Today the North Carolina
Department of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) announced the opening of the Striped
Bass Recreational Season effective October 1, 2019 at 12:01 A.M. in the
Albemarle Sound Management Area.
Striped bass maybe caught by hook and line or recreational
commercial gear for recreational purposes all seven (7) days per week.
These fish must be at
least 18 total inches and each angler may keep no more than two (2) fish in any
The season is scheduled to close at 1159 P.M. on, Thursday, April 30, 2020 unless closed by the NCDMF proclamation.
Additionally, the Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass fishery remains
open to all anglers at one (1) fish per day at a minimum of twenty-eight (28)
inches. For more information on the ocean fishery, please check with your local
It’s been a long time since we had a good striped bass fishery.
Only take what you can use. All others should be safely returned to the water.
And only you and I can preserve this important Outer Banks
Most angler’s use the old game of hide and seek
when fishing from a shore line or bridge. Most times without even recognizing
that they are doing it.
Hide and seek is a popular kids game where they
attempt to conceal themselves from being seen or heard. The goal of the game is
to be the last player found.
Anglers frequently use the same skills of hide
and seek. An angler who stands out on a bridge or shoreline with bright
clothing, erratic movements or makes noise not natural to the area is sure to
spook an already skittish target. So being stealth is the ticket for improved
Most targeted fish have tremendous eyesight and
other senses that will warn them that danger is close. Anglers should keep this
in mind when planning their next fishing trip, selecting a location or even what
prey they plan to target.
Clothing is the first line of hide and seek.
Wearing a contrasting shirt color against either a bright or cloudy day can warn
the fish that some type of danger is present. So anglers should try to avoid
standing out from the background.
A good rule is “If the sky is a bright blue,
your shirt color should blue”. Similarly, if there is an overcast day, your
shirt color should match as close to the background as possible. In this case,
your clothing could be pale or light grey.
But what about partly sunny or clouds, colors
should be neutral or natural. The best rule to follow is use only colors that
are not bright or result in the angler to standing out.
Erratic angler movement can also influence a
targeted prey to flee. When fishing on a bank or other structure, the angler’s
movement is probably just as important as camouflage clothing. Trees or other
vertical structures do not move erratically unless there is wind or significant
Fish can sense the surrounding weather conditions
including wave action, wind and other environmental influences, so they will
know what is unnatural. Anglers should limit their movement to a minimum.
Unnatural sounds are also a component of
stealth. Noise and unusual sounds that are not typically found in a specific location,
such as loud voices, dropping gear, banging rods against railings or other such
noises put up a warning. Unusual noise, banging of gear or even some levels of
voices can be heard and possibly felt for some distance under the water.
Being stealth and using good camouflaging
techniques will give you a significant advantage. Smart anglers consider these
techniques as well as many others when trying to avoid being detected.
So next time you visit your neighborhood tackle
shop, look a little closer in the camouflage section.
You might just find the color that can help
improve your catches.
Fishing on one of the
seven Outer Banks Piers is safe and enjoyable for the entire family. Most
piers have ample parking, tackle supplies and food and beverage concessions.
They will also rent you equipment and supply you with everything you need to
There are four things I recommend you do after you arrive at the pier but before you start fishing. The four things are: “Homework”, “Observe”, “Ask” and “Try”.
“Homework” is researching the most
recent fishing activity. Your findings will include, what has been caught
recently and using what bait. Where is the best action? Do you have the proper gear
and rigging? What are the tides and other weather conditions? There are many
other considerations that both the pier staff and tackle shop professionals can
“OBSERVE” is the next thing – once
on the pier try to watch what other anglers are doing. Are they casting or
just dropping the baits. What type of equipment or gear are they using?
What type rig or bait are they using and are they successful with that method.
Spending several minutes can save much time and help avoiding that learning
“ASK” is the next thing I do. Ask
the other anglers what they are catching. What type of bait or rig works best?
Your best bet for success is to copy what the others are doing.
“TRY” is the final step. Try out the
information you received. Work the pier is some type of order. I start on
one side and typically close in. I work my way out to the deeper water. Each
time I move, I watch the other anglers. I follow the end of the pier. I
then will either switch over the other side or just move close in and begin my
journey from close in to the end of the pier.
Keys to success on the pier is
moving around to find fish. If you don’t catch something right away or after a
short period – Move. I will move many times both out and back and switching
There are many reasons you will not
be successful on a fishing pier. But none is more damaging than using “DEAD
BAIT”. What do I mean about using dead bait – its’ bait that is days old or allowed
to sit in the sun and “cook”. Air dried and stale bait will turn off the fish
quickly Keep your bait in the shade or better yet, in a cooler. Remember – Fresh
bait has a natural scent and catches more fish.
