turns his passion for deer hunting into a family affair, he reserves the right to drop a nice one every once in a while himself. After his wife,†Jennifer, killed a†158 6/8-inch buck†on opening day, and his son, Brayden, took another big buck a few days later, Kevin Morris of Moriah bagged a 12-pointer for himself on Sept. 24 that scored 146 Ĺ inches.

“I’d rather see them shoot,” said Morris, “but I picked this one out this year and said he’s gonna be mine.

September 30 at 6:45 am