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N.C. fishing days ahead for Wounded Warriors

N.C. fishing days ahead for Wounded Warriors

Wounded Warriors and Disabled Veterans will have an opportunity to go on assisted fishing trips for free at six sites in North Carolina this year, thanks to Operation North State and its founder, Terry Snyder.

His organization has grown from one angling event held last year at Badin Lake.

“Things went really well at Badin, and the participants asked for more,” said Snyder, who is based in Winston-Salem. “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to expand the program for these people who have given our country so much.”

The outings, called Top Shelf Fishing Festivals, are planned for Lake Norman, Badin and Randleman lakes, The Neuse and Trent rivers at New Bern, Jordan Lake and Ocean Crest Pier on Oak Island.

“The events are of no charge to the people who served the nation and they are invited to fish as many times as they like,” added Snyder, who is depending on local volunteers to provide boats and serve as guides.

“I encourage fishermen and others to get involved with us – either as a host on the water or through donations of cash, products or services.”

Lake Norman is first on the schedule on April 16, when Snyder hopes 75 boats and guides will be available to veterans at Pinnacle Access Area on N.C. 150.

“We especially need assistance at Lake Norman,” Snyder said.

The rest of the schedule: April 30 – Badin Lake, Circle Drive Access Area, 50 boats; May 19 – Randleman Lake, main access ramp, 50 to 75 boats; June 5 – New Bern, Lawson Ramp, 50 boats; Oct. 3 – Jordan Lake, Farrington Point Access Ramp, 50-75 boats; and Oct. 9 – Ocean Crest Pier, where it’s anticipated up to 275 veterans will take part during the peak fall fishing season.

Information: Terry Snyder, 336-764-5967 or www.operationnorthstate.com. Tom Higgins

Biggest bluefin won’t be record

A few days ago, Herb Sheads of the Morehead City area took his boat Fish Bucket out in search of bluefin tuna.

He found a big one feeding a surprisingly short distance from shore – approximately 4 miles off the beach.

The fish struck and after a hard fight the 116-inch tuna was subdued by Sheads, assisted by mate Jonathan Anderson. Brought back to port and weighed, the bluefin pushed the scale to 1,005 pounds.

That is exactly 200 pounds greater than the listed N.C. record for bluefin. Thomas Cutler caught an 805-pounder in 2009 off Oregon Inlet.

Cutler’s name will remain in the record book. Because Sheads sold his big bluefin, it’s considered a commercial catch. Only recreational, or sporting, catches are accepted for record listing. T.H.

Briefly

• The S.C. Department of Natural Resources documented 75 illegal “No Wake” buoys on Lake Keowee and plans to begin their removal within 30 days.



“This action is a result of an increasing number of illegal No Wake buoys across the state,” said an agency spokesman. “They are quickly becoming a navigational hazard and confusing to boaters.”

• The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is proposing to construct a public shooting range north of Lake James, and has set a public hearing about the facility for Feb. 18. The meeting will be begin at 6:30 p.m. at Morganton’s Municipal Auditorium, 401 S. College St.



The site near the intersection of N.C. 126 and Wolf Pit Road would have a 100-yard range for rifles and 25 yards for pistols.

• The Charlotte Rifle & Pistol Club has added Charlottean Mark Cook to its honor roll. He scored his first 25 straight in skeet Sunday.



Catches of the Week

• A 9-pound striped bass at Lake Norman by Sam Newman of Mooresville. The fish was released.



• A dozen walleye plus a mixed limit of smallmouth and spotted bass at Fontana Lake by Tennessean Junior Moss.



• A 115-inch bluefin tuna off Morehead City by Brian Anderson and Buck Reese. Its estimated weight was in the 900-pound range.



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