When using fresh bait, always buy
the best whether it’s shrimp, squid or blood worms.
Using the proper gear and equipment for
the various seasons can mean the difference between success and failure. Medium
to heavy gear in spring and fall and lighter gear in summer.
Sharp hooks and good rigging make
for quick hook ups. A variety of sinkers will hold the bottom during different
Angler safety is also imperative.
Dress for the conditions. Sun screen is needed year round. Bringing plenty of
fluids and snacks make for an enjoyable day.
A cooler with plenty of ice will keep any fish you plan to harvest. Also, try to practice “CPR” – that is Catch, Photo and Release!!
So keep it simple and pier fishing
will help create memories that last a lifetime.
gear checks are always a great way to keep your equipment “catch ready”!
We are now half way through the fishing season. Our gear has probably taken a real beating from the sand, salt and of course catching. So now is a good time to examine the condition of our gear.
doing a seasonal check, it’s smart to first check the rod and reels. Look at
the rod first. Check the rod, guides, tip, reel seat and butt. Check for loose
or worn guides, any cracks or corrosion. Replace any loose or defective items
rod needs a good cleaning. It’s best to use a mild detergent over the entire
rod assembly. After cleaning, spray a good anti-corrosion coating or even
standard furniture polish. Focus on the guides. Try to keep the anti-corrosion spray
off the butt and handles. Use a dry non-abrasive cloth to wipe off any excess spray.
need to check the reels. Wipe off any obvious dirt, sand or debris from the
reel. Make sure the bail operation is smooth. Disassemble spool, spindle and
handle from the body. Check the surface of each. Use small bulb air blower or a
Q-tip with a little oil to wipe away any sand or corrosion.
drag washer. As a general rule, the drag knob should always be loose during
storage. Many anglers will tighten the drag knob to help secure the line and
rigging on the fishing rod. This can cause the drag washer to compress and be damaged.
is clean, apply a little reel grease to the inside components. This keeps the
gear lubricated and moisture and dirt out.
inspecting the gears and all of the other components are clean, re-assemble
everything the same way you took it apart. Make sure you install the washers
and “O” rings. If you find either of these damaged, this is the time to replace
reel is re-assembled, apply a good coat of reel oil. This will keep corrosion
and dirt from sticking to the surfaces. Never leave wet oil on the surface.
Just apply and wipe off. Make sure you get the oil into the smallest openings.
find any part of your gear that is defective or worn, this is the time to
repair or replace. The fall fishing season can be typically more brutal on the
gear with many larger fish moving into the surf zones.
parts are usually available from the manufacturers for the DIYer’s. Also the
schematic documentation that came with the reel may assist with cleaning and
about doing the gear and equipment maintenance yourself? Many tackle shops and
reel repair companies have professional staffs to assist.
is cheap insurance. There should be no excuse for losing that trophy fish due
to faulty gear or poor maintenance, It’s simple to do on our own or readily
available by professionals in your region.
baits continue to revolutionize catching fish but none as innovative as Fish
Bites. Fresh and live baits are still the best way to catch fish but anglers
are finding many advantages of using this new synthetic bait either alone or in
conjunction with other baits.
are a synthetic bait that uses a new technology to help the angler catch more fish.
Fish Bite bait consists of a mesh “skelton” surrounded by a hardened but still
flexible gel that has a flesh-like texture. It has been infused with a powerful
flavor/scent technology that helps attract fish to the bait. Once in the water,
the Fish Bite bait begins to slowly dissolve releasing this powerful scent that
can drive most species to feed aggressively.
Bites are found either pre-cut or in long strips. Pre-cut pieces work as
packaged but some anglers will modify them to fit a particular application.
Bites are manufactured in either standard or longer lasting. Each has their own
standard type will disperse a powerful scent quickly once it comes in contact
with water. The purpose of this type is to quickly put lots of scent in the
water all at once. This rapid release
will attract fish in the surrounding area. Although extremely effective, the
standard type dissolves quickly and needs to be replaced soon.
second type is longer lasting. The longer lasting type also releases the scent
in the water but at a slower pace. One advantage of the longer lasting is that
it will hold on the hook longer.
fish bites contain such a powerful attractant, many anglers use them to dress
other lures such as fresh bait or other artificial soft plastics. They will
either attach a small piece or an entire strip to enhance the scent and action
of their jig head or other lure.
advantage of using Fish Bites is that they come in convenient packages and doesn’t
natural and live baits are still the “go-to” baits for most anglers. They catch
fish but if you are adventurous, the fish Bite artificial bait is a great
addition to your arsenal.
anglers are reluctant to try something new but this is one bait that must be in
their tackle bag. So next time you
question the price and benefit of fresh and natural baits, try Fish Bites. You
won’t be disappointed.
