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Brent Phillips (right) and his father, Merle, celebrate tagging a nice gobbler taken during the 2013 season. Five tips for early season turkey hunting success
2375 Views - Posted: April 05 at 8:47 pm

Hunters across North Carolina await the April 11 opening of turkey season on with eagerness that rivals children on Christmas Eve.  While the peak gobbling period is more likely to produce a tom within earshot, filling your tags is met with challenges. To make sure your season starts off with a bang, utilize these tips from a Bear Creek hunter with more than 30 years of experience and 49 birds under his belt.

Jon Royce (left) caught this 86-pound blue catfish on a trip to Lake Gaston this past Monday with his son, Zakk. Big Lake Gaston blue catfish narrowly misses state record
3426 Views - Posted: March 12 at 9:58 am

What started out as a slow day turned into a fishing trip that the father and son duo of Jon and Zakk Royce of Murfreesboro will never forget. Lake Gaston has spit out its share of big blue catfish, but this past Monday, it almost produced a state record, falling short by 3 pounds when Jon Royce landed an 86-pound behemoth.

Nice crappie have already moved toward the backs of Kerr Lake's major creeks, and all it will take is a little warm weather to get their appetites cranked up. Kerr Lake slabs already moving back into big creeks, waiting for warm weather
2320 Views - Posted: February 25 at 6:48 am

The arctic blast that swallowed up much of North Carolina may have frozen crappie in their tracks, but rest assured the clock is ticking on a big move to shallower water before the spawn. Guide Chris Bullock of Fountain is already finding fish staging in the backs of major creeks on Kerr Lake, and he’s ready to start spider-rigging as soon as warmer weather returns.

Learn to follow the movements of baitfish during the winter as guide Chris Hammill has, and big blue catfish won't be far away. Kannapolis guide: follow baitfish, find big catfish
1497 Views - Posted: February 04 at 9:51 pm

You may think dog days of summer when catfish come to mind, but blue cats are perfectly happy in cold water, where they will be shadowing every move of shad and feasting on the baitfish in reservoirs across North Carolina. Patterning baitfish is a key for Kannapolis guide Chris Hammill of Hammill Outdoor Adventures, who puts them in the boat on Yadkin/Pee Dee system reservoirs. Here are some of his winter catfishing tips:

Chunky, delicious white perch are an often-overlooked winter target on many of North Carolina's reservoirs where significant populations exist. One man's trash is another man's treasure; don't ignore winter white perch.
2282 Views - Posted: January 31 at 6:36 am

White perch, the renegade cousin of striped and white bass are known for being overly prolific and have infiltrated most major reservoirs in North Carolina. Rather than singing the blues, anglers targeting cold-water crappie can make minor adjustments to load up on the massive schools of tasty perch.

The crew of the Fish Bucket landed this 1,005-pound bluefin tuna last Tuesday about 3 1/2 miles out of Beaufort Inlet. Largest North Carolina bluefin ever, by 200 pounds, caught out of Beaufort Inlet
80234 Views - Posted: January 19 at 3:24 pm

Bluefin tuna fishing around Morehead City is shaping up to be one of the best in years, and last Tuesday, it may have hit its peak. After a grueling battle that lasted 3 ˝ hours over nearly 10 miles of ocean, two fishermen trolling near Beaufort inlet hauled in what is unofficially the largest bluefin tuna ever brought to North Carolina scales, weighing 1,005 pounds and measuring 115 inches long.

A scissor rig might be quickest and easiest way to turn a boat into a floating duck blind. Secret of the scissor-rig
372 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am

A scissor rig’s two-piece design is a marvel in form and function, and it must be custom-built to your vessel’s specs. However, one cannot begin construction with just any old planks. Sure, most any wood floats, but even treated lumber will become waterlogged and sink relatively quickly and rot in the briny sound water. Juniper wood is the secret, sought-after for its buoyancy and resistance to decay. 

Mitchell Blake’s homemade Alabama rigs fool plenty of winter stripers in the Albemarle Sound. Sweet, home Alabama rig
187 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am

The Alabama rig, aka A-rig, debuted in 2012 after a pro bass fishermen used it to win a big tournament on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville. Now, it’s used on almost every lake where it’s legal, mostly by fishermen targeting largemouth bass. However, striped bass love to bust a bait ball, too, according to guide Mitchell Blake, who has been breaking ground with it ever since.

Guide MItchell Blake takes care of the striped bass for sportsmen who want to a cast-and-blast experience on the water around the Albemarle Sound and Roanoke River. January cast and blast - The Albemarle and Pamlico sounds are two great spots for a cast-and-blast double-play in January
650 Views - Posted: January 01 at 7:00 am

While winter bears down on North Carolina, the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds play host to a combination of fins and feathers that’s sure to light a fire under any sportsman. Taking advantage of the coincidence are two guides looking to sample the best duck hunting and striper fishing available during frostbitten January.

Bass pro Dave Wolak limits his winter bass-fishing lures to a handful of baits that have special powers over cold, deep largemouths. Dave Wolak's five favorite winter bass baits
2062 Views - Posted: December 31, 2014 at 8:45 am

Many bass fishermen lead double lives, torn between their bass boats and tree stands. But as the door slams shut on deer season, the choice for cold-water bass fishing becomes clear. According to bass pro Dave Wolak of Wake Forest, the key to success is locating deeper fish and using just a handful of lures.

Guide Ricky Kellum of Jacksonville is known for his ability to catch speckled trout, and he has five favorite lures to put them in the boat. Trout guide reveals his favorite lures to catch specks
4022 Views - Posted: December 03, 2014 at 6:28 am

With the speckled trout bite burning hot just about everywhere along the North Carolina coast and supplies of live shrimp dwindling in tackle shops, picking the most productive artificial baits is crucial to success. To help narrow the field, guide Ricky Kellum of Jacksonville’s Speckled Specialist Inshore Fishing Charters (910-330-2745) volunteered his five favorite lures for fall specks.   

Speckled trout will fall for a MirrOlure in the surf as easily as in the backwaters if you make a few adjustments to the bait. Take that MirrOlure on a trip to the surf for specks
1690 Views - Posted: October 30, 2014 at 8:27 am

Hard-bodied baits such as MirrOlures have long been celebrated for their effectiveness in the backwaters of our coastal fisheries, however, they are just as deadly in the surf zone.  While productive right out of the box, a fisherman from Surf City known locally as “the trout pro” has been fine-tuning his MirrOlures for more than a decade to maximize his results on trout in the surf.