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Volunteer fishing guides needed for Wounded Warriors

Volunteer guides needed for Wounded Warriors fishing

Anglers are being asked to donate their time and use of their boats to take Wounded Warriors and disabled veterans fishing at Lake Norman.

The Top Shelf Fishing Festival is scheduled for April 16 out of the Pinnacle Access Area on N.C. 150 west of Mooresville.

It’s an undertaking of Operation North State, based in Winston-Salem and founded by Terry Snyder, who grew up near Lake Norman.

“We are expecting 75 or so Wounded Warriors and vets to sign up for the day of fishing, which is free,” Snyder said this week. “At present we only have 37 boats committed, about half of what we need.

“This is not a tournament. It’s simply a way of giving back to service people who gave so much to us. It’s a day for them to have fun and enjoy the outdoors.”

Snyder staged Wounded Warrior fishing events last year at Badin Lake in April and at Oak Island Pier on the coast in October. Fifty former military people took part at Badin and an estimated 450 at Oak Island at some point during the day.

“We were very, very successful,” said Snyder. “The Warriors had a great time and it was fulfilling for the guys that guided them.”

This success led the Wounded Warriors to ask Snyder to schedule more outings across the state. He has responded. The Norman fishing festival is the first of five to be held, including returns to Badin and Oak Island and a visit to Randleman Lake that is being backed by NASCAR’s “King,” Richard Petty.

In addition to anglers as hosts to the veterans, Snyder said gifts for goody bags, food for a meal and cash donations to help with expenses at Lake Norman are welcome.

Information: mailbox@operationnorthstate.com.

Lake Wateree tournament yields big bass

It took a whopping catch to win a Carolinas Bass Challenge Series tournament Saturday at Lake Wateree.

Dave Murdock and Tony Fofi scored the top haul, five largemouth bass weighing 25 pounds. Their biggest bass was a fish scaling 7.23 pounds. They earned $12,500 in the S.C. Division event.

Billy McIntosh and Rick McLean finished a close second with 24.52 pounds and pocketed $5,000. Third place and $3,500 went to Joey Bramlett and Barry Holloman with 24.49 pounds.

The top 18 two-person teams among a field of 173 boats had catches weighing in excess of 20 pounds. All the fish were released alive.

Briefly

Space remains available in free wild turkey hunting seminars across North Carolina. Included is an event March 23-24 at Bass Pro Shops’ Concord Mills store. Sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the seminar hours are 6:30-8:30 p.m. Preregistration is required for both days, as introductory hunters get instruction the first night and advanced hunters the second. Information: www.ncwildlife.org/sbs.

▪ The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is enhancing fish habitat at lakes in the state’s northern portion. Bamboo structures are being placed in Lakes Greenwood, Hartwell, Secession and Edwin Johnson. Fishery biologists feel the bamboo will prove very durable and last up to 10 years as fish attractors before having to be refurbished.

▪ Charlotteans Gary Fox and Max Thompson III, along with Dana McKittrick of Matthews, won the flurry shoot held by the Charlotte Rifle & Pistol Club on Saturday. They shattered 68 of the 90 targets thrown from eight traps in four minutes.

Catches of the week

▪ A limit of 20 large crappie in 45 minutes at Lake Wylie by Dieter Melhorn of Gaston County.

▪ A 71/2-pound largemouth bass at Union County’s Lake Lee by Chris Whitley of Monroe.

▪ Largemouth of 61/2 and 6 pounds at Lake Lee by Monroe angler Tim Orr.

▪ A 400-pound, 87-inch bluefin tuna off Hatteras Village by Floridian Robert Kraft.

▪ A 350-pound bluefin out of Hatteras Village by Lance Pickett of Virginia.

▪ Wahoo of 60, 42 and 35 pounds by Pat Prence, Jason Gore, Bryan Gore and his son Jude, trolling at the Winyah Scarp out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center.

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