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    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
    Trolling against the current and dragging baits across the bottom is a great way to cover water and run into a flounder in the process.

    Trolling is an overlooked and productive way to catch flounder

    Guides Toby Fulford and Kevin Sneed of Rigged & Ready Fishing Charters use similar live-bait trolling tactics for flounder.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    Beginning this fall, recreational fishermen will not be allowed to keep southern flounder caught in inside waters between Oct. 16 and Jan. 1.

    North Carolina finally buckles down to save southern flounder

    With a vote last fall, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission approved regulations to help rejuvenate southern flounder by amending season lengths and removing gill nets from inside waters.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    The lower Cape Fear River and Snow’s Cut provide flounder with the of the best habitat available along North Carolina’s coasts.

    Cape Fear, Snow’s Cut are great flounder habitat

    The waters of the lower Cape Fear River and Snow’s Cut have long been known as great places to catch flounder — and large flounder, too. The 20-pound, state-record flounder was caught there in 1980, and though flounder fishing in this area isn’t as good as it once was, it is still the primary location for fishermen trying to catch a flounder 10 pounds or heavier.

    June 15 at 7:00am
    Flounder will stack up around the slightest change in bottom structure or contour.

    A tip for finding nearshore flounder

    Far too many times, anglers stow just enough tethering rope to hold fast in the deepest water they anticipate to fish, if that. 

    June 15 at 7:00am

    It’s time to find, tie up hunting leases for the fall season

    June is a big month for hunters across the Carolinas. With turkey season over, hunting leases get ready to laps, and sometimes they change hands for fall season.

    June 15 at 7:00am

    Cover

    June is busting out all over North Carolina's coastline, with nice flounder making their first big appearance of the year.

    June 01 at 7:00am
    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
    Toby Fulford caught this nice keeper flounder on a live menhaden, a very common bait during the summer when they move through inlets into the marshes and creeks.

    Be a flounder pounder as June arrives along the coast of Brunswick County, N.C.

    As the days grow longer and warmer as May gets ready to give way to June, flounder fishing along the Brunswick County coast from Holden Beach west to the South Carolina state line gets tough to beat.

    That’s when finger mullet and menhaden, favorite meals of flounder, begin to stream through Mad, Tubbs, Lockwood Folly and Shallotte inlets into rivers and creeks and then spread across the marsh.

    June 01 at 7:00am
    Set your sights on North Carolina’s river-run flatfish.

    River-run flatfish - Flounder fishing takes off in June in the lower Cape Fear River

    When Amanda King arrived in Wilmington a while back to attend college, she knew the Cape Fear coast was a special place and that she would probably be staying. She wound up working at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher running their surf-fishing seminars and similar projects, and doubling as a fishing guide who specializes in leading ladies and kids on trips exploring the Cape Fear River downstream from Wilmington to Southport from her Carolina Beach home.

    June 01 at 7:00am