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December 25, 2007

Christmas Fishing Report and Prayer Request

Hello from Surf City! I haven't heard of much from the surf or the piers this week. But, there are fish out there to be caught. I heard of a two pound whiting Christmas eve, from the surf, and a couple of one pounders from Surf City Pier. Also a few puffers, but small ones. They all bit cut shrimp. I saw a 14 or 15 inch speckled trout that came off Surf City Pier. This one bit a christmas tree grub on a red lead head. The guy said he had fished several days with no luck. Then he painted white eyes on his red jigs, and the result was the trout. But that's about it. If you had a boat, the reds seems to be everywhere off the intracoastal waterway, on a falling tide on and around oyster beds. Sorry I don't have more to tell you.

On a personal note, Donna's mom, Bernice Reece, aka Miss Lee, as the locals around Surf City know her, has had a setback and she is in the hospital. Her kidneys have failed, and it doesn't look good for her. All prayers are appreciated.


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny and Donna


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December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas from Surf City!







Another Christmas is here, and Donna and I are wondering where this year has gone. It seems we have worked too much, and fished too little. But we have made it through another year, and upon reflecting on the past year, we have a lot to be thankful for. We would like to thank all our readers for their loyalty to the blog. Your input has kept us going this year. We appreciate all the kind words and encouragement that you have given us. We were fortunate to meet many of you this past year, and we hope to get to know even more of our readers this coming year.

This time of the year it is easy to get caught up with the whole commercial idea of Christmas. Lets all try to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. Excuse the cliche, but I can't think of a better way to say it. I am bothered that some folks and businesses are concerned about calling Christmas what it really is. Christmas! Why do they find it necessary to call it a "family tree" or a "holiday tree"? And even more disturbing, why do we as Christians keep silent as the vocal non believing minority remove Christ from everything that we celebrate? Make your voices heard. Say it loud, and say it often.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!






Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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Inside Action HOT!





Hello from Surf City! Reds seem to be everywhere behind Topsail Island. I have had reports of some great catches the last couple of days. I am posting one email from fishin bud Jim I received today. If you don't start loading the boat after you read this, something is BAD wrong with you! Enjoy.

(quote)
YESTERDAY, ONLY GOT 4 BUT THEY WERE SMALL, FOUND ALOT OF THEM BUT THEY WOULD NOT HIT ANYTHING. SO TODAY I THOUGHT I WOULD TAKE SOME SHRIMP TAILS AND SEE IF THEY WOULD HIT THEM. WELL CAUGHT 2 ON THE SHRIMP, AND THEY WERE BOTH THROAT HOOKED, SO I DECIDED TO GO BACK TO THE GULP SWIMMING MINNOW, CHARTREUSE. STARTED FISHING AT 10:25 THIS MORNING. I HAD TO QUIT AT 1:15. I WAS WORE OUT. FIRST 10 WERE SMALL 16 OR SO INCHES. THEN I HIT THE BIG ONES, ALL 24 INCHES OR OVER, BIGGEST WAS 31 INCHES. THEY WERE HITTING ON EVERY CAST. AND I DO MEAN EVERY CAST. SAME PLACE ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE ISLAND IN THE OYSTER BEDS. THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE FISH I CAUGHT TODAY. ALL PICTURES ARE OF DIFFERENT FISH BUT THEY WE ALL ABOUT THE SAME SIZE SO IT IS HARD TO TELL. WILL SEND MORE LATER.
(END QUOTE)

Now that is some fine fish!
Thanks for sharing.


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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Update on New River Sewage Spill

Hello from Surf City! The following is an email I received from Tess Sanders of the New River Foundation. As sport fishing enthusiasts, we need to be involved and informed about conditions that may affect our sport fishing resources. Thanks for taking the time to inform yourself of the New River conditions.

(quote)
Dear Johnny,

First off, Happy Holidays! I hope you are enjoying these hectic days leading up to the most wonderful time of the year.

I have attached a letter from the Riverkeeper, Brian Wheat, updating you on the recent sewage spill. Brian finally secured a meeting with base officials on December 12th to air our concerns. It was a productive meeting, and I believe that a cleaner river will be the result of some changes that are at hand over on Camp
Lejeune. Brian feels that it is important to update you on his progress, since you are the people that “pay the bills.” He works for all of us that want clean water, and we’re grateful that we can count you among his many employers!

