Some pretty cold weather has set in around Atlantic Beach, but that hasn’t stopped anglers from catching plenty of red drum and sea trout. These two species are definitely the stars of the show this time of year. Casting topwater plugs on the high, falling tide is a good tactic for both species, said Matt Zook of Capt. Joe’s Bait and Tackle.
If you’ve spent much time fishing with a popping cork, it’s happened to you. You’re fishing along, popping your wrist to make that popping cork create just the right sound, pausing in between, letting the lure under your popping cork settle before popping it again. And then, your popping cork gets crushed by a gator trout.†
“l’ll do whatever I need to do to catch crappie in winter,” said guide Maynard Edwards, and if January turns off bitter cold, that might just mean chasing them all the way to the bottom of Badin Lake.†
Although long-line trolling is the goal when suspended crappie are the target, it is always possible that a mild December or a series of warm fronts could cause crappie to hang up in the deep brush they’ve been calling home rather than transitioning to open water.†
In the 17 years since the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission defined catch standards to prevent overfishing, and the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission published a fisheries management plan for the species that set more-restrictive limits for commercial and recreational fishermen, red drum have thrived in North Carolina waters.
Dieter Melhorn said the above graph represents 13-pound and larger catfish caught each year, depicted in different colors. The length of the bar represents the average number of fish caught per day that were 13 pounds or larger.†
Jeff Manning and Dieter Melhorn are staunch believers in tagging and releasing their larger catfish. The tags, obtained through the Catawba Catfish Club, are numbered to identify the fish and have contact info to report recaptures to share information.†
The term “shooting docks” might sound like a duck hunting term, but it’s actually a well-known fishing technique among crappie anglers throughout the Carolinas. Despite the name, no firearms are involved.
Nick Roser was catching a few small bass on Jan. 10 at Mountain Island Lake, but the wind was blowing hard, so he decided to find a cove in hopes of getting out of the 15-mph gusts. The move led him to his biggest largemouth yet, a 9.3-pounder.
If you want to catch good numbers of trout in the winter, head for a delayed-harvest stream. These streams are heavily stocked in October and November, and fishing remains good throughout the cold months. Streams are stocked again for the spring season beginning in March, and some stockings continue through early summer.
In the 1960s and 70s, author Peter Benchley fished for sharks aboard the Cricket II, a boat that fished out of Montauk, N.Y. back then. Benchley then wrote the movie Jaws, in large part based on his experiences on the 42-foot vessel.
Fresh off winning the annual Capt. Rickey’s Trout Speck-tacular Tournament on Egret Baits’ new Rattling Vudu Shrimp, Clay Morphis of Shallotte, N.C., caught a big prize, a 13-pound, 30.5-inch flounder, with the same lure on Dec. 29.