Fisheries & Fish Industry

Fishing resolutions offered

Fishing resolutions offered

Weather swings are still the norm for us in Eastern North Carolina. A couple of days ago I was knocking ice that was clogging my fishing rod guides, today it’s in the soggy 60s.

As is usual for the New Year, it’s time to make resolutions for a better year or self-improvement. For us it can be to become a better and/or more responsible angler. I hate to start with rants, but here goes. The other day while fishing one of the local creeks, I got entangled in a nearly invisible ball or discarded green braided fishing line and nearly took a header.

This said two things to me, – first, the person that discarded the line had little respect for the environment, and secondly, he didn’t know the proper care and feeding of light braided line.

The loss of about $5 in newly spooled line was caused by operator error, not the wind. Nearly all braided line problems are operator induced, so don’t blame Mother Nature, just learn how to use your tackle. Visit http://www.ncoif.com/braided-line-trouble-free-usage-by-dr-bogus/ for reference.

Okay no more rants. We all have many baits and try new and fancy artificial baits as fast as they reach the market, but we rarely check them out, put them through their paces and see how they react. Did you know that the 17 MR MirrOlures sink at a rate of about 6-feet in 10 seconds?

How do I know? I timed it. The Betts perfect sinking shrimp not only sinks horizontally, but also rotate clockwise slowly. How do I know? I watched it.

Paul Brown’s Soft-dine suspending baits seductively rock side-to-side as they sink. How do I know? I watched them. You get the message, check out your baits and see what they do under different conditions. This will allow you to work them more effectively.

You can not only resolve to try and test new baits, but also try new techniques and new locations to fish, not just the same old worn out depleted, crowded fishing holes.

How about picking up a fly rod and give that a try. The Cape Lookout Fly Fishing Club has winter workshops to help newcomers get up to speed with casting, knots and tying flies. And they are very user friendly, check them out at http://capelookoutflyfishers.com/.

One way to check out new locations off the beaten track is to hop onto a kayak and paddle where no one has paddled and maybe where no fish have been disturbed. These days well equipped fishing kayaks are available and ready to get wet immediately. There are also accessories galore. I’m a simple guy, a paddle, a rod a tackle box a stringer for my fish and an anchor are all I need to spend a quiet day alone fishing in the back waters where most boats fear to tread.

One thing that grinds my paddles are useless fishing reports. Okay, I don’t expect your GPS numbers, but zip codes, baits and tackle, along with your selfies holding your catch of the day, would be useful without divulging your honey hole. So resolve at least to give useful reports.

One way to become a better angler is to join one of the local fishing clubs. The members are user-friendly, and have a wealth of information that they are willing to share. Local clubs include Onslow Bay Saltwater Fishing Club, Saltwater Light Tackle Fishing Club, and the Cape Lookout Fly Fishers.

We all should be good stewards of the environment and our fisheries resources, so this year resolve to follow all the regulation, release fish you won’t eat, even trash fish, to live another day.

I know fisheries regulations are a moving target, so I subscribe to their newsletter at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/email-subscribe.

Also respect fellow anglers, remember you are a fellow angler too. But if you a violation give our NC Marine Fisheries (800 682-2632) or Wildlife Resources Commission (800 662-7137) a call to report it. There are also local chapters of the Coastal Conservation Association if you want to get more actively involved in fisheries management and conservation.

So are there any fish out there?

There are still trout being caught in the surf, a lot of them juvenile “spike” specks. There are both red and black drum in the mix, too, both in the back waters, around the inlets and the Cape Lookout Shoals.

Now that the season has opened, there are reports of some bluefin tuna around as well.

(Richard “Dr. Bogus” Ehrenkaufer of Emerald Isle is on the radio every Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. on WTKF 107.1 FM and 1240 AM. Call him at (252) 354-4905.)

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