Historically, it has been the experience among anglers that it’s
better to fish before breakfast or after dinner. Whether this preference is
based on experience or theory, is anybody’s guess. But there are many reasons
why anglers would prefer these times opposed to others.
It could be the cooler conditions or possibly the outdoor
experience or it could be that the fish actually bite better during those
times. Who knows, but there are several theories that could tell the story. So
let’s explore several.
There is definitely a big difference between fishing dawn and
dusk verses day time. Coolness verse the heat of the day. Sunrises and sunsets,
various moon phases, cooler air and water temperatures along with the amount of
light striking the water all can contribute to a change in feeding habits.
The sun has always had an effect on fishing. On bright days with
the sun directly overhead seems to chase the fish deep in the water and slows
their metabolism. On the other hand, low light and cloudy days seem to turn the
At dawn and dusk, the sun rays can be at a sharper angle to the
water. This angle allows for lower light to penetrate the water and enhances
the sight of various marine species. The lower light conditions can give
feeding species an advantage finding food or the bait quickly because of their
light sensitive eyes.
The moon phases can also affect the movement and height of the
tides but more importantly this water movement can confuse many bait fish. And this water movement can also bring in a
change in more comfortable water temperatures.
Another theory is the amount of oxygen content in the water.
Cooler water contains more oxygen then warmer water. So it’s natural that fish
find comfort in these cooler conditions and tend to feed more.
At dusk, the air temperature will usually drop. The cooler air
causes the water temperatures to also decrease slightly. This cooling trend
creates a desirable environment for most species Small living organisms and
bait fish are extremely active during these times and make for easy prey of the
larger fish. So with more activity brings an increase in the possible success
At dawn, the air temperatures begin to increase with the sun
rise. The water temperatures will also increase. Even though it might be
slight, the fish seem to sense this change and typically will begin to feed aggressively
during this period being aware that their feeding cycle may end soon. As the temperature continues to rise into the
morning and dawn turns into day, this change causes the fish and their prey to
slow down considerably and seek deeper cooler waters again.
Obviously, these are only couple of theories on why fish feed
more aggressively during these times. There could many other conditions and
reasons why fish are more active at dawn and dusk.
Regardless of the reasons, anglers will continue to look forward
to that “before breakfast and after dinner bite”.
So now the next question based on the facts, “will you try your
luck at dusk or dawn too”?
The specific weather condition that anglers monitor before they go fishing can mean the difference between catching and just sightseeing. Most anglers will go fishing when they can. Other anglers are a little bit more studious and go when the conditions are right. And one of those conditions is barometric pressure reading.
pressure is the amount of force or weight that the atmosphere pushes down at
any point on earth and its inhabitants. This pressure can be either steady,
rising or falling according to the current weather conditions. And these three
different readings can have a significant effect on fishing.
have used weather instruments including barometer readings for years. And those
anglers have realized that you don’t have to be a scientist to understand how
these readings affect wildlife including our saltwater species.
living species responds to many different weather conditions. But the change in
barometric pressure can be felt in both humans and wildlife alike. And when
there is a change, sometimes even slight everything responds including wildlife.
systems are the main cause of barometric pressure changes. When the sun is
shining with little wind, the barometer is steady. Falling pressure actually
increases the pressure felt on the surface. And rising pressure will decrease
rising and falling typically proceeds or follows a weather system. For example,
an approaching front will cause the barometric pressure to decrease and once
passed the system increases pressure as it does after a tropical storm. The
closer the storm is to a particular area, the lower the pressure becomes. And vice
its effect on wildlife does not have to be significant – only a few degrees of
measurement can make a world of difference.
how does this condition effect fishing?
steady calm or “bluebird” days, fishing is dependent on many natural instincts
of a specific species. They act in a normal fashion. But with an approaching
system or storm the pressure begins to fall and this pressure pushes on the
fish’s organs, causing them to feel full and reducing their instinct to feed.
Now once the front or system passes, the pressure rises and the “full feeling”
effect diminishes, and the fish will begin to feed aggressively.
anglers who have followed barometric pressure change concept have been richly
for one more advantage, why not check the weather page before your next fishing