• Tour trip mixes fishing, nostalgia

    Editor’s note: This column was first published in The Beacon on Aug. 4, 2011.
    I spent the most of last week doing nothing but fishing with the folks in Brunswick County, riding surf to pier and jumping from boat to boat with old friends and new. I barely slept but it was well worth it.
    It is the height of tourist season now and while the fishing is not what I’d call spectacular the fishermen are, locals and visitors, and good times and colorful stories abound.

  • Tips for catching flounder, recipes for cooking flounder

    Editor’s note: This column was first published in The Beacon on March 31, 2011.

    Spring means flounder fishing along the Brunswick County coast. The warmer water brings flounder into inshore waters, and anglers pursue them in many different ways.
    Many traditional flounder fishermen are content to drift or troll the inlets, dragging live bait on the bottom and letting the boat do the work for them. But for those anglers seeking larger flatfish, anchoring up and casting to structures is a better tactic.

  • Catching a flying fishing rod is much harder than it sounds

    Editor’s note: The column was first published in The Beacon on June 11, 2009.

    Do I have a fish story for you.
    Last weekend I was flounder fishing on foot around the Sunset Beach Bridge. If you know the old bridge area, you know it’s beside the new bridge they are building, where a lot of old pilings are on their sides. I was on the island side, on the opposite shore from the new bridge construction.

  • For Sale wins Fall Brawl King Classic

    Staff Report

    The crew of For Sale won the Yellowfin/Yamaha Fall Brawl King Classic Sunday at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center.
    Roger A. Pennington, of Aiken, S.C., landed a 30.25-pound king mackerel.
    Finishing second was the crew of Blue Ice Bandit. Tim Lowry, of Norwood, landed a 26.64-pound king mackerel. The crew also won the 23-foot boat division.
    Finishing third was Reely Miss Behavin. Ricky Holden, of Kernersville, landed a 24.21-pound king mackerel.
    The tournament attracted 77 boats.

  • Sandy has little effect on fisheries

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, fisheries biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission spent this week monitoring coastal rivers to determine the extent of damage the massive storm may have wreaked on fish populations.
    As it turns out, Hurricane Sandy, unlike Hurricanes Fran in 1996, Floyd in 1999, Isabel in 2003 and Irene in 2011, left North Carolina’s coastal fisheries relatively unscathed.

  • Fall Brawl King Classic: The show must go on

    The Fall Brawl King Classic has been hosted from Ocean Isle Beach for more than 10 years. The King Mackerel tournament typically draws 200-plus boat entries and is known for offering outstanding fishing, often within sight of land. In fact, the Fall Brawl has been won by teams fishing boats fewer than 20 feet in length.

  • Great fishing is happening now

    Right now some of the best fishing of the year is going on in Brunswick County waters. Fish are being caught inshore and in the surf, with some big ones out there and plenty of great-tasting species roaming and feeding with the tides.
    Inshore fishing has been on fire since the passing of Hurricane Sandy. The bite on speckled trout, redfish, flounder and black drum have all been excellent.

  • Hurricane Sandy interrupts fishing

    Inshore anglers are looking toward the weekend after being kept away from the water by the high winds from Hurricane Sandy. Water clarity might be a problem for a while, but fish should be on the move and biting.
    The piers were reporting their first decent catches of spot before the storm hit. Sunset Beach Pier had a nice morning run last week. Hopefully, the storm will have pushed the larger spot schools southward and they will be in our waters soon. The window to have a good season for spot is growing shorter but there is still time.

  • Fall fishing season is on cruise control—for now

    By Brant McMullan
    Fishing Columnist
    For the past several weeks we have been cruising through the fall fishing season without any hitches. Fishermen have been blessed weekend after weekend with beautiful conditions, which in turn has led to some of the best fall catches we have seen in several years.
    The beachfront is still lined with schools of menhaden, providing forage for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, king mackerel and other sport fish. The missing link has been the spots. Where are they?

  • A guide to baits for fall fishing

    Fall fishing continues to be strong almost everywhere. Large red drum continue to be landed in the surf and at the jetties while are plenty of flounder, including some big ones, hitting inshore.
    The ocean-side piers continue to be streaky, having not yet experienced the solid runs of spot seen to the north of Brunswick County. That action could still occur as the spot haven’t shown up in South Carolina in any numbers yet.