7 Trips this Winter – Another Catch-Up Post

SORRY!  I’ve been too busy FISHING!!

December 22 – Shearon Harris – Caught 3 largemouth and 2 pickerel yo-yoing a lipless crankbait through the dying grass.  If it were a tourney, I would have had a nice day with a 20.5″, 20″, and 18.75″ for a total of 59.25″.  It was a beautiful day – upper 50’s and absolutely no wind.  I knew there would be some pigs around because there was a ton of bait.

December 23 – Shearon Harris – Joey was jealous of my catches the previous day (he’s always jealous of my catches), so we headed back.  It was much windier than the previous day, but the fish were still in the area.  We only caught a few, but they were nice ones.  Together we landed 4 bass and a pickerel – all on lipless cranks.  Both of us caught bass in the 20″ range.

December 26 – Shearon Harris – Another solid day, this time we landed 10 bass and 3 pickerel between us using the same technique from previous days.  Big fish honors went to Joey this time, with a largemouth about 20″.  Way to go, Joey!  It’s about time you caught one bigger than me…

December 29 – Fort Fisher – The bite had cooled off at Harris, so we decided to hit the Fort for the day to see if any reds were biting.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that, indeed, they were!  It was the single most productive day we’ve ever had catching reds – 21 made it to the boat!  All were caught on soft plastics (Gulp! shrimp and jerk shad and Deep Creek Lures shrimp) on a jig head.  This trip marked the maiden voyage for Joey in his new Native Mariner (It didn’t take very long to get slimed).  An unlucky pair of reds joined us for the trip home.  🙂

January 1 – Fort Fisher – We wanted to start the year off right with another day of slaying reds.  Unfortunately we didn’t catch as many as the trip before, but they were still around and some of them cooperated.  Joey and I caught 10 reds and a flounder between us, and Joey’s mom caught a couple nice reds as well.  We caught our fish on Berkely Power Hawgs and Chigger Craws (no, I’m not joking).  I was happy to be able to photograph Joey’s mom landing one of her fish.

January 8 – Haw River – Went out for a few hours with my buddy and Kayak Wars teammate Taylor.  We were expecting the bite to be lethargic and, sure enough, it was.  We were getting bites, but the fish weren’t taking the bait which resulted in a lot of missed hook sets.  We were just about to leave and get some lunch when I got a solid bite and set the hook.  She went 22.25″ and 7 pounds on the dot – a beautiful January river bass!

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Catch-Up Post – Fall Fish Slaying

I’ve been really bad about posting to the blog lately.  I have a few minutes right now, so I figured I’d let you in on a few trips I had this fall.

September 18 – Went for a few hours on the Haw near my house.  Caught 7 bass and missed a few others.  Best one was just under 5 lbs.  All fish came on a Confidence Baits Draggin’ Head/Zoom Ol’ Monster combo.

September 24 – I finally got a little revenge on the TKAA tourney up in Virginia Beach.  Finished in 4th place in the flounder division with a 20.25″ fish.  Good buddy and Nacho Fish teammate Scott Inge won the speckled trout division with a 20.75″er.  The Fort Bragg chapter won the Heroes on the Water division with a little under 300″ total.  It was a great weekend and I could definitely write a whole lot more than this.  Click HERE to see the tourney write-up and full results.

October 1NCKFA Oak Island Classic – This tourney didn’t go too well for me.  First of all, I had planned on fishing the king mackerel division with friends, but it was canceled due to windy conditions.  Then, while re-rigging over beers on Friday night, I discovered I had a serious tackle issue that wouldn’t get resolved until a week later.  I ended up catching one flounder that was short.  It was just one of those kinds of weekends for me…  Tourney results can be seen HERE.

October 16 – Went to Harris with Joey and caught 6 bass and a pickerel on a white spinnerbait.  Best bass was 4.5 lbs and 21″ long.

