If not for wearing polarized sunglasses, it would have been impossible to see the dark shape under the crab-pot float in one of the bays off the lower Cape Fear River. The water was typical Cape Fear murky, and the dark fish was holding motionless in the shadow created by the float and some marine weeds.
Someone who wasnt attuned to the ways of tripletail wouldnt have noticed the sulking fish, even with polarized glasses. Jeff Wolfe didnt just notice the fish: He was preparing to catch it.
Golden tilefish are canyon fish. North of the Virginia state line, boats from Lynnhaven Inlet go to the slopes of the Norfolk Canyon or farther north to Baltimore Canyon. The nearest canyon for North Carolina fishermen is Hatteras Canyon, south of Hatteras Inlet.
Riding high in the tower of his boat, Aaron Beatson of Carolina Sunrise Guide Service scans the waters off the coast of the Outer Banks for any sign of life, anything that might tip him off that one or more cobia were moving through the area.
What youre looking for is 68- to 72-degree water, said Beatson, who offers that in June, he might run across cobia 50 yards off the beach out to three or four miles when fish start to show up in good numbers.
High Rock Lake is a reservoir on the Yadkin River south of Lexington that covers approximately 15,000 surface acres of water.
Its perhaps never received the notoriety of bigger lakes such as Buggs Island or Gaston, nor that of lakes perched on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas such as Wylie, Falls of the Neuse, Jordan or Shearon Harris.
But make no bones about it; High Rock should take a backseat to none of the above.
As it should have been on a typical hot June weekend, the parking lot at the lake office at Randleman Regional Reservoir was packed with boat trailers and tow vehicles.
As with most new lakes, Randlemans most-popular initial offering was superior bass fishing. However, one of the boats leaving the ramp was something of an anomaly because it was rigged to seek North Carolinas second most-targeted fish.
By June, the best part of the bass-fishing year has faded into the rearview mirror.
February and March prespawn feeding frenzies have ended, and the April and May spawning orgy in the shallows is in the books. Male bass fertilized those eggs, then guarded bass fry floating in clouds near their birthplaces.