• March 2007 - Volume 2, Number 3


    With offshore fishing action kicking off, here’s a look at the status of many of the state’s popular gamefish species.

    The Atlantic Ocean is a really big fishing hole.

    Besides the enormity and variety of gamefish populations the Atlantic hosts, the ocean borders several countries, each, no matter how large or small, vying for its fair slice of the pie, plus a few other nations who wet a line in the pond that want to crash the dessert table.

    Anglers who ignore the Crystal Coast during early spring are missing some of the year’s best fishing for red drum, including sight angling and fly casting.

    Missing the tourists who flock to its beaches and waterways for six months out of the year, Carteret County can be kind of empty during the winter, especially the waters of the Beaufort and North River marshes.

    Santee Cooper is legendary for many things, one being its fabulous largemouth bass fishing. Here’s why the fish are big and a few ways to catch them this spring.

    The 2006 B.A.S.S. Elite Series Santee Cooper Showdown put the exclamation mark behind the fantastic largemouth bass fishing that the lakes support.

    Head offshore from any southeastern port to find great bottom fishing during late winter and early spring.

    When cabin fever gets to you, and you reach the point you have to get out and clear your sinuses in the salt air, an offshore bottom-fishing trip is as close as it gets to finding a sure-fire cure.

    King’s Bluff lock and dam is top destination for blue cats at the state’s biggest river.

    Jackie Blanchard made a half-circle into the parking lot at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boating-and-picnic area at Lock and Dam No. 1 at King’s Bluff in Bladen County.

    Lake Jocassee has the largest brown and rainbow trout in the Southeast, and anglers say it rivals Canadian lakes.

    The first thing you notice after arriving at Lake Jocassee is that it’s no ordinary southern impoundment.

    The weather is pleasant and you want to go inshore fishing but there’s not a speck of live bait in the creeks. Don’t despair -- thaw out spring red drum with hard baits.

    Standing on the bow of the flats boat, I felt like a ready-made hamburger under the heat lamp after the lunch crowd was long gone.

    You can do the stroll, troll, or dip and catch your limit of fat slabs at Lake Greenwood this spring.

    Surveying the landscape, seeing the boat docks, bridges, river arms, and just the general atmosphere of Lake Greenwood, even a novice angler can tell this is a place to catch fish.

    A trolling technique that catches white perch at Lake Wylie also will nail anything else that swims in the lake.

    I pressed the record button on my micro-cassette recorder so Charlie Johnson of Flat Bottom Guide Service could tell me about poor man’s trolling when we were interrupted by the cry, “Grab the rod behind you,” followed by another outburst: “There’s another one on the middle rod!”

    The DMF says recreational anglers are hitting flounder too hard when commercial netters land more fish by a 10-to-1 ratio.

    Flounder are the most popular sportfish in saltwater.

    But their increasing popularity, as the target of a recreational outing and as a tasty food fish, has been keeping the flounder populations depressed in North Carolina.

    Some N.C. mountain lakes have good numbers of walleyes; catching them proves the worth of an angler.

    The late Luther Turpin was widely and rightly hailed as the guru of Fontana Lake smallmouth.

    Calm, early spring mornings offer spectacular topwater seatrout action from the shoreline of Edisto’s creeks.

    One day last year I laid an open box of 17 MirrOLures — no two alike — in front of Ken Lauer and asked him to select one for the trout fishing we were planning the next morning in the Edisto River basin.

    When it comes to tactics to lure reluctant gobblers to spring hunters, nobody does it better than Joe and Rodney Kelly.

    It’s turkey-talking time in the Palmetto State, and hunters are getting ready to hit the woods.

    Bass anglers who want to test their skills at a major impoundment should divide Kerr Lake into sections and learn to play one part at a time.

    Long before I moved to North Carolina, I had heard of Buggs Island lake.

    Buggs Island, technically John H. Kerr Reservoir, had a reputation for massive largemouth bass and prime spring fishing. With the passage of time, I have not been disappointed in Kerr Lake/Buggs Island bass.

    Try these tactics to improve your chances of bagging a longbeard at public hunting lands surrounding Kerr Lake.

    April and May are special times for hunters.

    Many die-hard bass anglers who relish fishing the spawn have given up that activity for calling keen-eyed Eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) in the red bud-laden, dogwood-infested woods.

    Western North Carolina lakes contain a veritable smorgasbord of gamefish, some common to lakes around the state, some found only in high-mountain lakes, and a few that are specific to only a couple of mountain lakes.

    To catch more bass, it's best to break a big lake down into manageable pieces.