Hopefully you have received our Annual Appeal letter already. I want to thank you for taking the time to review the letter during this busy season, and hope that
you will join us in our fight for a clean river. We have received many responses already. If one of those was yours, THANKS!! If you haven’t sent in your membership gift or other donation yet, please take another look. We can’t continue our work without your support.

For the river,
Tess Sanders

FROM THE RIVERKEEPER--
To our members and friends:

On December 12, 2007, Tess Sanders and I met with officials from Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune to discuss the actions surrounding the raw sewage spill that polluted portions of Northeast Creek and the New River. The meeting was attended by the base utilities director and members of his staff, a representative from the environmental department and public affairs officers and touched upon several areas.

What caused the spill?:
The lift station located on Northeast Creek failed some time during the afternoon of November 19th and was not discovered until shortly after 7PM that same evening. The timing that is now being released is different than what was originally released by the base public affairs office. Because the lift station emergency power was being tested earlier in the morning, several alarms were received and silenced at the monitoring station. Among them was the alarm sent when the lift station failed.

Why did it take so long to discover the spill?:
The lift station is normally unmanned and is, along with all other major lift stations, inspected every 8 hours. Since the alert of a system failure was improperly
silenced no one was aware of a problem.

What is being done to prevent sewage spills from reaching public waters in the future?:
The base is installing a new, state-of-the-art fiber optic data network that will not allow an improper silencing of an alarm. This new equipment will provide real time video monitoring of wet wells and pump rooms. The lift station located on Northeast Creek is scheduled to have this upgrade completed by late February 2008. Additionally, the base is now looking into installing diversion channels to prevent raw sewage from reaching public waters.

In addition to discussing the spill, considerable time was spent addressing the need for more aggressive steps being taken to alert the public of a potential
health hazard. Thougt the state allows for announcing a sewage spill 48 hours after the fact it was agreed by all parties that more timely notification is needed and
the base would look into speeding up that process.

Respectfully,

Brian Wheat
New Riverkeeper

Tess Sanders
New River Foundation Onslow

(end quote)

Links:

The New Riverkeeper and The New River Foundation Onslow;


New River Foundation Onslow Blog



Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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December 19, 2007

Reds and Flounder Still Biting on the Inside!



Hello from Surf City! At least someone is catching fish! Got this from fishin' bud Jim Tuesday evening. Thanks Jim!



(quote)
FOUND SOME BIGGER DRUM TODAY BEHIND TOPSAIL ISLAND IN THE OYSTER BEDS, IN VERY SHALLOW WATER NOT 2" DEEP. YOU COULD SEE THEM SWIMMING AROUND. BOATED 33", 27", 25" AND 24". LOST 4 MORE BIG ONES. EVEN MANAGED TO SCRAPE UP A BUCKET OF OYSTERS FOR SUPPER. GO GET UMMMM.
(end quote)

Jim fishes from a boat in the waters behind Topsail Island. There are still fish back there, so load up the boat and (as Jim says) GO GET UMMM!


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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December 15, 2007

Today on the Inside


Hello from Surf City! Fishing bud and blog reader Jim sent this picture today in an email. Jim had a pretty good day on the water, but any day on the water is a good one, right? OK, here is the email...
(QUOTE)
FOUND THE DRUM ON THE BACK SIDE OF TOPSAIL ISLAND IN THE OYSTER BEDS, STOPPED COUNTING AT 15, KEPT THIS NICE 24" FOR THE WIFE, LOST 2 MORE BIG ONES , ONE BREAK OFF ONE WRAPPED ITSELF AROUND A DOCK PILEING , COULDN,T HOLD HIM OR KEEP HIM OUT FROM UNDER THE DOCK, ALL HIT 4 " SWIMING MINNOWS CHARTRUSE GULP. GOT TIRED OF CATCHING DRUM AND WENT UP A CREEK LOOKING FOR TROUT ABOUT 3 PM, DID FIND THIS NICE ONE, BUT ONLY FISHED FOR AN HOUR, NO FISHING FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS THEY SAY WITH THIS WEATHER COMMING IN , BUT WHEN YOU CAN GO GET UMMMMM.
(END QUOTE)

