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    Nice largemouths, like this chunky specimen landed by Lee Lanier, are becoming more plentiful in the Neuse River.<br />

    Crayfish bloom blows up Neuse River bass

    Hurricanes have affected largemouth bass in many North Carolina rivers, especially the Neuse River near Kinston.

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Blue catfish will strike baits at a variety of depths during the summer, but keep several baits off the bottom to make sure you’ve got the water column covered.

    Terminal tackle tips for big catfish

    Zakk Royce’s terminal rigging includes more bells, whistles, and innovations than one might shake a Big Cat Fever rod at. Each component is vital to the whole, and when combined, the end result is a system that rarely hangs up or tangles.

    August 15 at 7:00am
    A Sabiki rig, with multiple tiny lures, is a fish-catching machine, especially for anglers who need white perch for catfish bait.

    Pick a perch for Gaston cats

    Despite the alluring aroma of gizzard shad, blue catfish at Lake Gaston have another item on the menu to choose from in late summer.  While those gizzards are the building blocks of trophy catfish, blues will sometimes overlook them in lieu of the white perch, a more-fortifying meal when they’re worn down from summer heat.

    August 15 at 7:00am
    A Double Uni is a great line-to-line knot. Overlap the ends of line and leader, tie a loose Uni at both ends (this photo), tighten each knot and cinch both knots and trim.

    Maintain a strong, line-to-line connection when tarpon fishing

    Tarpon are the strongest fish that live inshore, so an angler’s terminal tackle must be constructed to endure the initial shock of the bite and the potentially long-lasting battle. 

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Crab pots, always adorned with floating buoys, are a dead giveaway for good tarpon-fishing spots in Pamlico Sound.

    In North Carolina, think like a crabber to find tarpon

    In North Carolina waters, the No. 1 commercial seafood crop is the blue crab, and the greater Pamlico Sound produces the majority of the state’s 30 million-pound harvest. 

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Tarpon are just one of a number of fish and game species that feed heavily during certain moon phases.

    With tarpon around, never miss a lunar feed

    Diehard deer hunters know that lunar feeding periods are keys to bringing home venison. For consistently successful tarpon anglers, these feeding periods are nothing to ignore.

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Sight-casting or bottom-fishing, it takes some stout tackle to take on big schooling reds in the Pamlico Sound just inside Ocracoke or Hatteras inlets.

    Find a fish funnel, find OBX reds

    While sight-casting is certainly the most-thrilling means of targeting big red drum, it’s not always the most practical. Low-light conditions, high winds and occasional stained water can make putting eyes on a school nearly impossible. 

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Small, live menhaden are a favorite bait of flounder fishermen once summer arrives.

    For flounder baits, pick your own poison

    What is the best flounder bait? At the risk of sounding obnoxious, it’s what the flounder want to eat that day. The popularity nod goes to live baits, but artificials often produce well, too.

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Before the kids go back to school, get in one last fishing trip to a local lake or pond to take advantage of hungry bass, bream and catfish.

    Don’t miss great August fishing

    Before summer arrives, it seems to take forever to get here. But as soon as the kids get out of school, activities begin, and the hot days fly by at lightning speed. As August arrives, the summer will be winding down, and the kids will soon start school again. Even though it is one of the hottest months, it’s a perfect time to find some water and dredge up a largemouth bass, bluegill or channel catfish with the youngsters before they start the new school year. 

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Intensive hunting can lower coyote numbers on small properties, but a landscape solution hasn’t been found.

    Coyotes and deer fawn depredation

    With coyotes having overspread the southeast and deer numbers declining in some areas, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has three questions to answer about maintaining a stable deer population: 

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Set up your trail cameras as a tool for first-rate preseason scouting.

    Scouting with trail cameras

    With the advent of the game camera, aka trail camera, deer hunting has changed. We can have eyes on the game every minute of every day, if we want.

    August 15 at 7:00am
    Once Lexington’s Chris Brown discovered Lake Thom-A-Lex, he made it his go-to lake for bass fishing for reasons like this chunky one.

    Little lake, big bass - Little municipal lake has answers for North Carolina bass anglers

    For years, Lexington’s Chris Brown traveled 45 minutes or more to big, well-known lakes, including High Rock, Badin and Norman, to fish for largemouth bass, all the while bypassing a small body of water teeming with bass almost in his own back yard.

    August 10 at 10:32am
    Snow Hill’s Lee Lanier loves to fish the Neuse River for chunky largemouth bass like this one that hit a spinnerbait.

    Rollercoaster river bass - Neuse River bass go on a feast when the water is the least

    The water gauge on the US 70 bridge over the Neuse River in Kinston ends about a foot below the guardrail. Just above that 27-foot mark, someone painted a vertical arrow and one word: “Floyd.”

    Eastern North Carolina’s most-destructive hurricane submerged the bridge when it spread flood waters across hundreds of square miles, causing 57 fatalities and $6.9 billion in property damage. Those figures from 1987 didn’t include the destruction of natural resources, especially to the Neuse’s bass population.

    August 01 at 7:00am
    A beautiful, wild brook trout is one of the real joys of fishing on tiny, isolated wild-trout streams in the mountains of western North Carolina.

    The wild, wild west - Wild trout are many a fisherman’s ultimate target, especially in western North Carolina

    For most residents of North Carolina, the summer’s heat and humidity are givens. Fishing one of the state’s trout steams designed as “wild trout” is a great way to make an end run around the elements.

    Jake Rash, a biologist at the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission’s hatchery at Marion, said that of the 5,300 miles of public trout waters within the state’s boundaries, around 4,300 are designated as wild-trout waters. For the most part, these streams are in high country, cooler than places most of us live.

    August 01 at 7:00am
    Enormous blue catfish are being regularly caught at Lake Gaston, where multiple state-record fish have been caught in the last nine months.

    Summer cats, top to bottom - Catch Lake Gaston’s summer catfish

    Zakk Royce became a household name in the fishing community this past December when he broke North Carolina’s state record for blue catfish, not once, but twice in a period of less than 24 hours at Lake Gaston — first with a 91-pound fish and then a 105-pounder he connected with soon after shuttling the first fish back to its original location to be released.  

    August 01 at 7:00am
    August is tarpon time in North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound and its tributaries.

    Target summer tarpon in North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound

    Fishing spans every type of environment imaginable, with thousands of species to target. For some, all it takes is a fresh cricket or shiny lure to produce a tug on the end of the line, but some species require much more. 

    In freshwater, the muskellunge ranks at the top of the list for sparse hookup opportunities, being known as the “fish of 10,000 casts.” In North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound and its tributaries, the tarpon occupies that saltwater niche, with only a few hundred fish winding up with a sore mouth annually.

    August 01 at 7:00am