• Freshwater Fishing

    15-year-old Landon Evans of Benson set the new North Carolina record for blue catfish Saturday with this 117.5 pounder.

    Benson teen topples blue cat record

    Last Saturday began like many others for 15-year-old Landon Evans of Benson, but it became special that evening when he caught a 117.5-pound blue catfish that is the biggest ever taken from Lake Gaston, the biggest ever caught in North Carolina waters, and possibly a line-class world record and junior angler world record.

    June 16 at 11:58am
    Freshwater grass shrimp are common around Shearon Harris’ grass beds, and they’re a killer bait for shellcrackers, but not readily available at bait shops.

    Freshwater grass shrimp are a killer bait for shellcrackers at North Carolina’s Shearon Harris Lake

    It may be common knowledge to some, but it’s probably safe to say that most anglers are unaware that the grass beds in Shearon Harris Lake are literally teeming with freshwater grass shrimp, which make an excellent shellcracker bait, according to guide Greg Griffin.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    Periods of falling barometric pressure will encourage mountain trout like this brown to feed.

    Expert tips will help trout fishermen

    After decades of observing and studying, Lance Milks of Greensboro is an encyclopedia of trout knowledge.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    The tenkara style of fishing for trout will be on display at the two-day Tenkara Jam this October in Cherokee.

    Tenkara Jam set for October

    The third-annual Appalachian Tenkara Jam is scheduled Oct. 15-16 in Cherokee, with tenkara fishing lessons offered by the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    White perch are a bonus for fishermen trolling spoons and plugs for Lake James smallmouth bass.

    How are white perch, herring changing Lake James’ fishery?

    Guide Colt Bass said that Lake James is developing and changing as a freshwater fishery because of the presence of two species and the reappearance of another.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    Warmouth are popular panfish for anglers who spend time on blackwater rivers in southeastern North Carolina.

    Warmouth: more mouth than anything

    By late May, Northeast Cape Fear River anglers begin catching an abundance of warmouth sunfish. Some anglers call them “more-mouths” because they say they are more mouth than anything else. Another popular name is “goggle-eye.”

    June 15 at 7:00am
    The upper section of the Oconaluftee River in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers some beautiful scenery.

    From stem to stern - Three days, three distinct Oconaluftee fisheries

    The Oconaluftee River is widely considered one of the top trout streams in North Carolina’s mountains, offering a mix of wild rainbow trout and a smaller population of brown trout in its upper reaches and large stocked trout in the lower section. It is also a rarity in that is has three distinct fisheries.

    June 12 at 9:00am
    Catch more bream like these with this tip.

    Catch more summer bream with this one tip

    Night crawlers have caught untold numbers of bream for anglers, and while it’s tough to say there is a right or wrong way to hook one, it’s probably fair to say that at times, one way works better than another.

    June 02 at 1:27pm
    Big shellcrackers are a bonus fish, but much appreciated, at Shearon Harris Lake, which largemouth bass have made famous.

    Crack the sunfish code at Shearon Harris Lake

    Overshadowed by its notoriety as a trophy bass and crappie lake — the once-belittled white perch even is beginning to draw a crowd ­— it’s no wonder the redear sunfish or shellcrackers in Shearon Harris Lake feel a bit left out. 

    While the wealth of aquatic vegetation at the 4,100-acre lake has been credited for the rise of its coveted population of larsgemouth bass, the grass has also helped shellcrackers become the dominant panfish.

    June 01 at 7:00am
    Lake James is home to plenty of 4-pound smallmouth bass, like these two guide Colt Bass put one of his guide parties on last summer.

    Striper tactics for Lake James smallmouths

    Colt Bass slipped a hook through the nose of a gizzard shad, and with a flick of his wrist, flipped the baitfish into the water. He started paying out line from the level-wind reel, with help from a planer board that was sliding to the side, away from the stern of his center-console boat, engaging the reel handle when the board was at the proper distance.

    June 01 at 7:00am
    The author admires a warmouth, aka goggle-eye, caught from the Northeast Cape Fear River.

    Bream busters flock to North Carolina’s Northest Cape Fear River

    Webster’s dictionary defines “idyllic” as “charmingly simple or picturesque.” If any place in the world meets that definition, it is the Northeast Cape Fear River. With banks shaded by cypress, gum, oak, hickory and pine trees wearing wigs of Spanish moss that waft in the gentlest breeze, it is one of the one of the most-beautiful blackwater rivers in North Carolina. Some stretches run miles with few boat docks or other signs of human habitation, adding to its draw as a bream-fishing destination.

    June 01 at 7:00am
    The Matrix Mini allows anglers to scratch the angling itch when crappie are lethargic.

    The Matrix Mini

    Chas Champagne wishes it would have been as simple as pointing a futuristic-looking device at one of the most-popular speckled trout soft plastics on the market and reducing the size significantly, like in the 1989 movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”

    May 22 at 9:00am
    34 trout streams and two lakes, all of which are delayed-harvest trout waters, will open under hatchery-supported regulations on June 4.

    Delayed-harvest trout waters open under hatchery-supported regulations June 4

    On June 4 the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open 34 trout streams and two lakes classified as delayed-harvest trout waters under hatchery-supported regulations.

    May 17 at 3:27pm
    Cut the pelvic fin from a redfin pickerel and you’ve got a bait that will catch plenty more fish.

    Catch fish, then cut bait when targeting redfin pickerel

    The traditional baits for catching redfin pickerel are the pelvic fin and the top or bottom half of its forked tail. 

    May 15 at 7:00am
    Cut a hole in the lid of a bucket, affix a plastic door, and you’ve got a perfect container for redfin pickerel.

    Catch redfin pickerel by the bucketful

    The best way to keep and carry redfin pickerel is in a plastic pail with a tight-fitting lid. 

    May 15 at 7:00am
    Ray Atkinson caught these two nice redfish pickerel from the backwaters of the Lumber River near Fair Bluff.

    Don’t carp about redfin size

    The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Angler Recognition Program awards outstanding catches with a suitable-for-framing certificate featuring the artwork of Duane River.

    May 15 at 7:00am