Nice fish Jim. Thanks for the picture.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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December 12, 2007

Speckled Trout at Topsail Beach

Hello from Surf City! I am getting reports of Specks in the surf south of Jolly Roger. I wish I could go Thursday morning, but prior commitments will keep me away from the beach most of the day. If you like black drum, they are biting at Jolly Roger Pier. They aren't very big, but plentiful. There have been some puffers, but not as many as this time last year. Maybe they will show up soon. Go gettum!


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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December 9, 2007


Hello from Surf City! Here is an email and picture I received from fishin buddy Jim.
(quote)
SURE HAS BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I HAVE CAUGHT THE FISH I CAUGHT TODAY, FISHED FROM I TILL 4, TIDE WAS OUT AND FALLING. FISHED THE GULP NEW PENNY FOR ABOUT AN HOUR, NOTHING. THEN SWITCHED TO CHARTREUSE SWIMMING MINNOW. FIRST CAST THIS NICE 24" 4LB 9 OZ TROUT BUSTED IT. CAUGHT ONE OTHER SMALLER TROUT THEN MOVED. I RAN INTO A SCHOOL OF PUPPY DRUM, CAUGHT ONE AFTER THE OTHER TILL 3:45. KEPT THIS NICE 19" FOR MY WIFE. SHE LOVES DRUM.

NEW MOON TOMORROW, SO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, NO FISH BITING FOR 5 DAYS. WE'LL FIND OUT IF THAT IS TRUE AS I PLAN ON GETTING RIGHT BACK OUT THEIR. GO GET UMMMM.
(end quote)

Thanks Jim for sending this report and the picture. We hope you get another nice one.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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Dean of Pier Anglers

Hello from Surf City! Here is an article about Angelo Depaola. Angelo has been fishing at Jolly Roger Pier for over 50 years. He recently landed his 500th king mackerel.



87-year-old has been fishing off the Jolly Roger since it was erected in 1954


(quote from Charlotte Observer)Story by JACK HORAN Special Correspondent to Charlotte Observer.

TOPSAIL BEACH --Angelo DePaola began catching fish from the Jolly Roger Fishing Pier when Eisenhower was president, gas was 21 cents a gallon and Alaska and Hawaii were still U.S. territories.

Today, DePaola could claim to be the dean of North Carolina's ocean pier anglers, striding along his wind-swept domain nearly every day from April through December, a fixture among king mackerel anglers who camp out at the end of the pier.

Now a sprightly 87, DePaola continues to land kings, tarpon and sharks from the 850-foot-long, salt-weathered pier 35 miles north of Wilmington.

Six weeks ago, he reached one of many fishing milestones when, just after dawn on Halloween, he landed king mackerel No. 500. Or so he thought.

"I had caught No. 499 the day before," DePaola said. "The next morning I got up early anticipating this. A half hour after daylight, I had the king on. Later that morning I caught another one. (But) I had 500 the day before and I didn't know about it."

Here's why. DePaola went home and began sifting through the scraps of paper that hold his fishing records. He counted each fish, starting with his first king in 1958, then did a recount. To his surprise, king mackerels Nos. 500 and 501 turned out to be Nos. 501 and 502. That's his current tally of kings, now that the fish have gone south or to the Gulf Stream for the year.

Over the past 53 years, and perhaps 10,000 days of walking the planks of Jolly Roger, DePaola estimates he's caught 800 big game fish, including cobia, red drum and even a sailfish. Plus "35 or 40 sharks that were over 100 pounds," he said. That doesn't include countless spotted seatrout and Spanish mackerel.

Robin Orr, whose family has owned the Jolly Roger since it was erected in 1954, said DePaola draws respect from pier anglers for his prowess, knowledge and willingness to help others.

"He's a unique individual," Orr said. "We have a tremendous repeat clientele, third generation. "(They ask) Is Deep still out there? Is he still around? Still fishing?"

