Almost simultaneous to one popular Outer Banks fishing site opening up for anglers, another has closed.
The minimum draft for boats heading offshore from Oregon Inlet has been increased to 5 feet, enabling most sportfishing charter boats and mid-sized private vessels to make the passage. The draft had been as little as 2 feet, ordered last month by the Coast Guard, because the inlet was choking with sand, making boating dangerous.
This kept many craft from Oregon Inlet Fishing Center and Pirates Cove Marina in Manteo in their berths.
Meanwhile, Cape Point, on Hatteras Island near Buxton, perhaps the most famous surf fishing spot on the East Coast, has been closed to vehicular traffic. The U.S. Park Service initiated the ban this week after rangers spotted endangered American oyster catcher seabirds nesting. Surfcasters may still walk to the point, but it’s a challenging hike, especially when carrying fishing tackle.
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It’s uncertain how long the restriction against four-wheel drive vehicles will remain in effect.
The ban appears very untimely, as there was an excellent bite of big red drum at the Point a few nights ago. Tom Higgins
▪ Several more boater/guides are needed for a Wounded Warriors fishing event next Thursday (April 16) on Lake Norman. “Right now we are about 19 short,” said Terry Snyder, founder of Winston-Salem-based Operation North State, which started angling outings for veterans a year ago at Badin Lake. “We foresee having 75 service people fish, and we’d like to have a boater-guide for each of them.” The event will be based at the Pinnacle Access Area off Highway 150 west of Mooresville. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org. TH
▪ Jeff Coble and David Wright teamed to win a recent Carolinas Bass Challenge series tournament at Jordan Lake southwest of Raleigh. The duo had a catch of five largemouth bass weighing 23.52 pounds and won $8,000. The team of Thomas Gavin and Steve Gardner checked in the largest single bass, a 9-pounder.
Catches of the week
▪ A 22 1/2-inch hybrid, a striper/white bass cross, boated and released at Lake Norman by David Clubb of Mooresville.
▪ Two largemouth weighing 8 1/2 pounds at Union County’s Lake Lee by local fisherman Gene Parker, along with three of 5 pounds each. Other area anglers to score well on largemouth at Lee: Red Goodell, 8 pounds, 13 ounces; Aaron Bivens, 8 1/2 pounds; Roland Rushing, 8 pounds; Justin Wilmoth, 7 1/2 pounds.
▪ An 18-pound blue catfish at Lake Norman by Mac Byrum of Denver, N.C.
▪ Twenty red drum boated and released in Pamlico Sound near Hatteras Village by local Tim Hagerich.
▪ An 8-foot shark estimated to weigh 350 pounds at Oak Island Pier by John Porter of Boiling Springs. The shark was released.