Posted by & filed under Articles.

New Year’s Resolutions for the Angler, by Dr. Bogus

It’s winter and the New Year 2014 and we have survived the dreaded Polar Vortex, and indications are that the trout did too. I will have a special report and data on trout stun events next week.

So, even though on the average, only 8% of New Year’s resolutions are found to be long lasting, it’s always good to think about what you may change for the better in the New Year even for the angler. Here are some of my suggestions. Trash…please go trashless this season, this includes proper discarding of your fishing line. We all see the careless disposal of trash in and along our waters and along the highways. It seems to be epidemic, so everyone do your best to discard your own trash properly and if you have a chance, help clean up after others not as considerate.

Several of the main reasons for lost fish include old fishing line, bad knots and dull and rusty hooks. Resolve to replace your line at least each year, it’s the only thing between you and your trophy fish, learn how to tie secure high strength knots and check your hooks for dull points and rust. Poor hookups from dull hooks result in unnecessarily lost fish but sharp hooks insure solid hookups and more fish in your cooler.

Speaking of fishing line, maybe this is your year to try braided line. But if you do you will need to learn how to use it properly or you experience will end up in a costly tangled web of fishing line. I have an article on my web site that will get you up to speed and avoid my early troubles with braided line (www.ncoif.com). I had terrible troubles, you don’t have to!

Knowledge is often the basis of better fishing. The local fishing clubs are a wealth of good fishermen and great personal fishing information and experiences of folks that are willing to share. Local clubs include the Onslow Bay Fishing Club, Saltwater Light Tackle Fishing Club and the Cape Lookout Fly Fishers.

Another information fount include the winter fishing seminars. Two prominent seminars include the SaltWater Sportsman National Seminar Series to be held at the New Bern Convention Center this year  on January 11, 2014. You can get tickets by calling 800-448-7360. I hope to see you there. Another is the put on by the Fisherman’s Post Magazine. This will be held in the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City on February 22, 2014. Tickets can be gotten from Chasin’ Tails (Atlantic Beach Causeway) and West Marine (Morehead City). Registration forms are also available from their web site, www.FishermansPost.com. You will recognize many of the expert presenters.

Location, location, location is not only a real estate mantra, but fishing too. Remember that 80% of the people fish in 20% of the “hot” fishing holes, so try to stray from the madding crowds and find your own hot spots. One way for me was to take up kayak fishing several years ago. Believe me, I can get places where most of you can’t go!

Along with braided line, give a try to some new baits. If  you don’t use corks or haven’t gotten to using some of the great suspending baits, maybe 2014 is the year for you. Try the MirrOlure 17 or 27-MR suspending baits in the “808” or electric chicken colors. And if you are not catching fish with them, you are working them too fast, soooo sloooow down your retrieves.

To help our fish stocks, please follow creel and size limits, return unwanted fish back to the water (even “trash” fish), practice catch and release, keep only fish you will eat. And if you see violations, don’t hesitate to call in the violations to NC Marine Patrol (800.682.2632) or Wildlife Resources Commission (800.662.7137). Finally, respect other fishermen. That is the best resolution of all, and the fishing will be better for us all.

Posted by & filed under Articles.

Vulnerability of the Spotted Sea Trout to cold, Trout Stun Events and Trout Kills Along the Crystal Coast.  By Dr. Bogus (Updated 2/18/15)

Trout kills (cold stun events) are normal and not as infrequent as you might imagine and have an important impact on natural mortality of spotted sea trout. In the fall and winter trout move south and then reenter the backwater deep creeks for food and shelter against the winter temperatures. If the water temperature falls, as a cold front moves in, sometimes after a snow event, the trout can seek deeper waters for protection. If the temperature drops too quickly they may or may not have time to seek deeper warmer waters. Remember, trout, as are most fish (there are exceptions), are cold blooded and their body temperature is the same as the water around them. As they get colder their body metabolism slows and their speed of movement and feeding and digestion slow considerably. Remember when you trout fish in the winter, the idea is to move your bait, slow, slower and slowest to get a hit, or “bump” from a lethargic trout.

There is always a debate on what the “cold stun” temperature for a trout is, that is the temperature where they lose swimming control and float to the surface upside-down (they have swim bladders) where they may freeze and die. That temperature is somewhere around 39 to 41 degrees or so, but the stunning of the fish it is not instantaneous, it takes some sustained time at or around a critical stun temperature to incapacitate the fish and it may also somewhat depend on the fish’s  age as well.  So just rapid drops in water temperature of a short duration will not be cause a major trout kill, but would mainly impact fish in very shallow waters like the North River.  Also many fish may feel the drop in temperature and have enough time to escape into deeper water in time to protect themselves. Where major trout kills occur, the temperature drops rapidly, often preceded by snowfall, which (the snow and sinking cold-water runoff) also will contribute to rapid water cooling, and then followed by an extended cold air and water temperatures, with water temperatures holding in the 30s for a week or more.

