News Breaker

NCWRC closes Bladen Lake State Forest dove field indefinitely

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has closed a dove field on the Bladen Lake State Forest Game Land to hunting until further notice.

The Commission closed the field due to someone baiting the field prior to the dove season opening, which is illegal. The closed dove field is located off Sweet Home Church Road. From Hwy. 242, turn onto Sweet Home Church Road and go approximately 1.2 miles. Turn left on Bladen Lakes State Forest and drive .25 mile. Turn left and go another .25 mile to the dove field location. GPS coordinates are N 34.69902, W 78.57829. The game land is located in Bladen County in Elizabethtown.

September 10 at 8:25 am

VIDEO: Learn to quick-tune your bow

 Video Included

It’s past time to shake the rust off bow and ensure you’re ready when that deer steps out at 30 yards on opening morning. Even if you’ve been shooting on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to tune the bow.

And Shawn Padgett of said it’s not all that difficult — in fact, he shares what he calls a “quick tune” on a Youtube video.

September 09 at 8:52 am

Bag-A-Buck Contest begins Sept. 12

The Bag-A-Buck Contest will return to North Carolina Sportsman and this fall for the 18th-straight year.

The contest, which is run through the website, allows readers to enter photos of deer they harvest in monthly contests, the winners of which will be determined by a drawing. All entrants are eligible for the grand prize.

Monthly contests will run Sept. 12-30, Oct. 1-31, Nov. 1-30 and Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 2016. Winners will receive a $25 gift certificate to the magazine’s Outdoor Store.

September 09 at 7:01 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

Deer hunting seminars available in September

RALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Quality Deer Management Association are offering introductory deer hunting seminars across the state in September.

The free seminars, which will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., are designed for new and experienced hunters. Topics will include deer biology, hunting methods, equipment and clothing, as well as field care of deer, processing and easy-to-follow recipes.

A question-and-answer session, along with a brief overview of hunter recruitment, retention and re-activation initiatives, will conclude each seminar.

September 08 at 7:01 am

Any bow will do--compound or crossbow good under right conditions

The moment of truth came for Oxford’s Randy Williams at 6:30 p.m. last Sept. 14.

A deer hunter for about 35 years who had killed several nice bucks with a muzzleloader and rifle, he had taken up bow hunting about 10 years ago.

“I practiced shooting about every August day to get ready for bow season,” he said.

Williams had polished his shooting skills enough that he could put every arrow in his quiver into a pie-pan size target out to 60 yards. A deadly shot with his Mathews Z7 compound bow, he also lived in deer-rich Granville County.

September 07 at 7:01 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

Brian Cope named web editor of

North Carolina Sportsman is pleased to welcome to its staff Brian Cope of Pawley's Island, S.C., who has assumed the role of web editor for and its sister website,

Cope, 48, is a native of Borden, S.C. He has a degree in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006, after ending a 20-year career as a combat communications technician for the U.S. Air Force.

September 05 at 7:10 am

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

New changes for waterfowl dates at Uwharrie

The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission released a statement today informing watefowl hunters of changes to open hunting days in Uwharrie Game Land's Lewis Millpond waterfowl impoundment in Montgomery County. While this impoundment was previously open to hunting Monday through Saturday throughout past waterfowl seasons, this is not the case for the 2015-2016 seasons.

During non-holiday calendar weeks, hunting waterfowl on the impoundment will be open only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Waterfowling will also be open on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and the Martin Luther King Jr. holidays. Also, the impoundment will open to waterfowlers on the opening and closing days of each season.

September 03 at 1:42 pm

Find out the keys to catching Blewett Falls catfish

Anglers looking to catch good numbers of catfish are having the most luck at night in Blewett Falls Lake while using live shad for bait. Throughout most of the lake, keeping the bait on the bottom is producing the most fish, but trolling can be effective in some areas.

“We’re catching flatheads and blues, all on live shad. The water is hot, so you want to check your bait often, and make sure to keep fresh, lively shad on your hooks,” said guide Robbie Burr of Lilesville.

September 03 at 7:07 am

Two fishing methods are catching Moss Lake crappie

Moss Lake is giving up some nice-sized crappie, and in big numbers to anglers who don’t mind starting their day early. David Darby of Light Oak said going early and fishing in 12 to 15 feet of water is the trick to catching a limit of crappie before lunchtime. 

“I lived for 40 years right down the road from Moss Lake and never fished it, but I’ve been hearing reports on the crappie fishing for several years now, and decided to finally try it last fall. It was outstanding, and I am starting a little early this year, but I’ve been catching plenty as long as I start early and can keep my baits around brush in 12 to 15 feet of water,” said Darby.

September 02 at 2:33 pm

North Carolina waterfowlers have new opportunities for permit hunts

With North Carolina’s waterfowl season right around the corner, now is the time for outdoorsmen to apply for permit waterfowl hunts. Oct 1 is the deadline for most of these hunts, and applications can be obtained from Wildlife Service Agents, online at the NC Wildlife website, or by calling (888) 248-6834 during normal business hours.

This season, the coastal region offers two new waterfowl hunting options. Thanks to the Wildlife Resource Commission’s Game Land Program, hunters have an additional tract of hunting land called the Texas Plantation Tract, which is located in Tyrrell County and governed by J. Morgan Futch Game Land. This adds six hunting blinds on waterfowl impoundments.

September 01 at 11:06 am

Summer bass may be deep, but look for shallower cover where they'll feed

During summer, largemouth bass on big impoundments usually hang out in deep, cool water where the oxygen level provides comfort. But another key to finding hot-weather bass is locating baitfish, usually threadfin shad, sunfish or small bluegills.

August 31 at 4:26 pm