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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been fishing at Holden Beach my entire 42 year life. As a kid My Dad and Me fished offshore mostly. He loved Kings and Spanish. After his life ended at 49 and me 11 I was stuck with pier and surf. And since 1996 I've been able to fish out of my job boat in the rivers and inlet. Lockwood Folly river and south is exceptional for Flounder Trout and Reds. I myself have caught numerous Fltfish over 26" and 37" is my biggest. Reds all over the 20's and 30's and in October as the big Bulls make out of the rivers and head south I've had some on I couldn't turn them.
With all that being said, a woman angler who is avid flatfisher brought something to my attention last fall and we discussed it again today. We were talking about the shark attacks going on and how maybe dredging the inlet has affected our fishing. She hasn't caught a Flounder all year on the pier at Holden Beach. 10 min later,however she caught a 16" trout. Last fall in October we were talking about the Spots coming through. We reminisced about back in the day when every year it was wide open and now it's just a straggler here and there. She thinks it's got something to do with how cape lookout hooks out and then turns back west and curves back around leaving Emerald Isle facing south. And then the same way Bald Head hooks out and turns back leaving Oak Island and Holden facing south. With this type of Geographical motion and over time could it be that it's changed just enough to affect our fishing in these places. It seems that the migratory fishery is simply passing over from Cape to Cape. I would like to hear what people have to say that fish these different areas and if there's someone professional on the subject I would love to hear professional opinions as well!
 

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This I heard from someone very reliable, with more knowledge & time on the water than me.

Our NC Spots swim south from Virginia & last year they had a banner year.
Not sure of tonnage one guy caught each trip, but it sound extremely high.

As far as other species, I think it's cyclical. Resident fish like Trout, Reds have to deal with freezing temp.
Some are natural events others are man made.
Here's an example, I know of one local jigger that bragged about getting his limit ( 75 ) of stunned Trout.
And he's still bragging about jigging several gators, which are our breeders.
That got to hurt the recovering stock.
Or last year Cobia fishing was on fire this year it's been much slower. Mother Nature at work.

Could it be the contour of our coast? Maybe. Just more people fishing, less fish.
That's why I practice catch & release, my size & bag limits are higher than required by our NC fishery. ..... ICM
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with you on resident fish. I haven't had a problem catching those fish. In fact I think we have an abundance of them. Just go to Old Ferry Seafood any morning and look at what the commercial giggers bring in on flounder. I don't agree with more fishing and less fish. Back in the 70's there was way more people fishing. I suppose there could be less fish I have no way to know.
I agree that bag limits and liscense was a good idea but not for all the fish that's covered. Definately the Reds needed help and a few others. Trout should be a year by year and flounder also. As far as offshore goes I only go on charters up off the OBX so I'm not familiar enough to say.
Last night I spoke with a commercial fisherman down here at Holden since 82. He says there isn't near as much runoff from inland as it used to be therefore the water is a lot more salty than it used to be. That effects the fish a great deal he said. I wonder why there isn't as much runoff? What's this reason and what are the effects?
I suppose it's noble of you for catch and release and limiting bag limits but I'll say this: if I catch it and it's big enough I'm eating it. And keeping as much as I'm allowed. If I fingered how much $ I've spent annually avg over the past 20 years on fishing I'd have to say 1000$ would be a modest guess. Boat,boat upkeep,equipment,bait,liscense,dock fees,fuel etc......... That's the reason I stopped deer hunting. I'd just assumed go buy beef at the grocery store. But I don't care to go buy fish imported from China or any other country.
I've been working in the construction industry since '91. Since '01 I've been on the largest jobs in the country,mostly in the Energy dept. Coal,gas,oil,nuclear etc.... And if I've learned one thing in the past 20+ years you can't believe what the media would have you to believe you have to get out and know yourself. I'm a lil skepticle of the wildlife rules and regs. I think it's overboard and just another revenue ploy! Just saying!!
 
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