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BY SARAH SUE INGRAM
What kind of fish likes to bite bait on gold hooks?
Is the summer or southern flounder caught most often in our inshore waters?
Which fish’s hormones give it the color of its belly?
The answers to these and many more questions can be found in the new book “Surf and Saltwater Fishing in the Carolinas” by Beacon fishing columnist Jeffrey Weeks.
The 177-page, soft-cover book is a quick and easy read, and Weeks’ enthusiasm for fishing becomes contagious—as if we needed any more encouragement to grab a hook and line.
What anglers need is an angle (all puns intended) to catch more of our favorite fish, and this book has good tips.
Another interesting feature is Weeks concludes each fish chapter with the North and South Carolina state records for various fish. For example, the North Carolina state record flounder is 20 pounds, 8 ounces caught at Carolina Beach in 1980, and the South Carolina state record is 17 pounds, 6 ounces caught in South Santee in 1974.
The book has chapters on how to target flounder, red drum, speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano, spot, croaker, black drum, sea mullet and sheepshead.
He has 20 other chapters of useful information such as using scented soft baits, winter fishing, night fishing, surf-fishing tips, pier-fishing tips and taking a kid fishing.
Weeks is specific about which artificial baits to use, welcome advice to those of us who stand in front of the wall of hundreds of lures and go blank. We know our tried and true ones, and it’s reassuring Weeks has found success with those, too. But when lures cost more than $6 a pop, it’s good to experiment with something somebody else already knows works.
The next best thing in the thrill department to catching fish is eating them, and Weeks has 43 pages in the chapter “The Best Carolina Seafood Recipes.” So it’s a cookbook within a fishing book.
Warning: Reading these recipes will give you a major seafood craving. Recipes include speckled trout parmesan, spicy black drum nuggets, cheesy oven-fried bluefish, Myrtle Beach basted pompano, Southport baked whiting, Sunset crab cakes, Cajun scallops, barbecued shark steaks, fish and shellfish au gratin, baked seafood lasagna, blue crab bacon rolls and 11 recipes for flounder.
For Internet junkies, Weeks has a chapter “Cyberfishing: Where to Get Current Fishing Reports and Tips.”
The book has 41 black-and-white pictures, and the second story in the funny fishing chapter made me laugh out loud.
Weeks has fished South-eastern North Carolina more than 35 years—his family has had a home on Ocean Isle Beach his entire life.
His book would make a great Christmas present (or self-present) for a fisherman.
The list price for “Surf and Saltwater Fishing in the Carolinas” is $14, and the book is available on Amazon.com and at bookstores such as Barnes & Noble. The ISBN is 1463778228.
For more information, call Weeks at (704) 483-7848. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His websites are www.saltyweeks.com and www.surfandsalt.com.