Fishing News and Information

A snelled hook works for old drum

When an angler decides to target bull reds, he should learn to tie the strongest knot possible to attach hooks to terminal tackle.

For guide Kevin Sneed of Holden Beach, who has been fishing for 20 years, the solution is to tie a “snell” knot.

September 15 at 7:00 am

Easily remove hooks and avoid sharp Spanish teeth

Spanish mackerel have such small, razor-sharp teeth that many fishermen who are nipped don’t realize it until they see drops of blood or bloody fingers. Most fishermen are nipped while removing the hooks.

September 15 at 7:00 am

Finding Norman’s rock reefs

Numerous websites, including one belonging to the N.C. Wildlife Federation, provide map coordinates, not GPS coordinates, for the Lake Norman artificial rock reefs. Fortunately, there are readily available tables to convert map coordinates to GPS coordinates. 

September 15 at 7:00 am

All baits should come from the river

Anglers who use live baits typically follow a rule that’s a cliché: the larger the bait, the bigger the fish it will catch.

September 15 at 7:00 am

Location is everything

Large flathead catfish hunker down during the day in deep holes and in undercut river banks and don’t feed much when the sun is out, but they become active during evening hours in the narrower sections of the Neuse River south and west of Kinston.

September 15 at 7:00 am

Drop a dropper on trout

Droppers give fly fishers the advantage of fishing a dry fly and a nymph at the same time, an especially effective measure when it’s not obvious how trout are feeding. The dry fly floats on the surface, and the nymph dangles in the water beneath it. The dry fly also functions as a strike indicator and makes less of a splash than commercial or homemade strike indicators. 

September 14 at 9:00 am

Bass fishing tricky this month, but these tips will help

When I was a kid learning to fish, I dreaded September. I used to keep a log of every fish I caught all year, and in September, the number of fish I caught would drop by half. I fished Falls of the Neuse Lake most often, since it was only a few minutes up the road from where I grew up.  I’d mix in smaller lakes and ponds, especially after school when time was short.

What was going on? I remember the water just seemed dead, and it was still hot. There were virtually no fish on the offshore places where I’d caught them all summer, and nothing happening beating the banks. Sound familiar?

September 13 at 7:02 am

Grouper tips hold recipe for success

To be successful, grouper, tackle must be very specific and virtually bulletproof. The name of the game is to immediately pull heavy, strong fish away from structure that can destroy leaders.

To improve their chances, experienced anglers use braided line that has virtually none of the stretch of monofilament and has revolutionized grouper fishing. Captains out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center use 80-pound class rods and conventional, star-drag reels spooled with 150 yards of 80-pound, green Power Pro, splicing in a short section of clear, 100-pound mono simply to bridge the gap between the braid and the swivel on their grouper rig.

September 12 at 7:01 am

Saltwater ponds are great flounder holes

Flounder are one of the most popular gamefish along the coast of both Carolinas, and many anglers overlook some of the most abundant flounder spots in either state, but those who fish for them catch plenty on live bait and artificial lures. Saltwater ponds hold a number of different species, including flounder. Many of these fish find their way into saltwater ponds when they are small and can easily swim through the tiny culverts that often handle the incoming and outgoing tide, and once they get in, they never feel the need to leave.

These fish are relatively free from predators once they reach maturity, and the fishing pressure is usually very light in comparison to the well-known fishing holes up and down the coast. They are not particularly difficult to catch, but most anglers pass right by them to get to one of the boat landings in hopes of catching flounder elsewhere.

September 11 at 2:58 pm

New, portable cooker allows spur-of-the-moment oyster feasts

What person who has ever pried open an oyster shell or two hasn’t wished for the ability to fire up the pit and have an oyster roast anytime the thought surfaced? Thanks to Oliver Thames, a native of South Carolina’s Lowcountry, the toughest part might be getting the oysters.

September 10 at 11:44 am

Shelby bass pro debuts signature series of rods, including dock skipper

Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., is one of the most-accomplished pro bass fishermen in the country, and an awful lot of the $1.6 million he’s won in tournaments has come from doing the thing he likes to do the most: skipping a bait back under a dock.