October 29 – Had a great final event to the 2011 Carolina Yakfish tournament series.  Conditions were horrible to start, but it ended up being an awesome day.  Calvin Almond came from behind to tie Joe Angelcyk for the 2011 Angler of the Year!  More about that HERE.

November 13 – The Haw River largemouth were really feeding this weekend.  Caught over 20 bass with the best one weighing in at 4.75 lbs.  Fun, fun, FUN day.  Did I mention it was fun?  Worms and jigs caught the bass.

November 20 – Went to New Bern with Joey and Scott to look for stripers.  We found a few, but not the right size.  Meh.

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Three Slams at the Fort (11/24/11)

GUEST POST by Turtlestewsbro:

So myself, Bro, our Stepfather and Toba hit Carolina Beach after Thanksgiving for some grass flats action. We got on the water a little after dawn with the yaks loaded up. After searching for a while and not really seeing anything, we decided to hit an area that usually produces for us. The tide was right, and the fish were there. We found a couple good schools of reds, and within minutes, we all had a slot red for the cooler. We caught and lost several each, and finally the schools were spooked and split the county.

We paddled around a few hours, and decided to try some different areas, as we knew we weren’t gona beat the tide out. It’s a good thing too. We found a producing trout hole and started catching both speckled trout and flounder. We caught several trout and lost even more – those are some cagey fish when they get a little size to them. Toba had already caught the only trout of the day. But before we left, just as the sun set, myself, bro and Toba had slammed. Doug, our stepfather, had the most reds though, along with a 26″ – 7lbr that took big fish of the day. I also caught my personal best trout – just a hair under 20″ and 3lbs. Toba and I had our first inshore slams under our belts, and Joey had his second. All fish were caught on swimbaits and Gulp! on jigheads.

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Super Happy Fun Day Trip – Bull Red Edition

I arrived at Joey’s house a little before 5am last Sunday.  We loaded up his car and headed down Hwy 70 toward the coast.  We met our buddy Nathan a little before 8am at Minnesott Beach Bait and Tackle.  After a quick stop to get some bait and drum rigs, we headed to Oriental to fish.

The water was slick calm when we launched and it stayed that way for about the first 5 hours of fishing.  Around 1pm I got the first bite of the day.  The fish picked up the bait and ran towards my boat.  Within seconds, I had tension on the line and the fish began ripping drag unlike anything I’d ever experienced.  I held my thumb down on the spool to slow it down, but it was no use.  I calmly detached the anchor rope and my boat started heading south.  The sleigh ride was on!

After about 5 minutes, the fish was on the surface of the water exhausted from pulling me around.  It was the fish we’d driven all this way to catch – a bull red, or, as they say here in North Carolina, an old drum.  Either way it turned out to be a monster – 43 inches in length and probably around 30 lbs (we didn’t have a scale big enough).

Around 1:30 the wind picked up and we bobbed around the big water for the next several hours trying for another bite.  Unfortunately, it didn’t come.  So we packed up and headed home.

Was it a successful trip?  I guess so.  Would have loved for my buddies to hook up too, but it wasn’t in the cards.  Big thanks to Joey doing all the legwork for this trip, and for driving us there and back safely.  Also thanks to Captain Dave from Minnesott Beach Bait and Tackle for the tips.

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Catch-Up Post – Late Summer River Bassin’

August 11 – Haw River – Did this float alone.  Boated a couple dozen bass, biggest was 18.75″.  Caught the majority of them on a black Trick Worm and a green pumpkin Brush Hog.  Also caught a couple short fish on a buzzbait.  Four bass were 16″ or better for Kayak Wars points.——————–

August 16 – Haw River – My buddy Taylor joined me as we floated the same stretch of river as 8/11.  The bass didn’t disappoint; Taylor and I estimate that we landed somewhere around 40 bass between us.  Again, Texas-rigged soft plastics got it done.  River donkey of the day went 20.75″ and 5.25 lbs.  It was another productive day, as I added another 50 Kayak Wars points for team Nacho Fish.


