Author: Brent aka "Sundrop"

The number one most important thing everyone should have before they begin fishing in any state/county is a fishing license. There are a few exceptions based on age, location and income, but as anything with the government goes, it changes so make sure your info is up to date! Now don’t worry, there’s no test! But if you get caught by a Game Warden,(these are the men and women that patrol areas looking for size and limit as well as permit violations… kinda like “nature cops”..LOL!!) and you will meet one at some time, somewhere I promise! You will immediately be fined on the spot for lack of a license and your fishing day has ended….period! For more information on license requirements and fees you can visit these websites…

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
NC Division of Marine Fisheries

These sites will also explain the size limitations and quantity in your possession or “creel” levels placed on certain types of fish. I recommend you take full advantage of the information found on these sites and print out the regulations booklets available as well. If you would rather get a booklet you can do so at most shops that sell bait and tackle and also sell the required licenses. Even “WallyMart” sells the license but they may not have knowledgeable personnel to answer questions on the subject.

When you have questions about the sport I encourage you to go to a reputable shop in your area and ask them or post your questions here on NCangler.com . The info you get will be invaluable to your satisfaction and success. Most shops are anxious to guide new anglers because it generates local interest in the sport and that translates into dollars for them!! Study the book and know what regulations pertain to you and the type and location of fishing you intend to do. I even keep a simple chart of species and sizes folded away in my tackle box so I can be sure as needed. Charts showing actual pictures of each fish for identification are readily available online and in tackle shops as well. “I didn’t know what it was” or “ I didn’t know there was a limit” or “I didn’t have anything to measure it with” are not excuses to the Warden and you won’t get any sympathy from them. Just a fat fine that can exceed $100 per fish!

For those of you who don’t like the idea of paying “the man” for the right to capture from the wild, you should know that the money raised by regulation and enforcement is used to maintain safe and productive waterways for us all and to keep each species up to par for our lasting enjoyment. Many lakes and reservoirs are stocked on a regular basis by our government and environmental groups to keep this sport active for generations to come. Were it not for these efforts to control population and protect watersheds from pollution and run off due to the encroachment of man we would have no sport at all.. So pay the $15-$35 bucks for the license (unless you meet the criteria for a waiver) and know that you have done your part and we all thank you.

Enough of beating you over the head with regulations and all the questions of whether this sport appeals to you. In my next blog I will get down to the process of what it takes to go after and get that first fish!!

Sundrop


About the Author:
I have enjoyed fishing from a very young age and have approximately 35 yrs. of experience in both fresh and salt water in North and South Carolina. I currently live in the Tar/Pamlico River basin and frequent both coastal and inland waters and intend to venture out more around the state as I myself grow in the sport.

No matter how long you are a fisherperson you will always have to be open to learn new things and you will benefit being flexible as fish are never as predictable as one might conceive.

Fishing is a great way to find quiet time with nature and to spend time with family and friends as well. Not to mention for many it is a supplement to feeding the household. A nice day with basic equipment and bait can often fill the table with a feast of delicious and healthy meat! It is a key survival skill in nature as well.

Some of my grandest memories revolve around fishing trips growing up with my parents and I still try to take them from time to time to this day. Fishing is also a great way to entertain children outdoors and get them away from video games and TV.