Fishing News and Information

Spot On! Catch spotted bass in Cape Fear River with these tips

The Cape Fear is one of the longest and most diverse rivers in North Carolina. Beginning at the tailrace below B. Everett Jordan Dam, it flows 202 miles before reaching the ocean near the town of Southport.

Along its rout, it has been known as a great fishery for catfish, striped bass and redfish. More recently, it’s become known for another species — the spotted bass.

Most anglers associate the term spotted bass with other regions — and they aren’t wrong. The Alabama spotted bass is prevalent across the south; however, it is that fish’s cousin, the “northern spotted bass,” that has taken hold in the Cape Fear. Also known as the Kentucky spotted bass or simply a “spot” Micropterus punctulatus is the spotted bass species prevalent in the river, as well as in Lake Norman and other parts of the Catawba River system.

October 04 at 6:45 am

Mountain Island blue cats will move shallow this month

Kevin Custer of Statesville knows where he’d go if he had to choose a favorite catfish lake today. “If I was gonna go somewhere to catch (blue) catfish, I’d go to MountainIsland or LakeNorman,” said Custer, the vice-president of NC-CATS, a North Carolina catfish tournament trail.

Mountain Island, a Duke Energy impoundement of 3,281 acres with 61 miles of shoreline, lies northwest of Charlotte, downstream from Lake Norman’s 32,475 acres on the Catawba River, separated by Cowan’s Ford Dam.

October 03 at 6:45 am

Weather postpones US Open King Mackerel Tournament

The 2015 U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament Board of Directors announced after much consideration and consultation about weather concerns due to Hurricane Joaquin, have postponed the tournament to October 30th & 31st.  The new tournament schedule will be as follows: registration on Thursday, October 29th from 10am-12midnight at the Southport Marina and fishing on Friday, October 30th from 7am-5pm and Saturday, October 31st from 7am-4pm.  

October 01 at 3:36 pm

Shall we gather at the rivers? Bass fishermen have got plenty of water to probe in the four rivers around Wilmington, N.C.

The beaches of New Hanover County are known for their good saltwater fishing, but fewer anglers are aware of the good freshwater fishing from Wilmington upriver. Four rivers meet close to the port city, where the water transforms from saltwater to freshwater.

October 01 at 7:00 am

The real fall brawl is wahoo fishing off North Carolina’s coast

Tailgates. Pigskins. Orange leaves. Cool mornings. Bonfires. Hoodies. These are all signs of fall. For the offshore angler that pushes beyond the beaches on a cool, late September or early October morning, there is another marker of the changing of the season: wahoo. 

October 01 at 7:00 am

The speck revival - Swansboro is playing host to a speckled trout revival

Fred Slann, a guide from New Bern, his friend Chris Walker of Sea Island, N.J., and a visiting writer had one of the most fantastic trout-fishing days ever 10 Octobers ago in the North River east of Beaufort.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Kings on the throne - The fall run of king mackerel off the Cape Fear River and Oak Island, N.C.

October is a special time in the ocean around the mouth of the Cape Fear River at Southport, where king mackerel gather between and try to devour every baitfish they can, arriving the last week or so of September and increasing in numbers until mid-October, when the slowly begin to move off the beach. The fishing can be epic, and there are special days every year.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Fish fast for fall bass on Lake Tillery

Dylan Fulk had his trolling motor on high and his baitcasting rod in perpetual motion, firing casts at just about any piece of visible cover as he worked a bank in Lake Tillery’s Jacobs Creek.

Cast to a dock. Cast to a laydown. Cast to a stump. Cast to the edge of a grass bed. Cast. Cast. Cast.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Paddle, fish but be safe

I headed out in my Old Town Predator 13 with the  intention of drifting along the western shoreline of Radio Island from the turning basin inside Beaufort Inlet. I have fished the area many times from a kayak. Barges, tow boats and occasional large ships pass through regularly. Whether in a paddle-powered craft or a small skiff, you always have to be wary of the larger vessels.

September 28 at 9:00 am

BKB Swim Jigs

A Kansas bass angler is doing more than holding his own on the Bassmaster Elite Series circuit.

