|Sneads Ferry guide says inshore favorites are biting, but change to spring patterns is late
March 31 at 11:27 pm
Capt. Allen Jernigan of Breadman Ventures said the cooler than normal weather has changed the habits of fish on the New River and ICW between Surf City and Swansboro, but there are still some red drum, speckled trout and even a few early flounder that are biting in the waters around Sneads Ferry.
The fish, he said, have been trying to move out of the backwaters for a few weeks, but cooler water has kept them there. He is finding most of his fish in said shallow bays and creeks, but he expects them to move closer to the river and waterway as soon as we have a couple of weeks of warm weather.
“Some days finding the fish has been the easy part,” Jernigan said. “Even though the water is still cold, there has been enough sunlight the bottom growth is going strong and anything that get down to the bottom is grassing up. We might get a few bites under a cork, but the fish really aren’t quite active enough for that to be the main way to fish. The problem comes back to being able to present a bait the fish can see.”
|Look for Kerr Lake crappie to stay deep until water warms considerably
March 28 at 8:05 pm
Unusually cold weather notwithstanding, crappie fishermen who want to land the biggest fish of the year should consider visiting John H. Kerr Reservoir. The cool weathers haven’t negatively affected crappie fishing – it’s just delayed shallow-water April fishing while keeping March patterns intact.
Guide Bud Haynes of Clarksville, Va., one of the top slab chasers on the 49,500-acre reservoir that’s also known as “Buggs Island Lake” said cool water – in the 46- to 50-degree range – is likely to concentrate big female crappie in deep water near “trash.”
When he refers to “trash” means trees anglers have sunk in the lake to provide good structure that attracts schools of fish.
“A majority of crappies in Buggs right now are gonna be on deep structure, and they’ll be that way probably a couple weeks into April until the water warms up and pushes them toward the banks,” Haynes said. “Some crappie also will be at boat docks with ends near deep water, staging before they move to shallow water.
|Lexington duo has rich payday in Jordan Lake tournament
March 27 at 2:55 pm
Chris Brown and Jason Thomas of Lexington won the March 23 Carolina Bass Challenge on Jordan Lake with a 5-fish limit that weighed an impressive 27.81 pounds and was worth $9,000.
Brown said the victory for him and Thomas was “the biggest of their fishing careers.”
The winning team had one of only five limits taken by the 120-team field. They had seven keeper bites and culled two bass.
Their biggest fish weighed 7.25 pounds and was caught during the morning hours, thanks to a competitor’s boat that beat them to their prime fishing hole. Brown and Thomas had to select another location and immediately hung two big fish.
|Senate bill would allow hunting bear over bait
March 26 at 3:18 pm
Senator Harry Brown (R-Jacksonville) has introduced a bill in the state senate that would allow hunting of black bears over bait and would require in-state hunters to purchase a $10 tag before they could hunt, kill or possess a black bear.
Since its creation in 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has opposed baiting of game birds and wild animals, including black bear.
|Scotland Neck area is hot spot on Roanoke River for annual shad run
March 26 at 9:13 am
Despite last week’s cool temperatures, the shad run in the Roanoke River is still going strong.
“The Edwards Ferry boat landing (on US 258 near Scotland Neck) is a great place to access the Roanoke and catch a lot of hickory shad,” said veteran angler J.D. Fish. “We are mainly targeting creek mouths, but fallen trees in the river can be productive also. Any place where the fish can get out of the main current for a little rest can be good. Even a creek that seems too small is worth a try.”
Fish likes to run upstream of a creek mouth, drop anchor, and drift back close enough to cast into it.
“I like to position myself so I can throw into the mouth and the eddy around it. “Depending on the water temperature, shad may be in the creek or running in the deeper water of the river,” Fish said.
|Speckled trout bite stays good in Pamlico, Tar as March stays cold
March 25 at 9:34 am
Strange as it may sound, the consistently cold weather in March has got the fish biting in the Pamlico River as well as they have all winter, and fishermen are taking advantage of it.
Capt. Richard Andrews of Tar-Pam Guide Service in Washington said specks, reds and stripers have been in the river as far as the upstream as the US 17 bridge across the Tar River, and that the fishing has been surprisingly good.
“There have been specks in the creeks off the Pamlico all winter,” Andrews said. “Many people thought the rain of the last few weeks would move them around, but it hasn’t – at least not yet. I’m still catching specks in most of the same places, in the same creeks, and it’s easy to tell the water is a lot fresher.”
|Fontana Lake fishermen catching plenty of bass
March 20 at 12:21 pm
Spring fishing has arrived at Fontana Lake in the far-western North Carolina mountains. According to Danny Williams at Fontana Village Resort Marina.
