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Fishing

  • Helpful tips for upsizing summertime baits

    By this time of year, throughout many parts of the country, bass have seen a fair amount of fishing pressure. Common sense tells us bass in this situation can become harder to catch and luring them to bite requires downsizing both line and bait. While this may be a good tactic for most places, targeting pressured bass in summer doesn’t always require picking up a spinning rod and a finesse bait.

  • Jolly Mon King Classic this weekend at Ocean Isle Beach

    It is Jolly Mon tournament time.

    This weekend the Ocean Isle Fishing Center will host the annual Yellowfin/Yamaha Jolly Mon King Classic fishing tournament. The Jolly Mon tournament has become one of the Southeast’s largest King Mackerel tournaments, last year registering 360 boats from all over the Southeast to compete for the first-place prize of more than $25,000. Of course, there are more places than first: the tournament actually pays for the largest 31 kings caught.

  • Flounder tournament has a close finish

    The winner of the 25th annual Flounder Tournament was decided by 0.01 pounds.

    Jeff Shaver’s winning weight of 7.27 pounds edged Randy Parnell’s weight of 7.26 pounds.

    Ricky Lefler was third (6 pounds). He also had the five heaviest fish (19.39 pounds.)

    Mickey Cochran was fourth (6.30 pounds). Adam Sellers was fifth (6.29). Ken Parrish was sixth (5.77).

    The Edith Pigott Lady Angler award, sponsored by Guy C. Lee & Co., was won by Traci Bruce (3.13 pounds).

  • Now is the time to try your hand at night fishing

    I have always been a big proponent of night fishing. With the recent heat wave that has greeted us with June’s arrival, there is no better time to try it. Most people have two big reservations about fishing after sunset: it is either inconvenient or they just don’t believe fish bite after the sun goes down.

  • This year shows encouraging signs for those who fish for flounder

    I was among those complaining that last year was a slow year for flounder. I was not the only one. A lot of people noticed, and some did more than notice. Recreational fishermen, commercial fishermen and others all got together and blamed each other, although everybody was kind enough to pause and blame the state government too. As far as I know, nobody blamed the flounder, since we assumed we had caught them all.

  • Goal of the Jolly Mon King Mackerel tourney is to have fun

    The Jolly Mon King Mackerel Fishing Tournament, organized by the Ocean Isle Fishing Center, attracts many competitors for an obvious reason: First place pays $25,000.

    “Typically, every year, the first-place winner takes home over $25,000,” said Capt. Brant McMullan, the tournament director. “The entry fee is only $215. That is the lowest of any tournament that I know of. So the ratio of risk to reward is very good. The reason that the payout is so good is we have a lot of boats. Last year we had a record number of boats, 360.”

  • Hot weather doesn't cool down Gulf Stream and inshore fishing

    Summer has arrived with a vengeance, and it is hot. I can’t imagine living inland, working outside or, worse, walking around in a suit and tie. The beach is the place to be as the sea breeze keeps the heat tolerable. And even better, get out on the boat and go fishing and you won’t even notice how hot it is. Right now is a great time to go fishing. Nothing much has changed since last week as fisheries continue red hot.

  • The question: To fish or not to fish?

    An old fishing friend pulled up to the docks of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center the other day and we began rehashing old fish stories. We went through a laundry list of tall tales, and it became apparent we just aren’t fishing as much as we used to. This conversation was taking place as he fueled his boat, and one glance at the dollars-to-gallons ratio made it quite evident as to why we aren’t fishing as much.

    It is darn expensive.

  • Speckled trout making a run along Brunswick County coast

    Some local anglers have had tight lines and full bellies lately, as speckled trout have staged a nice run that will probably provide the best action until fall hits. Specks are being caught right now both from our ocean piers and around their usual inshore haunts. If you like to catch trout, this is the time to go after them, before warmer weather starts to curb their enthusiasm a bit.

  • Warmer water means more pompano putting myths to rest

    As the water warms, more and more pompano are being caught. Contrary to fishing lore, not every one of them is brought in on a gold hook, and not every bait used is a sand flea full of orange roe. If you happen to have a gold hook and a sand flea full of orange roe, then go for it. But even if you don’t, you still stand a good chance of catching some pompano from now until things get too cold for them in late fall.