We have seen a number of these events over the years. The first major one I witnessed was the devastating trout stun event of January 2003. I was not in North Carolina during the snow storm and frigid cold of 1989, so I don’t remember that event, but by all accounts it was also epic. More recently we have had a rapid succession of stun events in January 2010, December 2010 and January 2011 which led to the total closure of trout harvest both recreationally and commercially, by NCDMF. It also lead to dropping the bag limit, eventually to 4-fish/day and raised the minimum length to 14-inches to ensure the fish have at least one year to spawn before they are subject to harvest. I’m sure there were other trout kills during my 20-plus years in North Carolina and Emerald Isle that I haven’t documented.

As you may know, I routinely keep ocean surf and Bogue Sound water temperatures on a nearly daily basis. I have some data going back to 1995 and daily data date since 1999, when I moved to my Emerald Isle home permanently.  For the stun events that I mentioned above I have the following Bogue Sound and ocean surf water temperature data.

January 22-28, 2003: In the aftermath of a snow storm, Bogue Sound temperatures dropped and remained in the 30s and as low at 30-degrees in a salty slush for the entire week. Many of the creeks were frozen over. Ocean surf at Bogue Pier went as low as 36-degrees, which is about the lowest I’ve ever measured in the surf.

January 3-13, 2010: Bogue Sound remained in the 30s or very low 40s during that entire week and a half, with a low of 35-degrees. Ocean temperature bottomed out during that time at 43-degrees during that week.

December 19-30, 2010: Again after another snow storm (It doesn’t snow in Emerald Isle, does it?), Bogue Sound temperatures rapidly plunged into the 30s with a low of 33-degrees.  It should also be noted that almost the entire month was unusually cold with an average of only 41-degrees for the month! The surf reached a minimum of 42-degrees during that period.

January 9-15, 2011: Right after the frigid December 2010 and trout kill, temperatures, already primed for disaster, dropped again into the 30s (low of 33-degrees) for another trout kill event for basically the third event in a little more than a year. This was the final event that precipitated the dramatic closure of the trout harvest and restructuring bag and size limits.

This year (2014) we have seen a rapid drop in temperatures caused by the so-called Arctic Polar Vortex, setting record low temperatures here in eastern North Carolina and around much of the nation. Surf temperatures dropped to 47-degrees around Bogue Pier and I’ve measured Bogue Sound temperatures at a very cold 35 and 34-degrees. We have not had a snow storm prior to this drop in temperatures and the Polar Vortex has weakened and rapidly receded, to whence it belongs (the Arctic!) after just a couple of days. The water was cold but has rebounded to near normal for mid-January and although we have seen skim ice on the creeks, even that has receded as well. It appears that the short duration of the freeze this year minimized the deleterious effects on our beloved trout. In fact, I haven’t heard of any reports of stunned trout. I was out fishing the creeks during this period, no, I didn’t catch any trout but I didn’t see any floating fish either, but I did land many drag stretching slot sized red drum from our local creeks.

UPDATE: By the end of January 2014 we had another attack of the Vortex preceded by a snow and ice storm, resulting in some trout kills. The result was a harvest closure for both recreational and commercial fishermen. Now in mid February 2015 we have had some sustained cold again preceded by a wintery mix of ice and snow resulting in reported trout kills this winter as well. I’ve seen photos of stunned and dead fish from Slocum Creek (Fin Chaser’s Charters). And as of 2/18/15, the frigid cold continues with forecast of teens and single digit temperatures before moderating over the weekend.

Posted by & filed under Fishing, Reports category.

Dr. Bogus’ “Resolute” Fishing Report for 1/11/14. Surf 47°, sound 40°.

NOTE: www.ncoif.com is finally back and better than ever!

 

Every Monday Morning at 7:30 am on www.TheTalkStation.com. 107.1 FM (WTKF), 1240 AM (WJNC). If you can’t listen on the radio, you can log in to www.TheTalkStation.com and listen on-line or check out Coastal Daybreak on Facebook. The show will be linked there as an mp3 file. Now rebroadcast on each Sunday morning at 6:00am.

