|Red drum, black drum, trout still on the menu for Cape Lookout anglers
March 03 at 7:00 am
Red and black drum are in the backwaters around Morehead City and in the ocean at the Cape Lookout and Fort Macon rock jetties, and it shouldn’t be long before the parade of spring fish marches into the area, according to Matt Lamb at Chasin’ Tails Outdoors in Atlantic Beach.
“We’re well on our way to spring,” Lamb said. “The middle of March is approaching, and I’ve always thought of it as the time spring fishing begins. I've looked back on records from last year, and about mid–March we started to see the first sea mullets moving into our area. Following them pretty closely were hogfish, croakers and puffers. The water temperatures dropped a few times, but didn’t stay cold, so I expect to see fish arrive at close to the same times.’
|Spaces remain available for North Carolina Sportsman's Saltwater Fishing School
March 02 at 7:00 am
A few spaces remain in North Carolina Sportsman’s annual Saltwater Fishing School, scheduled for March 16 in Wilmington as part of the Cape Fear Wildlife Classic at the convention center.
Spots in the day-long school, which features instruction from some of North Carolina’s finest guides and charter captains, cost $150 each. The first 200 adults who register receive a Star Rods Aerial spinning combo valued at $100 and will be entered in a drawing for a Costa Rica fishing trip or a dove hunt in Argentina, both provided by Down East Guide Service. Admission for a second member of a family is $75. To register, call 800-538-4355 or visit www.northcarolinasportsman.com. For information on discounts for military personnel, call 800-538-4355.
The fishing school is sponsored by Star Rods and Sea Striker.
|Crappie biting at High Rock -- if you can find stained, not muddy, water
March 01 at 7:00 am
It’s usually tough for freshwater fishermen about the time March arrives because of cold and stained or muddy water in North Carolina reservoirs.
February was marked by a double dose of cold, rainy – and snowy – weather that’s kept water temperatures low. Fishing river-system lakes in the Piedmont has been especially difficult because they’ve been overwhelmed by runoff that muddies the water.
“It’s been very tough for about a month,” said guide Maynard Edwards of Lexington, who fishes High Rock, Tuckertown, Badin and Tillery reservoirs on the Yadkin system.
But fishing doesn’t have to be a total washout, he said.
“Right now, High Rock is the best bet, and you can catch crappies, but you have to find ’em first,” said Edwards, who runs Yadkin Lakes Guide Service (336-247-1287). “A few crappie are biting if you can find water that’s not red.”
|Duke Energy, NCWRC adds to Tuckasegee River access
February 28 at 7:00 am
The Tuckasegee River in Jackson County is one of the most popular rivers in western North Carolina for fishing and boating, but access often can be a problem, especially during prime fishing and boating seasons.
Boaters and fishermen often have had to use limited-space pull-off areas to get on the river. One popular access point on the delayed-harvest section of the river is a giant mudhole, especially after a heavy rain.
Getting on the river will be much easier with the opening of new access areas and improvements of existing sites. When work is completed over the next few years, nine official access points will be available, spanning the river from below Glenville Lake to Whittier. The access areas are a joint collaboration of Duke Energy and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
All of the new areas have graveled parking lots and launch areas for boaters. A few will have toilets and information kiosks.
|High levels of mercury found in bass, perch, walleye in 2 mountain lakes
February 27 at 7:00 am
State officials have issued fish consumption advisories for Lake Chatuge in Clay County and Nantahala Lake in Macon County after recent testing showed unsafe mercury levels in smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, yellow perch and walleye in Nantahala Lake and white bass and largemouth bass in Lake Chatuge.
Similar consumption advisories were issued for Santeetlah Lake and Fontana Reservoir in 2011.
David Yow, a fisheries biologist for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, said mercury is present in most fish, but some have higher levels than others.
|Charlie Brown, commercial fisherman turned guide, dies after battle with cancer
February 26 at 7:00 am
Charles Holland Brown, 52, better known as Capt. “Charlie” Brown, passed away Feb. 20 at his home in Straits after a valiant year-long battle against cancer.