September 10 at 11:03 am

Z-Man introduces a new combo that should give speckled trout nightmares

South Carolina’s Z-Man Fishing Products has introduced a combo intended to appeal to speckled trout and the anglers who target them, a TroutTrick soft-plastic lure that’s mated with a Trout Eye jighead.

September 10 at 10:54 am

Angler lands 156-pound tarpon from Jolly Roger Pier

Jolly Roger Pier in Topsail Beach was the site of a flurry of tarpon activity last weekend as the silver kings chased mullet along beaches. The largest fish came on Sunday, Aug. 30, when Justin Avery of Creedmoor decked a tarpon that measured 78 ½ inches long with a girth of 35 5/8 inches. The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust weight calculator estimated the fish at 156 pounds.

Avery, who had hooked and lost a tarpon on Saturday, came back Sunday with full intentions of redemption. Although technically pin-rigging for king mackerel, he admits that a tarpon was his target.

September 08 at 12:01 pm

ICAST is ’yak time again

The 2015 International Convention of the Allied Sportfishing Trades Show (ICAST) was held July 14-17 in Orlando, Fla. It is the largest tackle show in the world, and many store owners and buyers compare walking the aisles to a child spending a few days with the elves in Santa Claus’ North Pole workshop. There are far more booths than can be visited and much more stuff than a fisherman can use in a lifetime. Still, ICAST continues to expand.  

September 07 at 9:00 am

September means Outer Banks white marlin, and this is how to catch them

For saltwater fishermen who visit the Outer Banks regularly, September is a magical time. People from all over the world elbow their way to our docks, fill the motels, and mostly fill all the available boats.

The reason? A silvery-blue billfish that rarely reaches the 100-pound mark and is known by the name “white” marlin.

September 06 at 7:01 am

September can be tough for bass, but these tips will help

There’s no month that can be tougher on bass fishermen than September, but fortunately, there’s no month when bass can change as much as they do from Labor Day until the approach of October.

There have been years at Buggs Island where I caught fish the first of September in 25 feet of water on a jigging spoon, and by the end of the month, I was catching ’em on a 7A Bomber. That’s how drastic the change can be, and it’s why you put in your time this month — waiting for that change.

September 05 at 1:01 pm

Get froggy for bass

This time of year, a good chunk of many bodies of fish-holding water are covered in surface weeds. Lily pads and alligator grass are two of the main surface plants that can make bass fishing difficult. Any lure with a treble hook is useless in these circumstances, and even weedless-rigged soft plastic worms foul easily on the retrieve. This water is ripe for bass though, so anglers don’t want to pass up a shot at catching fish here. Thanks to a certain lure, they don’t have to.

The best lure option—and perhaps the only lure option—for this situation is the hollow-body frog. These frogs are designed to ride on top of the vegetation, and the hooks point up and back into the body, keeping them from snagging onto the weeds. It is, by fishing lure standards, a super weedless option, and almost anyone who has retrieved one across floating vegetation has stories of massive water explosions and lures getting knocked 3-feet into the air. Unfortunately, many of those same anglers complain that they’ve never been able to consistently land the bass that have been sending their frogs skyward. Three tips from a few fans of hollow-body frogs can help those anglers increase their hookup ratios when using these lures.

September 04 at 1:01 pm

Surprise cobia catch off Avalon Pier

Jake Worthington of Camden was fishing for king mackerel on the south corner of the Avalon Pier last week when he got a big surprise. Instead of a king, Worthington caught a 60-pound cobia that fought him for almost an hour before coming close enough to the pier for another angler to gaff. 

That it was a cobia was not the biggest surprise to Worthington. “That’s my sixth cobia of the year off the Avalon Pier, so I wasn’t completely shocked, but it is a little bit late in the year for that species,” he said. He caught most of the other cobia between June and the end of July, when he said they typically move in and out of Kitty Hawk Bay. Worthington’s biggest surprise came when he actually landed the fish after getting hung in three other king anglers’ anchor lines. 

September 04 at 9:01 am

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