Deep is DePaola's nickname. He picked it up serving in the Marine Corps from 1940-1946. He later became a civilian firefighter at nearby Camp Lejeune and, in 1953, started surf fishing on his 24-hour-long off days. DePaola left the beach to fish on the Jolly Roger in 1954. It was then called the New Topsail Ocean Pier. Hurricane Hazel destroyed New Topsail in October of that year and DePaola returned to the surf until the pier was rebuilt.

Fish were abundant then, he said. "You could catch so many spots (a panfish) it was ridiculous." He and his buddies caught and kept 30-, 40-, 50-pound red drum, a long-lived fish that is making a slow recovery from overfishing. "We should have been releasing them. We didn't know any better. They were so plentiful."

DePaola retired from Camp Lejeune in 1975 at the age of 55. He recalled a conversation with a colleague that went like this:

"What are you going to do?"

"Go fishing."

"You can't fish every day."

"You watch me."

DePaola and his wife, Janie, moved from Jacksonville, N.C., to Topsail Beach in 1979. Over the years, DePaola has devoted most of his time to king mackerel fishing. He caught 11 this year; his largest ever was 39 pounds.

Using two rods, king mackerel anglers tie 6- or 8-ounce bottom anchors to lines on their 9-foot-long "anchor rods" and heave the anchors 300-400 feet.

Then they put a live bluefish or mullet on their "landing rod." They attach the 30-pound test line to a clip or clothespin on the anchor rod and lower the baitfish into the water. The rig allows the baitfish to swim freely along the clipped line. The clip pops off as soon as a fish hits.

"I think it's a challenge off the end of the pier to catch a big game fish," DePaola said of his passion for kings. "When one of those things takes off, (the reel) sounds like a buzz saw."

Often, it's not a king mackerel. In 1978, he caught a 7-foot-long, 40-pound sailfish, a Gulf Stream fish rare to inshore waters. The sailfish hangs from a wall in his house along with the jaws of a thieving lemon shark he caught in 1976.

"This shark had been cruising the pier for a week, maybe longer. One of those days I had a tarpon on. Got it 50-60 yards from the pier. (Then) the water just turned red in a circle. I felt another tug and everything went slack."

The shark not only devoured the tarpon but also cut the wire leader. DePaola soon would again encounter the lemon shark.

"A couple of days later, I hooked that fish. It was a hot day in July. I had him on for maybe an hour or so," he said. The shark made a wide turn and DePaola walked his line down the pier to the beach and fought the fish for another 1 1/2-2 hours.

A friend ran ahead and yelled to swimmers to get out of the water because of the shark. "Nobody paid attention," DePaola said. Suddenly the swimmers spotted the 10-foot-long shark thrashing in the surf. "That ocean," he said, "cleared out."

Jack Horan: jhoran@charlotteobserver.com


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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A Word About Immigration

Hello from Surf City!


This is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt. Think about what he said, and apply it to what is going on NOW, with immigration. We as a nation, haven't learned much with all our liberal policies. Please keep this going. Every American citizen needs to read this!

The year is 1907, one hundred years ago
Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

(quote)"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Theodore Roosevelt 1907
(end quote)






Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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December 7, 2007

Specks at North Topsail Beach

God Bless Our Troops. Remember to thank all our veterans today, Pearl Harbor was attacked this day in 1941.



Hello from Surf City! The picture above is my Dad and the nice trout he caught on Jolly Rodger Pier. The speck hit a Berkley Gulp Swimming Mullet, white, four inch size. Dad also caught a few flounder on the same bait, but none were keepers. We caught a ton of black drum, filling our freezers and giving a bunch away. We also had a mess of black drum at Batt's Grille on the island in Surf City. They will cook your cleaned catch, and furnish french fries, slaw, and hushpuppies, for $4.50 per person.

I heard today that the specks are biting in the surf near New River Inlet at the north end of Topsail Island. I still haven't heard of many in the Surf City area. There have been a few keepers caught in the surf at the south end of Topsail Island. Reports from the inside continue to be good. With specks, flounder, and reds being caught on gulp, mirro-lures, live shrimp, and finger mullets. Yea, there are still a few finger mullets, but they are not easy to find.