September 24 at 9:00 am

Lake James smallmouth biting live shad and bright artificials

There’s a chill in the air this week at Lake James, not too many boats on the lake, and plenty of smallmouth bass that are biting. Those three factors add up to some great fishing, according to guide Colt Bass of Colt Bass Fishing.

“The fishing is going to be good until we get a hard, hard cold front and winter weather,” said Bass, who lives in Collettsville. “That’s when they’ll go a little deeper on the main body of the lake.”

September 23 at 10:28 pm

Some coastal North Carolina rivers closing to gill nets Thursday

Some rivers and creeks in the central coastal area of North Carolina will close to anchored, large-mesh gill nets at 5 p.m. Thursday due to interactions with Atlantic sturgeon.

The action closes Management Unit C under the state’s Atlantic Sturgeon Incidental Take Permit, which includes the Pamlico, Pungo, Neuse and Bay rivers and their tributaries. The closure impacts all anchored, large-mesh gill nets, including those set under a Recreational Commercial Gear License.

The closure will remain in effect until Dec. 1.

September 23 at 12:01 pm

New trolling motors solve old boat-handling problems

One of fishing’s truths is that more casts mean more fish in the boat. And anything that eliminates distractions and saves time helps you make more casts and lets you pay more attention to your fishing.

Minn Kota’s new Ulterra motor was designed to do just exactly this.

September 21 at 9:00 am

Hit the shipwrecks for Carolina Beach flounder

The nearshore reefs and shipwrecks out of Carolina Beach are hotspots for flounder right now, and Capt. Dennis Barbour of Island Tackle and Hardware has been having a lot of success in those areas right now, and while flounder aren’t the only fish biting, he said that has been the most consistent fishing for the past couple of weeks, and he doesn't see any reason to think that will change soon.

Capt. Barbour said two keys are essential to a successful flounder trip, and the first key is anchoring. “If you don’t anchor properly, you’re not going to be able to cast as well without getting hung up and losing a lot of tackle. You want to anchor so that you’ll have good bottom to cast to, and the ability to work your bait along the bottom without your hook getting hung in the wreck,” he said.

September 21 at 7:02 am

Bottom fishing heats up out of Southport

The Yeah Right swung into position on the anchor rope, and the screen on the fish finder lit up with a mound of fish just above the small ledge. Smiling, Capt. Butch Foster of Southport gave the command to start fishing. His son and mate, Chris Foster, had already passed out bottom-fishing outfits and put chunks of squid and fish on the hooks, and it was only a moment before baits headed for the bottom 100 feet below.

The Yeah Right was over a natural rock outcropping about 10 miles southwest of Frying Pan Tower, and the fish were hungry.  The 16-ounce sinkers had barely thumped the bottom when the rat-a-tat-tat bites of the first bait thieves began. 

September 19 at 7:03 am

Tough? Go with wood

Fishing shallow wood is about as consistent  a pattern as you can find in September. Notoriously a tough month because fish are spread out, September can really test your angling skills.

September 17 at 9:00 am

Cooling water is good news for Carolina bass anglers

Largemouth bass in lakes all across both Carolinas are starting to move into shallow-water creeks, following the pods of bait that move up once the water begins cooling off this time of year. It's a recipe that can result in stellar fishing for anglers like Clemson University angler Jacob Reome, who said this is the season he looks forward to every year.

"When the air temperatures start dropping at night like it has been lately, that really starts to cool the water down, even if it's still getting warm throughout the day, and that gets the baitfish moving into those creeks and shallow water," Reome said.

September 17 at 7:01 am

Top 3 redfish lures

While the redfish bite has stayed steady all summer, it’s been heating up even more lately. The waters around Morehead City are cooling off as air temperatures have starting dropping a little earlier than normal this year. Bait is plentiful, and redfish will spend the next month or so gorging themselves on this abundance, knowing that it won’t be long before the bait leaves the inshore waters.

With so many baitfish around, anglers can catch redfish on a variety of lures. They all look similar to some type of bait that is currently present. Brandon Key spends much of the year fishing in freshwater, but this time of year, he switches to redfish in the Morehead City area, and he fishes exclusively with three types of lures.

September 16 at 7:02 am