• April 2008 - Volume 15, Number 4


    Coastal fishing should be good to excellent for most species this year, but some popular fish face problems.

    North Carolina’s saltwater hook-and-line anglers can expect a decent year during 2008 for many popular species, but one of the most pursued fish is in serious decline at central and southern coastal waters, according to the 2007 stock status report of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. To remedy the problem a fishing closure has been proposed for a major N.C. coastal river.

    Discovering longbeards’ daily travel patterns can give hunters a big advantage.

    Charles Grantham is no rural mail carrier, but he knows where most of the “tenants” live on the thousand or so acres that make up Lynches River Outfitters near Friendfield in Florence County.

    N.C.’s most-popular trout stream has many faces, with stretches that are crowded, but anglers can find solitude and big fish by searching diligently.

    Ask any dedicated North Carolina fly fisherman about the Davidson River, and you’re likely to get a strongly opinionated reply.

    That response might include that the Davidson is the premier and best-known trout stream in the state. It consistently ranks among the top trout water in the region and also was listed in Trout Unlimited’s book, “America’s 100 Best Trout Streams.”

    This popular offshore game fish makes its first big showing off Charleston this month.

    When considering South Carolina’s bluewater fishery, the dolphin is one of the more popular and frequently caught species.

    Wrightsville Beach’s Lee Parsons has seen the emergence of bonito as pests to preferred anglers’ targets.

    Capt. Lee Parsons caught his first fish with a fly rod at Wrightsville Beach when he was 12. In the years since, Parsons, now 55, has become one of the most accomplished light-tackle and fly anglers at the North Carolina coast.

    This is the prime month in the search for a Clarks Hill 30-pounder, and a top striper pro shares the prime tactics.

    For each species of fish, there’s a threshold that fishermen establish that makes that fish a trophy — one for the wall.

    Where are N.C.’s best places to find public- and private-land wild turkeys this spring? You might be surprised.

    Residents of the tiny western North Carolina town of Franklin can tell visitors where to find wild turkeys — just go to a local fast-food restaurant.

    “About every day two wild gobblers show up at the McDonald’s parking lot,” said Tex Corbin, president of the Nantahala chapter of the N.C. Wild Turkey Federation. “The turkeys hang around, and people feed them french fries and stuff. Then they go on their way.”

    Expert, who no longer can use herring, have found other means to catch striped bass at this prime eastern river.

    It was late afternoon with daylight growing dimmer by the minute. Most fishermen were busy loading boats onto trailers after spending a day along the Roanoke River.

    One guide remained on the water after discharging his fishing party at the dock at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Weldon Boating Access Area.

    Fishing for red drum and speckled trout during early spring is elementary, if anglers are careful in their approach.

    From his perch on the poling platform, Capt. Tommy Rickman pointed to the back of a shallow cove.

    “Do you see those fish pushing water?” he said in a hoarse, half whisper. “They’re almost all the way to the marsh and a little to the left of that great blue heron. There’s one again right now.”

    When spring arrives at the N.C. coast, offshore anglers turn to plentiful yellowfin.

    Atlantic yellowfin tuna swim off the North Carolina coast year round, but anglers can’t get to the Gulf Stream when the wind is blowing at gale force.

    The state’s turkey population has tracked like the bottom line of an upstart company. Even with the rise and fall, good hunting is still available, especially for late-season, public-land gobblers.

    Standing on the edge of newly-plowed field, the aroma of fresh dirt sent a message that spring was in full swing in rural Bamberg County.

    Yellowfin tuna are plentiful for offshore anglers from Oregon Inlet to the Crystal Coast to Southport.