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N.C. kokanee salmon record falls twice in a month

Kokanee record falls twice

The North Carolina record for kokanee salmon fell twice in rapid succession last month.

The catches were certified by officials with the Wildlife Resources Commission.

Fishing on June 6 at Nantahala Lake, a 1,065-acre reservoir in the mountains of Clay and Macon counties, Fred Mix of Rainbow Springs caught a 3-pound, 15-ounce kokanee. That broke the mark of 3-9 set in 2009 by Ashley Swann of Swannanoa.

On June 11, Jeffery Todd Smith of Mills River caught a kokanee scaling 4 pounds, 1 ounce. Smith’s salmon was weighed on certified scales in Bryson City. The fish was then checked by the Wildlife Resources Commission’s Jacob Rash, a coldwater research coordinator.

Smith’s catch was a very special gift. It came on his birthday and he was targeting the state record. He trolled for almost nine hours to get it, using flashers as lures.

He said he knew Nantahala was the only lake in the state to hold kokanee, which resemble rainbow trout.

The Wildlife Commission stocked the fish there in the 1960s in an attempt to establish the species as forage. They have thrived and are now listed among the state’s gamefish.

• Trainer Jerry Raynor of Dunn and Cock ’n Fire Maggie, a pointer, won the National Bird Hunters Association Open. The event was held at a field trial area near Cheraw, S.C. Maggie is owned by Allen Johnson of Sumter, S.C.

• Robert Galleto, fishing from his boat Par-Five, is winner of the annual Jolly Mon King Classic at Ocean Isle. Galleto boated a king mackerel weighing 36.15 pounds last weekend to top a field of anglers aboard 129 other boats. Tommy McAlister, fishing from the Reel Determined, was second with a king of 33.45 pounds. Observer News Services

Catches of the week

• A 9-pound, 3-ounce largemouth bass at Union County’s Lake Twitty by Dick Kahle of Monroe. He also caught largemouth of 6 and 4 pounds.

• A 123-pound yellowfin tuna off Hatteras Village by Virginian Justin Flagg.

• A 49-pound, 9-ounce cobia off Ocean Isle by Jonathan Holmes.

• A sailfish boated and released off Hatteras Village by Megan Ensley of Waynesville.

• A blue marlin boated and released off Hatteras by Steven Russ of Cary.

• A 45-pound dolphin off Hatteras by Beth Parrish of Rocky Mount.

• A cobia of 84 pounds by Chris Peeples, casting in the surf near Ramp 55 that crosses the dunes on Hatteras Island.

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