|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.”
|Look in stained, shallow water and find the mother lode of Lake Wylie bass
March 12 at 8:45 am
The dingy waters of Lake Wylie have had a profound but positive impact on the lake’s largemouth bass. Fish are in the shallows and are being caught in quality sizes and excellent numbers.
Guide Rusty White of Rock Hill, S.C., is catching lots of quality bass right now, and he's getting it done in very shallow water.
"The dingy water has actually helped in terms of creating conditions for the bass to migrate to the shallows," White said. "The bass have moved into very shallow water along the banks down to the 3-foot range and are holding on all types of woody objects: permanent poles on docks, blowdowns, logs and stumps.
|Freshman N.C. senator introduces bill to allow Sunday hunting with firearms on private land
March 10 at 10:18 pm
A first-term state senator from the Fayetteville area has introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would allow firearm hunting on Sundays on private land with landowner permission.
Sen. Ben Clark (D-Cumberland/Hoke) introduced Senate Bill 224 to expand Sunday hunting opportunities from beyond archery and crossbows, which were legal on Sundays for the first time during the 2010-11 hunting season. Secondary sponsor of the bill is Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton (R-Johnson/Nash/Wilson).
|Lower end of Lake Norman has been hot spot for stripers, spots, white perch
March 06 at 3:10 pm
Even as winter weather continues to dominate most of North Carolina, fishing success has increased at some freshwater venues, including Lake Norman.
During recent weeks, guide Craig Price of Denver said he’s found spotted bass and scattered stripers, along with some big white perch. Historically, during cold months at Lake Norman, Price said spotted bass and stripers school in the main lake or head for the backs of creeks, with bait availability the key draw.
“They’ve been mainly at the lower end of the lake from Markers 10 to 7 in the main-river channel’s ‘S’ curves,” he said. “To find them, it’s just a matter of looking for diving birds. You’ll see birds where spots and stripers push baitfish to the surface. There also have been some fish up around the main lake at the mouths of Rocky and Stumpy Creeks.”
|Bluewater wahoo bite out of Carolina Beach is awesome
March 06 at 2:48 pm
Capt. Mike King of the Streamweaver in Carolina Beach thought there would be some wahoo holding in the general area of the Steeples off Carolina Beach last weekend, and he had a group ready to go after them.
King’s hunch was right. The wahoo were chewing when he took out Paul Robertson’s bachelor party on March 2. While the ride out was good and the fishing hot, the weather window closed rather quickly, and the group was headed back in by noon. Everyone was tired, however, because the fish box was full.
The group had eight wahoo and six blackfin tuna, plus some assorted other fish. Even more impressive was the size of the wahoo. Six of the eight were citation fish with one in the 50s, four in the 60s and one brute that weighed 87.1 pounds on the scales at Island Tackle and Hardware in Carolina Beach. The two that weren’t citations barely missed the 40-pound minimum.
|Seagle's huge limit wins BFL bass tournament on High Rock
March 06 at 2:09 pm
After the first five or six anglers each brought one fish to the scales at the March 2 Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament at High Rock Lake, Salisbury’s Kenny Seagle stunned the crowd at Tamarac Marina by bringing in a 5-fish limit that weighed a whopping 24 pounds, 4 ounces.
Seagle easily captured the first-place prize of $3,641 plus a Ranger Cup bonus of $2,000 and a Mercury motor bonus of $1,000. He also received $475 for a hefty 8-pound, 8-ounce bass, the big fish of the day.
Seagle’s haul was impressive given the conditions at High Rock. With temperatures hovering in the 40s and with cold, muddy lake water so high that most fishermen couldn’t pass under the Abbotts Creek and Flat Swamp bridges, the fishing was terrible. Fifty-eight boaters got skunked; only nine caught more than one fish. Just two 5-fish limits were caught, and the 95 boaters weighed in a scant 55 fish.
|Sutton Lake access area reopens with many improvements
March 06 at 7:56 am
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has completed renovations to the Sutton Lake Boating Access Area, and it is now open to the public.
The refurbished site, off US 421 in New Hanover County, has two new concrete ramps. It also has an 80-foot by 12-foot floating fishing pier with a handicapped-accessible walkway. An improved, ADA-compliant parking area accommodates 33 trailered vehicles and 19 single vehicles. The site also has new solar lighting.
The Commission also installed a new floating boat dock with handicapped-accessible handrails to help people get on and off boats.
|Bill in state senate would greatly increase boat-registration fees to pay for inlet dredging
March 05 at 10:10 am
Three Republican senators from Eastern North Carolina have sponsored a bill in this session of the General Assembly that would increase registration fees – some by as much as 750 percent — for recreational boat owners.
The increase in fees would provide funds for dredging coastal inlets. Meanwhile, commercial fishing vessels — which require deeper channels at inlets and would benefit the most from dredging — won’t be required to register their boats or pay fees.
The major sponsor of Senate Bill 58 is Sen. Harry Brown (R-Jacksonville). Co-sponsors include Sen. Bill Cook (R-Chocowinity) and Sen. Norman Sanderson (R-Arapahoe). Brown was involved during 2012 as co-chair of the Legislative Research Committee on Marine Fisheries that ultimately dismantled the “gamefish bill” that would have ended commercial netting and sale of spotted seatrout, red drum and striped bass.
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