August 20 – Yadkin River – NCKFA Smallmouth Slam Tournament – Had a blast at this tourney with a bunch of fine NCKFA folks.  Fishing was tough for everyone because there was a decent amount of rain a couple days prior and muddied up the river.  Only 2 guys caught their 3-fish limit.

For my day of fishing, I only got 3 bites and I caught 2 fish. First fish put up a nice little fight – felt it might have been a good start – but it turned out to be a largemouth so it didn’t count. Got him off a laydown. Second fish, a 16.25″ smallie, also came on the black Trick Worm. Found him behind a rock about 10′ from the bank. (New KW inches!) Third bite I got on the worm I swung and missed.

Billy Scarboro from Archdale won the tourney and took home a brand new Jackson Kayak Coosa.  Because of a technicality, I came in 3rd place with my only smallmouth.  🙂


August 28 – Haw River – Joey and I hadn’t done a river trip together all year and we were itching to get out, so we decided that the day after Hurricane Irene passed through was as good a day as any.

Fishing started off a little slow for both of us, but as the sun got up into the sky and it started to warm up so did the bite.  Like the float with Taylor a couple of weeks prior, Joey and I slayed the bass to the tune of 40-45 between us.  I landed 5 that were 16″ or better, Joey only had 3.  (I won.)  But Joey came through with the river pig of the day – this 21″, 5.5 pound beauty.

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Heroes on the Water Personal Best

I met Fort Bragg HOW angler Matt at the Cape Fear River on Sunday.  We decided that longnose gar would be the target species for the day.

Matt’s first cast resulted in a nice little gar – the first he’d ever caught.  It was probably about 26 or 27 inches.  He wasn’t satisfied with the little fella; the goal was to catch a monster.

A little while later, he hooked up with a nice one that put up a good fight before jumping completely out of the water and spitting the hook.  I managed to capture it on video…

Matt was a little bummed about losing that fish, but things would turn around within minutes.  On his next cast a fish was on it as soon as it hit the water.  Matt waited patiently before setting the hook and when he did, the fish started ripping drag right away.  This time Matt pushed off the rock that he was perched on so he could play the fish a little better in open water.  After a couple of tense moments, Matt landed this 43.5″ longnose gar – the longest fish he’s ever caught.

It was an AWESOME day and I hope we hit the water again soon!

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I Don’t Fly Fish Very Often…

…but when a family friend from California sent me some flies that he tied, I had to get out and toss them around!

So a couple of weeks ago, a buddy took me to a small private lake in Greensboro so I could give the flies a try.  I started out tossing a grasshopper and within minutes…

Shortly after that…


The panfish were in this lake thick, and they were hungry – the hoppers were getting hit just about every cast.  That kind of action makes for a fun fishing trip!  This badboy hit hopper right after it landed about 3 inches from a brick wall.  He measured 8.5″.

After a couple hours of constant action, the hoppers were getting worn out.  I switched over to a popper and this hungry bass snatched it after a couple twitches.

It was a short evening trip, but it was loaded with action.  I was happy to leave the baitcasters at home and break out the fly gear for once.  THANKS, TIM!

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This is for All You Kayak Gar Fishermen Out There

About a month ago, I caught my first gar from a kayak accidentally while catfishing.

This got me to thinking:  (1)  There are lots of gar in these rivers I fish, and they are always willing to bite, almost annoyingly.  + (2) Gar are worth 15 points each in Kayak Wars (though unfortunately not eligible for bonus points) with a team maximum of 50 per month.  =  (3) I need to find a way to catch these suckers on a regular basis!

So I did a little research and found a gar rig utilized by the great North Carolina freshwater fisherman, Mack in NC.  Since then, I’ve taken to the river 3 times and I’ve had pretty good results.  21 longnose gar have made it into my boat, with the best measuring 39 inches.

I never thought I would say this, but I’m really looking forward to my next kayak gar fishing trip!

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