Brown was a hunting and fishing guide, owner of Old Core Sound Guide Service and a prolific waterfowl decoy carver – he came from a fifth-generation Down East fishing family.
Brown grew up as a commercial fisherman, dredging for shrimp and oysters, clamming, setting nets for flounder and mullet and working as a deckhand on an ocean-going scallop boat.
|U.S. Forest Service holds public hearings on management plan for next 15 years
February 25 at 7:00 am
Plans to manage the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests over the next 15 years are up for discussion, and sportsman have five opportunities to speak out for their interests over the next four weeks.
The U.S. Forest Service is holding a series of public meetings to receive input from sportsman on the Land Management Plan, and the forest service and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is urging them to attend meetings and make requests so all important issues can be identified. The meetings, which begin at 6 p.m., are as follows:
* Feb. 25, Appalachian Ranger District: Mars Hill College, Broyhill Chapel, in Mars Hill;
* March 5,Tusquitee Ranger District: First Baptist Church in Murphy;
* March 12,Grandfather Ranger District: McDowell Tech College, Room 113, in Marion;
* March 18, Pisgah Ranger District: Transylvania County Library in Brevard;
* March 19,Nantahala Ranger District: Tartan Hall in Franklin;
|Pace wins 2013 Bassmaster Classsic
February 24 at 8:22 pm
Maiden's Hank Cherry made his first Bassmaster Classic appearance count, ending the 2013 B.A.S.S. championship in third place.
Cherry logged a three-day total of 49 pounds.
|Crazy weather hasn't slowed speckled trout bite in Southport area
February 24 at 7:00 am
The weather along North Carolina’s southeastern coast has been anything but consistent – mid-60s and snow in the same week – but inshore fish are still biting.
Steve Lancaster at The Tackle Box in Southport said speckled trout limits have been the rule, rather than the exception, but red drum, black drum and even a few flounder are showing up.
“We’ve had a few cold fronts, but the weather hasn’t gotten cold and stayed cold,” Lancaster said. “The water temp has dropped to around 50, but it hasn’t gone into the low 40s and shut everything down. Guys are catching trout, red drum, black drum and even a few misplaced flounder. It’s cold enough the fish aren’t feeding every day, but they’re feeding most sunny days.”
Lancaster (910-454-9227) said most trout are being caught well back in creeks, in deeper holes that contain water a degree or two warmer than surrounding areas.
|Pace leads 2013 Bassmaster Classic, Cherry in fourth after second day
February 23 at 8:50 pm
North Carolina anglers continued to shine after two days of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, with both of the state's representatives moving into the final day of the championship tournament in the top 10.
Hank Cherry of Maiden sits in fourth with 31-12, while Wilkesboro's Tracy Adams is in ninth with 29-6.
|Badin's chunky largemouths concentrated on steep, rocky banks
February 23 at 7:00 am
Badin Lake has the reputation for being one of the first reservoirs on the Yadkin River system – or in all of North Carolina – to wake up when spring hovers on the horizon.
February is a good example. If the weather isn’t too cold and it isn’t raining or snowing, Badin produces some excellent catches of largemouth bass, and guide Joel Richardson is living proof.
On decent days, we’ve been having really good bass days at Badin,” he said. “I’m a fan of cold-water bass fishing, and Badin is probably the No. 2 cold-water bass lake, only behind Buggs Island.”
|Tarheel's Cherry in third place after first day of 2013 Bassmaster Classic
February 22 at 9:07 pm
Tarheel angler Hank Cherry was in third place after the first day of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, sitting a mere 9 ounces behind the leaders.
Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., and 2003 Bassmaster Classic champ Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J., tied for the first-day lead at the 2013 edition of the world championship of bass fishing on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.
They both brought 21 pounds, 8 ounces to the scales at Tulsa’s BOK Center on Friday, the first of three days of competition for the $500,000 top prize of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
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