Rules changes proposed for stripers, hybrids
Sweeping regulations changes on striped bass and hybrids are being proposed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for many lakes across the state.
However, Lake Norman is not on the list that does include all impoundments on the nearby Yadin/Pee Dee River chain: Kerr Reservoir, High Rock, Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls.
The proposals are to be submitted for comment in a series of public hearings this month. Included on that schedule, with all meetings beginning at 7 p.m.:
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• Jan. 8, Norwood, South Stanly High.
• Jan. 14, Morganton, Municipal Auditorium.
• Jan. 15, Wilkesboro, Wilkes Community College.
The size limit for stripers and hybrids would be increased from 16 inches to 20, and the daily creel limit from eight of these fish in aggregate would be cut back to four.
The 16-inch size restriction would remain in place at Norman, along with a four-fish daily creel.
“We’ve only been stocking hybrids in Norman a couple years now,” said Christian Waters, a fisheries division biologist based at agency headquarters in Raleigh. “We want to give them a couple more years to grow and then we’ll monitor the situations to see if a size increase is warranted.”
Many anglers at Norman support a creel reduction and size increase now. TOM HIGGINS
• Dieter Melhorn of Cramerton is well-known in Carolinas catfishing circles for his ability to catch very large blue catfish at Lake Wylie.
Normally, blues are the only species he attempts to catch. However, a few days ago the videographer with strong ties to NASCAR decided to see what all the excitement emanating from Lake Norman over hybrids was about.
He found out in a big way. Trolling a planer board with an attached Alabama rig trailing multiple lures , Melhorn caught a mix of 21 striped bass and hybrids and scored a triple on spotted bass, reeling in three simultaneously.
Some of his hybrids are among the biggest yet seen at Norman, where the cross between the striper and white bass has been stocked for only three years or so. Melhorn released the fish. T.H.
• Keith Logan of Longs, S.C., had quite an experience while fishing this week for giant bluefin tuna off Morehead City.
Logan outfought and boated a bluefin measuring 104 inches Monday.
He returned to the same area to fish Tuesday morning and hooked up again. This time an obviously monster blue spooled 800 yards of 150-pound test line from his reel and got away. An hour or so later Logan could only watch as his reel got spooled, or stripped of line, once again. T.H.
Catches of the Week
• Mixed limits of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass on several successive days at the lower end of Fontana Lake by Tennessean Junior Moss.
• A speckled trout weighing 6.6 pounds at the Little River Jetty by Clay Morphis of the Ocean Isle area.
• A speckled trout of 4.3 pounds in backwaters at Ocean Isle by youngster Camdyn Beck.
• Limits of 80 crappie at Lake Norman by Bo Crutchfield of Denver, N.C., and three friends.
• A limit of 12 wahoo off Ocean Isle by a Daniel Simmons-led party, including five topping 50 pounds each.
• A Lake Norman blue catfish weighing 29.7 pounds by Luke Talboys, 13, of Huntersville. A seventh-grader at Davidson Community School, Luke was fishing with his father Bill and friend Mike Moran of Mooresville.