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Neuse River bass hitting topwater flies

Fall weather is invading the Raleigh area, but it hasn’t pushed anglers like EJ Stern completely out of the area’s rivers. Stern, of Raleigh Flyfishing Guide service, said it won’t last much longer, but that right now, wet-wading is the way to go, especially in the Neuse River.

Stern has been catching a variety of species, with largemouth bass and bream making up the bulk of his catches. While the recent rains will impact the fishing on the Neuse for several days, the water levels have been low, so this shouldn’t hurt the fishing. 

10 hours ago

Hello there, old chum

As we become more competitive, anglers tend to leave no stone unturned in their quest to catch the most and the largest fish. This isn’t just for tournament fishing, but there are times well-known fishing spots are crowded, and you’re seeking an edge to lure fish to your baits rather than others. Fishermen readily buy the latest and greatest lures, lines, rigs and baits, but sometimes, the trick is drawing the fish in to notice your bait or lure.

Yesterday at 9:00 am

Turn squirrel tails into fishing lures

Squirrel hunting season starts next week, giving North Carolina hunters a challenging game animal to hunt that is every bit as fun as (if not more fun than) deer hunting to most hunters who give squirrel hunting a chance.

Especially when using a .22 or .17 rife, shooting a squirrel high up in a tree is challenging, and training yourself to take only headshots will improve your rifle skills and preserve the meat which makes a tasty meal. And the action is much faster than deer hunting, because squirrels are plentiful, and much more likely to show themselves in daylight hours than deer normally do.

Yesterday at 8:47 am

Spot On! Catch spotted bass in Cape Fear River with these tips

The Cape Fear is one of the longest and most diverse rivers in North Carolina. Beginning at the tailrace below B. Everett Jordan Dam, it flows 202 miles before reaching the ocean near the town of Southport.

Along its rout, it has been known as a great fishery for catfish, striped bass and redfish. More recently, it’s become known for another species — the spotted bass.

Most anglers associate the term spotted bass with other regions — and they aren’t wrong. The Alabama spotted bass is prevalent across the south; however, it is that fish’s cousin, the “northern spotted bass,” that has taken hold in the Cape Fear. Also known as the Kentucky spotted bass or simply a “spot” Micropterus punctulatus is the spotted bass species prevalent in the river, as well as in Lake Norman and other parts of the Catawba River system.

October 04 at 6:45 am

Mountain Island blue cats will move shallow this month

Kevin Custer of Statesville knows where he’d go if he had to choose a favorite catfish lake today. “If I was gonna go somewhere to catch (blue) catfish, I’d go to MountainIsland or LakeNorman,” said Custer, the vice-president of NC-CATS, a North Carolina catfish tournament trail.

Mountain Island, a Duke Energy impoundement of 3,281 acres with 61 miles of shoreline, lies northwest of Charlotte, downstream from Lake Norman’s 32,475 acres on the Catawba River, separated by Cowan’s Ford Dam.

October 03 at 6:45 am

Deer farm authority passes to N.C. Dept of Agriculture after legislature reverses decision

The state legislature made a 180-degree turnaround early this week and handed over management of deer farms in North Carolina to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, taking authority from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the N.C. House had dropped a section of the Agriculture Bill of 2015-16 that turned over management of penned-in whitetail deer from the Commission to the Ag agency and passed the bill by an 86-13 margin. Another vote on Monday, Sept. 28, was 90-11 for the bill that kept the Commission in control. That same day, however, a seven-person conference committee of Republican members of the Senate and House rewrote the bill and put back in the section that had been dropped. The bill was quickly approved 70-44 on Tuesday, Sept. 29, in the House and 42-4 in the Senate and needed only Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature to become law.

October 02 at 6:45 am

Weather postpones US Open King Mackerel Tournament

The 2015 U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament Board of Directors announced after much consideration and consultation about weather concerns due to Hurricane Joaquin, have postponed the tournament to October 30th & 31st.  The new tournament schedule will be as follows: registration on Thursday, October 29th from 10am-12midnight at the Southport Marina and fishing on Friday, October 30th from 7am-5pm and Saturday, October 31st from 7am-4pm.  

October 01 at 3:36 pm

Pittsboro hunter goes against instincts on wind, kills big buck

Jonathan Phillips of Pittsboro killed a trophy buck that he didn’t know was on his property until just before the season started. After doing a little scouting one day in a field on his 30-acre farm, he saw two really big deer than got his blood flowing, but it was the last he saw of those deer.

“One was a gigantic 6-point that had an odd rack. I couldn’t see the rack on the other deer real well, but the deer was huge,” said Phillips, who put out a corn pile and set up a trail-cam that day, but those two deer never showed up on it. 

October 01 at 10:00 am


There will be plenty of chances for hunters to put their eyes on deer this month, if they pick the right stand locations, have their weapons shooting straight, and know what to do before and after the shot.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Threat assessment? Something is rotten

When is a threat not a threat? In the case of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission’s southern flounder fiasco in August, Rep. Bob Steinburg, a Republican who represents several northeastern North Carolina counties in the heart of commercial-fishing territory, made a very real threat to the members of the Commission. 

October 01 at 7:00 am

Get on track and find bucks after the shot

It takes hours, days, sometimes years to figure out the daily travel patterns of a trophy buck. These grown-ups are scholars in the wilderness, living long enough to sense trouble from most of the average hunter’s tricks. Those that make it to 4 ˝ years or older have outlived more than 80 percent of their brethren. 

October 01 at 7:00 am

How the Green Mountain monster meet its doom

Western North Carolina’s mountains can’t carry a large number of whitetail deer because the habitat just doesn’t match the rest of the state, so trophy bucks from the high country aren’t too common.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Shall we gather at the rivers? Bass fishermen have got plenty of water to probe in the four rivers around Wilmington, N.C.

The beaches of New Hanover County are known for their good saltwater fishing, but fewer anglers are aware of the good freshwater fishing from Wilmington upriver. Four rivers meet close to the port city, where the water transforms from saltwater to freshwater.

October 01 at 7:00 am

The real fall brawl is wahoo fishing off North Carolina’s coast

Tailgates. Pigskins. Orange leaves. Cool mornings. Bonfires. Hoodies. These are all signs of fall. For the offshore angler that pushes beyond the beaches on a cool, late September or early October morning, there is another marker of the changing of the season: wahoo. 

October 01 at 7:00 am

The speck revival - Swansboro is playing host to a speckled trout revival

Fred Slann, a guide from New Bern, his friend Chris Walker of Sea Island, N.J., and a visiting writer had one of the most fantastic trout-fishing days ever 10 Octobers ago in the North River east of Beaufort.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Kings on the throne - The fall run of king mackerel off the Cape Fear River and Oak Island, N.C.

October is a special time in the ocean around the mouth of the Cape Fear River at Southport, where king mackerel gather between and try to devour every baitfish they can, arriving the last week or so of September and increasing in numbers until mid-October, when the slowly begin to move off the beach. The fishing can be epic, and there are special days every year.

October 01 at 7:00 am