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    Current seams, where two different currents meet, are often marked by surface bubbles knows as “foam.”

    Smallmouths are at home under New River’s foam

    What’s the best way to approach raft, canoe or kayak fishing for smallmouth bass in a mountain river with moving current, as opposed to a reservoir.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Once protected and publicized, the beautiful New River in northwestern North Carolina became a haven for anglers and paddlers alike.

    Long battle over New River set precedent to save streams

    The successful, 14-year battle to save the New River in North Carolina and southwestern Virginia in the 1960s and 1970s created a coalition that local residents, environmental groups, conservation organizations, anglers, businesses, state agencies and politicians have used to preserve natural resources elsewhere.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    When summer slabs get extremely deep, small jigging spoons are a better method for drawing strikes that fishing with jigheads and soft-plastic artificials.

    Head upriver for Kerr Lake crappie during drawdown conditions

    It’s no secret that Kerr Lake’s status as a flood-control reservoir makes it subject to excessive pooling during wet seasons,  but since Lake Gaston downstream began furnishing water to the Virginia Beach area in 1998, Kerr also has the potential to see major drawdowns in summer droughts.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    In low-light or stained-water conditions, a silver jigging spoon can becomea gold with an application of  Spike-It’s lure dye.

    For quick color fixes, pull out that container of dye

    Ask two anglers for their opinion on lure color, and you may get two different answers. But the general consensus is that silver or chrome spoons perform best on bright sunny  days with clear conditions and gold or painted spoons are best for cloudy days or stained water.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Noisy lures with imbedded rattles will often get the attention of speckled trout from long distances, drawing strikes other lures wouldn’t get.

    Noisy lures attract more trout bites

    Daybreak is the best time to catch speckled trout during summer. Helping fish locate the lure takes more than just the typical vibration of an injured or swimming baitfish or the subtle movements of a soft plastic. The best lures are the noisiest, so noisy, in fact, that it seems they would scare the daylights out of the trout rather than make them strike.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Gray trout are often caught on the same lures, in the same areas, as the more-popular speckled trout.

    Weakfish are a big bonus for speckled trout fishermen

    While most anglers who catch summer trout are targeting spotted seatrout exclusively, other species will torpedo lures intended for specks. One of the best of these bonus species is the gray trout, aka weakfish, so-called for its weak mouth. However, a mouthful of treble hooks that snags one usually holds it tightly all the way to the boat.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Mud minnow are a favorite live bait of many fishermen who target flounder.

    Live bait and artificials can be equally effective when targeting Harkers Island flounder

    Flounder can sometimes be very picky and will only exert themselves to eat a certain bait, while at other times they seem ready to pounce on just about anything they see. 

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Certain stages of the tide are better for targeting flounder like this one caught by guide Noah Lynk of Harkers Island.

    Learn to fish the right stage of the tide for flounder around Harkers Island

    In many seminars at outdoor shows, the leader will often talk about “fishing the tide.” This is a reference to fishing what is considered the best part of the tide cycle as long as is possible.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Anglers like Greg Dreibelbois are allowed to keep one amberjack per day; this one has no problem exceeding the 28-inch size minimum.

    Many rules govern snapper, groupers

    The snapper-grouper complex in the South Atlantic includes 59 species, as determined by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Greg Dreibelbois of Gastonia battles a large amberjack fishing offshore with Capt. Kevin Sneed.

    Weather, vessel size are keys to offshore fishing

    Weather and boat size are keys to bottom-fishing in the ocean.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Using a range finder and flagging to mark distances to different spots around a stand can make for easier estimation of shots.

    Range, mark distances around your archery stands

    For most deer hunters, the first weapon of choice during the early deer season is the bow and arrow. For bowhunters, a good range finder is the most-important tool to have above the archery equipment itself. Hunters need to know the exact distances around their stands in order to have a good chance at making that million-dollar shot in the first few days of the season.

    July 15 at 7:00am
    Putting up trail cameras in mid-summer around fields, food plots and incoming trails can help identify bucks and does in a local herd, as long as you don’t bother too many deer while checking the cameras.

    Preseason trail cam precautions

    Trail cameras are wonderful inventions for hunters to inventory their deer herd over the summer or see how big the residual bucks have grown from previous years. But overuse and poor retrieval methods can be detrimental, even during the summer when hunting season is nowhere close to open.

    July 15 at 7:00am


    The waters around Wrightsville Beach fill with trout this month, so learn everything you need to know for success.

    July 01 at 7:00am
    Guide Marty Schaffner shows off a nice New River smallmouth bass that hit a topwater popping bug.

    Fish North Carolina’s “river of bronze”

    Last July, the New River appeared similar but also different than 42 years earlier, the last time I floated the stream in a canoe. It was 1974, and local residents and conservation organizations were fighting a plan to dam the pristine river that crosses the northwestern corner of North Carolina. Back then, no guides carried fishing parties on the river, and no businesses catering to anglers and paddlers had sprouted along its banks.

    July 01 at 7:00am
    Hot weather and hot crappie fishing go together at Kerr Lake, at least for guide Keith Wray, who concentrates on deep brush piles.

    Brush up on Kerr slabs

    Not everyone awakens on a balmy, summer morning excited about crappie fishing, but if you do, chances are you are privy to a selection of deep brush piles that are sure to be laced with prime panfish when they evacuate shallow water in search of cover. 

    July 01 at 7:00am
    Wrightsville Beach’s summer speckled trout take a special approach.

    Dark temptations - To catch summer trout around Wrightsville Beach, N.C., it takes a loud lure and a dark sky

    The sun hadn’t showed when Jamie Rushing launched his boat at Wrightsville Beach. While it is important to launch early from any boat ramp from Topsail Beach to Carolina Beach — just to be able to find a parking space for their tow vehicle and trailer— the main reason he was leaving early was for the summer speckled trout bite.

    July 01 at 7:00am