• Volume 15 Number 3 - March 2008


    Sitting in the catbird seat of saltwater management, DMF director Louis Daniel explains what changes N.C. may see in the future.

    The old Johnnie Mercer’s Fishing Pier at Wrightsville Beach was where Louis Daniel, director of North Carolina’s Division of Marine Fisheries, began his love affair with the ocean.

    Three experts reveal tricks of the trade for bagging a dominant gobbler.

    Age and maturity separate the men from the boys.

    This concept seems to be true not only with humans, but with favored hunting targets, specificially white-tailed deer and wild turkey gobblers.

    Wrightsville Beach anglers can find hard-fighting gamefish during March at the Liberty Ship.

    Only a few empty trailers were parked at the parking lot at the Wrightsville Beach Wildlife ramp last March.

    The trailers created a question — was the early run of bonito Capt. Matt Wirt (Reel Adventure Charters, 910-540-0570, www.reel-adventure.com) had found a few days earlier a freak occurrence or had the fish arrived and word hadn’t spread?

    Two experts reveal how to land major hauls of early-season Kerr Lake largemouths.

    A fine line exists between finding early-season bass once in a while at Kerr Lake and consistently landing quality limits.

    It happens every spring as anglers hit Kerr Lake (aka Buggs Island) during early March. They may swing aggressive largemouth after largemouth into their boats and think they’ve solved the lake’s puzzles. However, the next weekend may be a complete water haul with a weigh-in bag that resembles a fat goose egg.

    Once the piedmont’s premier bass spot, Jordan Lake rebounds as a ‘hawg’ heaven.

    During the late 1980s, Jordan Lake, an impoundment divided by U.S. 64 east of Pittsboro, was the hottest largemouth reservoir in North Carolina.

    Anglers regularly caught 50 to 100 largemouth bass a day, the majority 2- and 3-pound football-shaped lunkers with 8- and 10-pounders common. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed the dam in 1984, so Jordan had only recently been flooded, and largemouths flourished.

    When March winds turn wave tops to sea spray, anglers can pick and choose between four types of hot fishing at Cape Lookout.

    It was a typical day for a usually tepid fishing month — not the dead of winter but not quite spring, as a northeast wind bore down on the North Carolina coast.

    The thermometer reading was in the low 50s, but the wind-chill factor made it feel much colder to tiny patches of exposed anglers’ noses, cheeks and hands. Rainwear with sweatshirts worn underneath was the uniform of the day.

    When opening day arrives at Cherokee, even a blizzard can’t hold anglers at bay.

    He wasn’t looking forward to a six-hour drive through the mountains on slippery, snow-covered roads, but Bryan Shilbett is a dedicated trout fisherman who never fails to show up for opening day of Cherokee’s pay-to-fish trout season.

    Finding spring striped bass at Lake Norman is about knowing where to start and where to finish.

    Spreading across more than 32,000 surface acres, Lake Norman is a pretty big place. But striper anglers trying to figure out where to find fish can eliminate a lot of water just by knowing the habits of their favorite quarry.

    If anglers can find a place to launch a boat, Lake James provides N.C.’s top muskie action.

    It was the perfect day for casting last March.

    The sun was bright and there was no wind except a breeze generated by a fast boat moving at planing speed. The water surface was as smooth as glass and the depths below nearly as clear.