SPONSORs OF THE WEEK: These are VIP sponsors of Dr. Bogus and www.ncoif.com so please support them this season, Crystal Coast Adventures, Cape Custom Rods, Coastal Marine & Sports, Reel Outdoors Bait & Tackle and Village Market, Emerald Isle Realty, Cape Crusader Charters. Check the Sponsor’s section of www.ncoif.com for details and contact information, and please tell ‘em Dr. Bogus sent you!

 

It’s winter and the New Year 2014 and we have survived the dreaded Polar Vortex, and indications are that the trout did too. I will have a special report and data on trout stun events next week.

So, even though on the average, only 8% of New Year’s resolutions are found to be long lasting, it’s always good to think about what you may change for the better in the New Year even for the angler. Here are some of my suggestions. Trash…please go trashless this season, this includes proper discarding of your fishing line. We all see the careless disposal of trash in and along our waters and along the highways. It seems to be epidemic, so everyone do your best to discard your own trash properly and if you have a chance, help clean up after others not as considerate.

Several of the main reasons for lost fish include old fishing line, bad knots and dull and rusty hooks. Resolve to replace your line at least each year, it’s the only thing between you and your trophy fish, learn how to tie secure high strength knots and check your hooks for dull points and rust. Poor hookups from dull hooks result in unnecessarily lost fish but sharp hooks insure solid hookups and more fish in your cooler.

Speaking of fishing line, maybe this is your year to try braided line. But if you do you will need to learn how to use it properly or you experience will end up in a costly tangled web of fishing line. I have an article on my web site that will get you up to speed and avoid my early troubles with braided line (www.ncoif.com). I had terrible troubles, you don’t have to!

Knowledge is often the basis of better fishing. The local fishing clubs are a wealth of good fishermen and great personal fishing information and experiences of folks that are willing to share. Local clubs include the Onslow Bay Fishing Club, Saltwater Light Tackle Fishing Club and the Cape Lookout Fly Fishers.

Another information fount include the winter fishing seminars. Two prominent seminars include the SaltWater Sportsman National Seminar Series to be held at the New Bern Convention Center this year  on January 11, 2014. You can get tickets by calling 800-448-7360. I hope to see you there. Another is the put on by the Fisherman’s Post Magazine. This will be held in the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City on February 22, 2014. Tickets can be gotten from Chasin’ Tails (Atlantic Beach Causeway) and West Marine (Morehead City). Registration forms are also available from their web site, www.FishermansPost.com. You will recognize many of the expert presenters.

Location, location, location is not only a real estate mantra, but fishing too. Remember that 80% of the people fish in 20% of the “hot” fishing holes, so try to stray from the madding crowds and find your own hot spots. One way for me was to take up kayak fishing several years ago. Believe me, I can get places where most of you can’t go!

Along with braided line, give a try to some new baits. If  you don’t use corks or haven’t gotten to using some of the great suspending baits, maybe 2014 is the year for you. Try the MirrOlure 17 or 27-MR suspending baits in the “808” or electric chicken colors. And if you are not catching fish with them, you are working them too fast, soooo sloooow down your retrieves.

To help our fish stocks, please follow creel and size limits, return unwanted fish back to the water (even “trash” fish), practice catch and release, keep only fish you will eat. And if you see violations, don’t hesitate to call in the violations to NC Marine Patrol (800.682.2632) or Wildlife Resources Commission (800.662.7137). Finally, respect other fishermen. That is the best resolution of all, and the fishing will be better for us all.

For this and much more, you can subscribe to the full “Totally Bogus Fishing Report” for less than 7-cents/day, still only $25/year. It’s getting close to summer fishing season, so there’s no reason for YOU to miss out! Just send a check for $25 and your e-mail address to:

Dr. Bogus

P.O. Box 5225

Emerald Isle, NC 28594

 

The Ask Dr. Bogus Fishing show, heard every Monday morning at 7:30 on WTKF, 107.1 FM and 1240 AM can now be accessed on the Coastal Daybreak Facebook page. Sign up and be a friend at: https://www.facebook.com/coastal.daybreak and never miss a show. And now WTKF daily programming, including the Ask Dr. Bogus radio show is available in live streaming audio too. Just go to www.thetalkstation.com and click on the arrow. Just click to listen, it’s just that easy!

Bogus Notes: 1) Check me out at www.Facebook.com/Dr.Bogus. 2) Log onto my web site at www.ncoif.com. 3) “Ask Dr. Bogus” is on the radio every Monday 7:30 AM, WTKF 107.1 FM 1240 AM. Call in and Ask Dr. Bogus, 800.818.2255. 3) I’m located at 118 Conch Ct. in “Sea Dunes”, just off Coast Guard Rd., Emerald Isle, NC 28594. Mailing address is P.O. Box 5225, Emerald Isle, NC 28594. Don’t forget a gift certificate for your favorite angler for fishing lessons or my totally Bogus Fishing Report subscription. Please stop by at anytime and say “Hi” (252.354.4905).

