• Volume 18 Number 11 - November 2011

    Features

    Tillery’s schooling bass are a big draw in the fall, but there’s more that makes the lake great.

    As the leaves fall at Morrow Mountain State Park, bass fishing at adjacent Lake Tillery hits its peak. Autumn has long been a favorite time for many anglers to fish the 5,000-acre reservoir near Albemarle.

    King mackerel and false albacore are Cape Lookout royalty this month. Here’s how to wear the crown for at least a little while.

    King Albert I took the throne of Belgium in December 1909. King Albert II became Belgium’s monarch during the summer of 1993. That’s nothing. Kings and alberts become fishing royalty in the Cape Lookout area every fall, and there’s no need for a coronation.

    For a November experience that may result in a trophy buck, try a lodge hunt along the Roanoke River.

    North Carolina deer hunters have three basic options for hunting during November’s rut: private land, public game lands and hunting lodges.

    The rivers and creeks that cross the western two-thirds of North Carolina offer two things that inland waterfowl hunters love: beaver ponds and wood ducks.

    Nestled deep in the hardwoods of Stanly County, a creek winds its way through the countryside, finally merging with the Yadkin River. Along its course, a smaller tributary stood bloated and still behind an impoundment not of human construction. Veteran duck hunter Mike Davis of Albemarle remained completely motionless and hidden along the banks as the pre-dawn November darkness gave way to the cries of the morning.

    This sleepy river town is the center of an inland fishing oasis.

    Belhaven is the perfect example of a sleepy little river town at the junction of the Pungo River, Pungo Creek and Pantego Creek. The Intracoastal Waterway follows the Pungo River past Belhaven as it works its way north to the canal that connects it to the Alligator River and points farther north.

    As cold weather sets in, bucks accelerate signposting activity — battering trees with their hardened antlers and stout foreheads. Amid this labyrinth of rut madness, bucks still instinctively focus on a particular tree — searching for the old traditional

    The rut is close. By procreative instinct, a mature hefty 8-pointer traverses the land. Ascending a bluff ridge, the persistent male steadily climbs the steep vegetative terrain with ease. His path is precise; the buck has ventured the topography many times before. Although he periodically stops to investigate a few licking branch scrapes and flehmens doe urine, he directs his attention toward old trees with distinguished markings.

    Blackpowder season and the peak of the rut coincide across much of North Carolina this month. Here’s how to take advantage.

    With apologies to those waiting for Dec. 25, Christmas arrives in November every year for deer hunters in North Carolina.