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Fishing

  • Oak Island fisherman sets state record for red grouper

    Not many people can say they caught the state record the first time they ever went out for a certain kind of fish.

    But that’s what happened to Chuck Deeter.

    The Oak Island resident set the North Carolina record for red grouper when he reeled in the 33-pound 8-ounce fish, according to a press release last week from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.

    The grouper, which was weighed in at Anchorage Marina in Atlantic Beach, measured 35 inches in length and had a 25.5-inch girth.

  • Warmer temperatures, great fishing around the corner

    It has been a long winter, but spring officially starts this weekend, and I, for one, am looking forward to warmer temperatures and great fishing.

    In just a couple of short weeks, the offshore Gulf Stream waters will explode with life. Trolling in these productive waters will yield yellowfin tuna and wahoo, and bottom fishing will yield snapper and grouper.

    Closer inshore, the Atlantic Bonito will migrate into the area and hold over structure in the 45- to 60-foot depth range while the water temperatures are in the 60- to 66-degree range.

  • Redfish and trout provide good action in area creeks

    Usually, anglers get the too-quick start on the fishing season, running around in early March trying to find fish that aren’t quite yet motivated to feed much in the cold. This year, however, the fish are responding nicely, with eager anglers being greeted with some eager fish. Redfish and speckled trout continue to hit in the shallows, great news for fishermen working out in water that hasn’t yet hit 60 degrees.

  • Increasing size limit on flounder makes no sense

    I wrote last week about the idea of decreasing the size limit on flounder in hopes of targeting less of the big females that produce baby fish. The current limit is 14 inches inshore and 14 inches in the ocean.

    The state must have read my article, because it promptly went against what I suggested and raised the ocean flounder limit in the northern part of the state to 15 inches. In my next article, I will ask the government of North Carolina not to give me a million dollars.

    That is a big flounder size limit. When I catch a 15 -inch flounder, I do a silly little dance.

  • Time to dust off rods and reels

    March is the “official” beginning of the spring fishing season. It is time to dust off the rod and reels, clean the boat and start thinking about the first trip of the season.

    It seems like February gets longer every year and I, for one, am tired of fixing and getting ready.

    Last Friday, the weather broke and I had the chance to head offshore with local fishermen Daniel and Laura Russ and some of their friends who were in town from Iowa.

  • Flounder or flukes, the fishing rules need some changing

    I got an e-mail this week from Michael Altoonian and the fellas at the West Tanglewood Fishing Club.

    I love speaking to the clubs and answering their questions because interested anglers like these help our resource go from a causal sport to one that fights today’s negative attitudes with what the best thing fishing gives people—hope.

    I don’t have time here to answer all of their questions, but I will tackle one and some people aren’t going to like my answer.

  • Redfish, drum, trout there for the taking

    There are not a lot of people out there fishing right now, as even the most hardcore anglers have resigned themselves to either watching basketball or going to boat shows.

    This is winter in the Carolinas which means days continually pop up that are pleasant enough for fishing. And since there are still some fish out there, some folks are still trying.

    No one is catching them in the numbers we will see in a month or two, but I assure you all the fish haven’t fled to Florida.

    Quite a few reports continue to come in from people catching redfish in the shallows.

  • Winter fishing with Jerry and Joe Bob

    “Hey Jerry, let's go fishing.”

    “What? Joe Bob you’re crazy. It’s chilly and the wind is howling and they're calling for rain. Besides I recorded the basketball game last night and I don't know what happened.”

    “Oh, you mean the one Carolina won or the one State won?”

    “Joe Bob, get out of my house.”

    “Look Jerry there ain't no point looking at basketball when the fish are biting.”

    “Fish? It's February. What fish do you think are biting?”

  • Trout, drum a tasty winter treat

    Fresh fish in the winter is a great luxury, but you have to be able to cook what you catch.

    Fortunately, a couple of the fish still swimming around out there earn high marks on the table.

    Species like speckled trout and black drum are great eating fish that are active right now, so you can have off-season sport with them and then go home to cook your own catch.

    Sea trout are not related to freshwater trout at all, but are members of the saltwater family that includes the drum and croaker.

  • Giant bluefin missing in action

    You may remember last week’s column on my weather philosophies.

    If so, you may have noticed that we have had a series of weak cold fronts pass through the area. As a result, we haven’t had much of a window for good fishing conditions.

    When these weak fronts pass, the weather doesn’t get very bad, but it doesn’t get very good either, at least as far as wind and sea conditions go.