Posted by & filed under Fishing, Fishing News.

Marine Fisheries Commission approves 14 Coastal Recreational Fishing License Grants

MOREHEAD CITY – Revenues from the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License will pay nearly $2 million in the coming year toward projects to help provide coastal fishing access and fisheries and habitat research.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, in December, approved 14 grants, totaling $1.78 million, for the 2014 cycle.

The grants are sorted into three focus areas. Grants that fall under the People Focus Area include public education and public water access projects. Grants that fall under the Fish Focus Area are fisheries research projects. Grants that fall under the Habitat Focus Area are projects that enhance, protect or research fisheries habitat.

People Focus Area – Six grants totaling $1,177,798 were awarded:

· Wildlife Resources Commission, Rose Bay Boating Access Area – $250,000

One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area off U.S. 264, southeast of Scranton in Hyde County.

· Onslow Bay Artificial Reef Association, Enhancement of Three Artificial Reefs in Onslow Bay – $637,500

One year grant to add materials to the Billy Murrell, Meares Harris and Phillip Wolfe reefs.

· Wildlife Resources Commission, Dawson’s Creek Boating Access Area – $95,000

One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area off Janiero Road, northeast of the Minnesott Beach Ferry in Pamlico County.

· Wildlife Resources Commission, Turkey Creek Boating Access Area – $130,000

One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area on Turkey Point Road in Onslow County.

· Town of Morehead City, Newport River Beach Access Ramp Restrooms – $49,431

One year grant to complete a waterfront access project on Radio Island.

· Town of Carolina Beach, Freeman Park Hatteras Ramp and Signage – $15,867

One-year grant to construct a Hatteras ramp to provide better access at the entrance of Freeman Park.

Fish Focus Area – Five grants totaling $428,815 were awarded:

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Multispecies Tagging Program – $109,357

Multi-year grant to tag striped bass, red drum, spotted seatrout, and southern flounder, which will provide independent estimates of abundance and biomass, as well as data on migration rate.

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Carcass Collection Program – $17,300

Multi-year grant to continue funding a coast-wide carcass collection program.

· N.C. State University, Stock Structure of Spotted Seatrout: Assessing Genetic Connectivity at Northern Latitudinal Limits – $111,507

Multi-year grant to study population structure of spotted seatrout, which will allow researchers to accurately delineate stock boundaries.

· East Carolina University, Maturation and Fecundity of the Central Southern Management Area Striped Bass Stock – $40,035

One-year grant to continue research on striped bass and provide the Division of Marine Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Commission with the ability to differentiate between the wild and hatchery reared striped bass stock.

· University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Estimating Mortality for Southern Flounder Using Combined Telemetry and Conventional Tagging Approach – $150,616

Multi-year grant to tag southern flounder providing data to be incorporated directly into future stock assessments.

Habitat Focus Area – Three grants totaling $176,500 were awarded:

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Mapping Along the Southern North Carolina Coast – $16,500

Multi-year grant to complete mapping submerged aquatic vegetation along the North Carolina coast.

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Monitoring of Oyster Sanctuaries and Fish Habitat with Underwater Environmental Equipment – $145,000

One-year grant to purchase underwater camera and equipment to monitor and study oyster sanctuaries and fish habitat.

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Recycled Oyster Shell Collections: Shell as a Critical Habitat – $15,000

One-year grant to provide additional shell material needed for oyster habitat restoration projects through continued collection of shell from recycling sites.

For more information on these grants or the Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant program, contact Beth Govoni, Coastal Recreational Fishing License grants coordinator, at 252-808-8004 or Beth.Govoni@ncdenr.gov.

Posted by & filed under Fishing, Fishing News.

New black drum harvest limits take effect Jan. 1

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C Division of Marine Fisheries is reminding fishermen that new harvest limits on black drum will take effect New Year’s Day.

Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, issued a proclamation today that implements the following regulations Jan. 1:
14- to 25-inch total length slot size limit (except one fish longer than 25 inches total length may be kept)
10-fish recreational bag limit
500-pound commercial trip limit.

For specific requirements, see Proclamation at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamation-ff-73-2013

An Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan requires states to implement black drum possession limits and a minimum size limit of at least 12 inches by Jan. 1, 2014 and at least 14 inches by Jan. 1, 2016.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted at its November business meeting to implement the more restrictive size limit to avoid confusion of another change in two years.

