The distant flock of ducks pulsed in the early morning light, swinging wide towards Hatteras. They made the turn and let the hunters know they had seen the spread of decoys in the shallow water several miles out in Pamlico Sound. The flocks shape changed from wide to long as the ducks fell into a loose group headed across the edge of the sound and toward the waiting hunters.
Once bucks are in the height of pursuing does, their instincts for survival are somewhat diminished. Their eyes, ears and noses are focused on estrus does, and although they can still respond to threats, most of the time it takes them a few seconds longer to put two and two together. This stupor of hesitation on a rutting bucks part offers a grand opportunity to bring him down.
Keith Wray of Eden the Fish Doc rarely needs any treatment for cabin fever throughout the winter. The veteran crappie stalker is accustomed to fishing in cold weather at John H. Kerr Reservoir, also known as Buggs Island.
For the past five years, North Carolina fishermen have wondered if this could be the season when everything falls into place, when the striper fishing that marked the winter of 2004-2005 makes a repeat visit.