The largest blue marlin brought to the dock at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center in quite some time was boated Sunday as an “insane” run of billfish continues off the Outer Banks.
The monster marlin, weighing 698 pounds, was caught by Thad Morgan of High Falls in Moore County. Morgan was fishing from the charter boat Dream Girl with skipper Carson Forrester and mate William Howell, 19.
“That kid did an incredible job during the excitement, directing all of us on board what to do,” Jamie Williams of Putnam, who was in the party of six, said of young Howell. “He sure performed like a veteran.”
It took Morgan 21/2 hours to boat the big billfish, which jumped six times. During the fight Forrester “backed down” the Dream Girl 5 miles to keep the fish from stripping the line from the reel.
Others in the party were Morgan’s father, Travis, also of High Falls, Bryan May of Sanford, Dan Nosbusch of Durham and West Virginian Cletus Miller.
They caught two other blue marlin during the trip, three sailfish and five yellowfin tuna. The other marlin and the sailfish were released.
Meat from the blue brought was to be smoked and shared in the Oregon Inlet area. Some consider smoked marlin a delicacy.
Sharing honors last weekend at the Fishing Center was a team fishing from the boat Bi-Op-Sea with skipper Jesse Granitzki. That group caught 41 while marlin in three days to win the annual Oregon Inlet Billfish Roundup. Included were 21 marlin on Sunday.
Finishing second with 27 white marlin overall was the Sea Hag team led by skipper Jason Snead.
“It’s insane how many marlin obviously are out there,” said a Fishing Center spokeswoman. “We’ve already had over 900 white marlin releases this month through the 15th and there is no sign of a letup. We are on the way to beating the 1,032 that were boated and released in August.” Tom Higgins
• With South Carolina’s population of whitetail deer placed at approximately 750,000, a leading wildlife biologist foresees a productive hunting season this fall and winter. According to Charles Ruth, the deer and wild turkey program coordinator for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, herds are healthy and the outlook is good. Top counties for harvest in 2012 were Abbeville, Anderson, Bamberg, Greenwood and Union. Each had a harvest of over 14 deer per square mile, among the tops in the nation. Leaders for trophy-sized deer were Abbeville, Anderson and Greenville counties in the Piedmont and Aiken, Orangeburg and Williamsburg in the Coastal Plain. Observer News Services
• The trap shooters at the Charlotte Rifle & Pistol Club are “perfect.” At least they were in the recent Fall Into Fall Protector Shoot at the club range near Waxhaw. The winning two-person teams in each of five flights posted perfect scores of 10. Reno Santini triumphed three times. The victors included Rick Turner/Robert Stewart; Dave Eggert/Robert Stewart; Jeff Trull/Santini; Santini/Jack Knost; and Santini/Tod Thorne. TH
Catches of the week
• A 191/2 inch flounder at Ocean Crest Pier by Parks Mangum of Monroe.
• A blue marlin boated and released off Hatteras Village by Joe Kavanagh of Frisco.
• Four large cobia in the Nags Head/Oregon Inlet area by local angler Curtis Gum.
• Large Spanish mackerel in the 4-pound range at the Yaupon Artificial Reef off Oak Island by Denise Harrison of Advance.
• A 42-inch red drum from a kayak at Ocracoke Island by Linda Hughes of Chesapeake, Va.
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