For more information, contact Chris Stewart in the division’s Wilmington office, at 910-796-7370 or Chris.Stewart@ncdenr.gov.

Posted by & filed under Fishing, Reports category.

BIPTrout_sOde to the Speckled Trout by Dr. Bogus (11/98)

 

The Trout is a fish

You’d like on your dish

They’re as frustrating as they can be.

 

Neither plug or live bait

Nor grub or cut skate

Could reverse your fate called fish-free.

 

Even when they’re in sight

Don’t mean that they’ll bite

They’ll feast whenever they please.

 

Oh this shell game they play

“That’s trout fishin’” we say

And we love it from this year to next.

 

Now my frosted hands tingle

The thoughts of Kris Kringle

And visions of trout yet to be!!

Posted by & filed under Fishing, Reports category.

Dr. Bogus’ “Trouter” mini-Fishing Report for 11/30/13. Surf 60°, sound 58°

NOTE: www.ncoif.com is finally back and better than ever!

Every Monday Morning at 7:30 am on www.TheTalkStation.com. 107.1 FM (WTKF), 1240 AM (WJNC). If you can’t listen on the radio, you can log in to www.TheTalkStation.com and listen on-line or check out Coastal Daybreak on Facebook. The show will be linked there as an mp3 file. Now rebroadcast on each Sunday morning at 6:00am.

SPONSORs OF THE WEEK: These are VIP sponsors of Dr. Bogus and www.ncoif.com so please support them this season, Crystal Coast Adventures, Cape Custom Rods, Coastal Marine & Sports, Reel Outdoors Bait & Tackle and Village Market, Emerald Isle Realty, Cape Crusader Charters. Check the Sponsor’s section of www.ncoif.com for details and contact information, and please tell ‘em Dr. Bogus sent you!

 

Prior to this week’s freeze, speckled trout fishing has been holding up in the marshes but with a lot of spikes (juvenile speckled trout) in the mix. The normal late season and over winter locations like the feeder creeks along the sound and the rock jetties Lookout, Shaq, Radio I.)  have produced mostly undersized specks as well. And this is ditto for the surf, where traditionally mid-November and Thanksgiving particularly, were the peak of the trout season along the beach for us surf fishermen. In addition, the arrival of large numbers of juvenile trout usually indicated the end of the trout season along the beach. We will just have to wait and see. This time of year, are hours of daylight dwindle and water temperatures fall, we expect the specks to be heading for their winter homes which are south of where they normally are found and west, that is up into the deep water creeks which also hold plenty of food in the winter. So what are the best way to target trout in the so called off season.

Did any specks show on the beach after the cold front? What’s in the stopnets? What are the best live baits for trout and how do you fish them? What are the suspending baits? What did the November water temps look like? Sciaenids for surf, but are there any black drum around? Are the trout in the creeks yet? How about the Cape Lookout Rock Jetty? Need an update on Bogue Banks or Topsail piers? I got it! On Wednesday I surf fished from one end of Bogue Banks to the other, what did I see? Black drum regs, have changed, so what are they? Any changes afoot in speckled trout size or bag limits? For this and much more, you can subscribe to the full “Totally Bogus Fishing Report” for less than 7-cents/day, still only $25/year. It’s getting close to summer fishing season, so there’s no reason for YOU to miss out! Just send a check for $25 and your e-mail address to:

Dr. Bogus

P.O. Box 5225

Emerald Isle, NC 28594

 

The Ask Dr. Bogus Fishing show, heard every Monday morning at 7:30 on WTKF, 107.1 FM and 1240 AM can now be accessed on the Coastal Daybreak Facebook page. Sign up and be a friend at: https://www.facebook.com/coastal.daybreak and never miss a show. And now WTKF daily programming, including the Ask Dr. Bogus radio show is available in live streaming audio too. Just go to www.thetalkstation.com and click on the arrow. Just click to listen, it’s just that easy!

Bogus Notes: 1) Check me out at www.Facebook.com/Dr.Bogus. 2) Log onto my web site at www.ncoif.com. 3) “Ask Dr. Bogus” is on the radio every Monday 7:30 AM, WTKF 107.1 FM 1240 AM. Call in and Ask Dr. Bogus, 800.818.2255. 3) I’m located at 118 Conch Ct. in “Sea Dunes”, just off Coast Guard Rd., Emerald Isle, NC 28594. Mailing address is P.O. Box 5225, Emerald Isle, NC 28594. Don’t forget a gift certificate for your favorite angler for fishing lessons or my totally Bogus Fishing Report subscription. Please stop by at anytime and say “Hi” (252.354.4905).