“We had a tournament over the last weekend,” he said, “and it took (a 10-fish limit of) 33 pounds of largemouths, spots and smallmouth to win it. “That’s pretty good for this time of year, but if the weather had been warmer, it probably would have taken close to 50 pounds.”
Temperatures hovered in the mid-40s to low-50s last weekend, but anglers were able to turn in a mixed bag of fish.
“They caught most of their largemouth bass on pig-and-jig lures, working them just off the bottom where headwaters of feeder creeks and branches run into the lake,” said Williams, who pointed to plastic worms rigged wacky-style producing more spotted bass.
|Thomasville pair sweeps Tarheel Striper Club awards at High Rock
March 19 at 9:59 pm
The Tarheel Striper Club typically awards cash prizes for the top three finshers, plus a cash prize for the big fish of the day. First place and big fish winners also receive trophies.
At the club’s March 16 Open tournament on High Rock Lake, the Thomasville team of Ronnie Beck and Layne Beck swept all the cash prizes and trophies by being the only team in the 15-team field to weigh in a striper.
The Becks had two stripers. One fish weighed 10.05 pounds; the other 8.40 for a total of 18.45 pounds. They received $362 in cash for taking the top three spots, a trophy for first place plus $115 and a trophy for catching the big fish of the day.
|Sunset Beach bridge holding plenty of hungry black drum
March 19 at 8:17 am
Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow Minded Guide Service said the mild winter has led to an excellent black drum bite, plus some early spring specks and redfish leaving the inner marsh early in the lower reaches of Brunswick County.
“The rainy days of the past few weeks have put the bite off a little at times, but it seems we’re coming out of the winter a little early,” Dickson said. “With our second mild winter in a row, there are fish in the marshes and creeks off the Intracoastal Waterway around Sunset Beach, and they are hungry and feeding. We’re seeing good catches of black drum, and speckled trout.”
Dickson, said one unique trait of the area was all the black drum holding around the Sunset Beach Bridge. This bridge is only a couple of years old and already the black drum have found it. The old Sunset Beach Bridge also held some black drum, but was an excellent go-to spot for speckled trout. Anglers are catching a few specks around the new bridge, but black drum are there in numbers.
“The bridge is still a go-to spot, but the species has changed,” said Dickson (843-458-3055). “The old bridge held specks, black drum and a few flounder. The black drum have moved to the new bridge, but the specks and flounder have been slow finding it. There are a bunch of pound to 2-pound black drum there now, and they aren’t the least bit bashful about biting.”
|N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission comes out in support of Sunday hunting bill
March 18 at 11:50 am
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has adopted a resolution supporting a bill that would allow people to hunt on Sundays on private lands.
During the March 14 business meeting, the Commission adopted a resolution in support of Senate Bill 224, which would remove a prohibition against Sunday hunting on private lands with shotgun, rifle or pistol set out in N.C.G.S. 103-2.
|Veteran guide expects Shearon Harris bass to get cranked up
March 14 at 8:36 am
With spring-like weather finally warming, one of North Carolina’s best lakes for bass fishing is ready to explode, according to a veteran guide.
“Harris Lake is ready to bust wide open,” said Jeffrey Thomas of Broadway. “It’s a ticking time bomb, about ready to explode.”
Thomas and partner Dennis Reedy of Sanford fished a tournament last weekend at Harris and finished fifth out of 65 teams, coming away impressed.
“I hate to put more pressure on Harris…. But it I were going somewhere to fish for bass the next two weeks, I’d choose Harris,” Thomas said, impressed by the number of fish caught in the tournament.
|Denton man catches huge fish, but Seagrove pair wins FOM on Tillery
March 13 at 8:59 pm
Denton’s Robert Lambert caught the biggest bass in the history of the Fishers of Men Piedmont Division with an 8.55-pound lunker in the March 9 tournament at Lake Tillery.
The huge bass represented a number of accomplishments for Lambert. The fish was the biggest bass of the tourney, adding $174 to the second-place earnings he and his partner, Robert Mixon of Lexington, who weighed in 19.41 pounds to receive a total of $790. The fish was also the biggest bass Lambert has caught in his fishing career.
“The fish inhaled a spinnerbait in less than four feet of water,” said Lambert. “It hit near a little stick, rolled near the surface, and Robert (Mixon) scooped it into the net. There wasn’t much of a fight.”
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