• Volume 13 Number 1 - January 2006


    Although ocean-run stripers arrive off OBX beaches by November, the big ones cruise south during January.

    Striper fishing is the most popular winter sport at the Outer Banks.

    The New River near Sneads Ferry and Camp LeJeune is a haven for thousands of scaup and late-season hunters.

    A raw, icy wind rippled the Cordura fabric of an Avery collapsible boat blind.

    Getting turkeys separated, then calling them back, is a tradition

    A trained hunting dog is a marvelous animal to observe.

    Hunters and dog owners of specialty breeds — pointers, setters, beagles, Plotts, Redbones, blueticks, Walkers, Chesapeakes, Labradors, Boykins — uniformly talk about the enjoyment of “watching the dogs work” more than the actual harvesting of game.

    When the mercury tumbles, a few Charlotte anglers don’t get moody -- they head out for trophy blues.

    There are fishermen at Lake Norman who blame the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for everything they perceive that’s lacking in the lake.

    The stripers and the bass aren’t big enough; there isn’t enough bait; the WRC isn’t doing anything to help. It’s their version of the “Lake Norman Blues.”

    Waterfowl Hunting no longer is a pastime that’s the sole domain of grungy guys.

    The scuffling of shoes, water running, men stumbling in the dark as they pulled on chest waders and Gore-Tex camouflage coats, and the smell of coffee permeated the old farmhouse at 4 a.m.

    The end of deer season doesn’t have to mean putting away your stalking skills if you try squirrel hunting at three eastern N.C. game lands.

    Many hunters in the southeastern parts of North Carolina act as if they’d lost their best friend once deer season ends.

    You don’t have to be a body-builder to take on bluefin tuna with Dennis Braid’s unique big-fish holster.

    I once caught a bluefin tuna in the 200- to 300-pound range, so I’m familiar with near-death experiences.

    Six of us brought 11 bluefins to the boat that day. Because I was sixth in rotation, I hoped the skipper would call it a day before No. 12 ate a bait, so I wouldn’t be called out of my corner for a second round.

    You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go downtown for Wilmington’s waterfront stripers.

    Capt. Stuart Caulder’s phone call was direct and to the point.

    “Hey, Jerry, the stripers are starting to show up along the waterfront in downtown Wilmington,” he said. “The tide will be right for the next few afternoons.”

    Past experiences with Capt. Caulder’s fishing information told me he was making an offer I probably didn’t want to refuse. I quickly replied in the affirmative about his request to fish and asked if he had a day in mind.