Speaking of hard to find, I dug for a solid hour looking for sand fleas and found only two. The surf and piers are also producing some nice sea mullets, specifically whiting. I have seen some over two pounds, and a lot of smaller ones. I met one angler on the beach that was catching huge whiting on live shrimp! There have been a few big toad fish caught and a bunch of little ones from Surf City Pier and Jolly Rodger. Sorry, I don't have any reports from Seaview Pier.

I am going to try to get out Saturday, for a couple of hours. I will throw the mirro-lures and lead heads with Gulp Baits. I will let you know how I do. Oh, I almost forgot. A friend emailed me about his catch on the inside. He and his son limited out on trout fishing the tidal creeks off the waterway. I had no luck trying to get him to narrow down the area where he was fishing. Go get them while they are around.

I would once again like to thank you all for your emails concerning my Mother In Law, Bernice Reece, aka Ms. Lee, as she is known around the island. She is doing well, the best since her illness started last December. She is getting stronger every day.

Lets not forget to support the local bait and tackle shops by getting our fishing tackle and supplies from the locals. The prices are as good as Walmart. Thomas Seafood on hwy 50, just before the swing bridge has some nice fish for sale, as well as some beautiful shrimp. Owner Doug Thomas also had shell fish and "gator tail". Surf City Crab still has beautiful shrimp and shellfish. Jeff at One Stop has fresh caught shrimp and some beautiful speckled trout. East Coast Sports and Herrings Outdoor sports are having their end of season sales with lots of great specials. If you are thinking of buying a kayak, now is the time. Prices won't get any lower. Visit these local shops and share some fish stories.

I am sure a lot of you know Mr. Doug Haste, Doug's Tackle near Holly Ridge on Hwy 50. Mr Doug has been in poor health, and is just home from the hospital. Let's keep Mr. Doug in our prayers. We miss him at the tackle shop.

My migraines have been really bad the last couple of weeks, so with the headaches and my helping care for Ms. Lee, I haven't made it to the beach chasin' trout but a few times. So please send emails and photos of your catches. I am getting cabin fever! Guess I will have to settle for cyber fishing until I can get out.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


Baby Jesus



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67827

November 30, 2007

Inside Fishing Report



Hello from Surf City! Just got a fishing report from fishing bud Jim. Jim hasn't had much luck recently, looking everywhere, checking out his favorite holes, and catching nothing. After fishing all afternoon and getting nothing, and he decided to try a little night fishing. "BAM!" Caught two slot red drum. Then a few minutes later, a four pound speck. All the fish bit Gulp Saltwater Shrimp, white. Seems Jim may have hit on something, but I think he is going to give it some more research. Jim, give me a call sometime, and I'll do some research with you. I know it's hard to do all that research by yourself! You can blindfold me until we get to your secret fishin hole. LOL Nice catch Jim. Thanks for sharing.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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67253

Jolly Roger Fishing Report

Hello from Surf City! I finally got back to the salt water today. Dad and I fished Jolly Roger Pier. The weather was a little overcast, wind at about 15 to 25 mph, and COLD!!! Dad caught one black drum and then nothing for a couple of hours. The bite started and didn't slow until we left. We kept 16 of the best black drum, and gave the rest away. It was just too cold to clean fish. We also caught two nice chopper blues. The blues are in the fridge marinating with Texas Pete and apple juice. There were several two pound plus whiting caught, and a few small puffers. We lost count of how many baby flounder were caught but the water was full of them. The flounder were all about 8 to 10 inches. We are going back tomorrow am. I will post when we return. Felt good to be on the pier.


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny


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November 28, 2007

Rod-Man Fishing Report

Hello from Surf City!
(quote)
Hi Folks, I should be out trout fishing, but there are just too many things to do. One of which is to bring you up to date on some new things happening for Rod-Man Charters in 2008.

But first, a brief fishing report;

Inshore: Trout are biting on artificials and live shrimp at the jetties and the creeks and channels. It seems some of the best bites are at night…not unusual for trout. Some reds and blacks are biting at the jetties.

Near Shore: The blues are still biting. Albacore are hanging around. Just look for the birds.

Offshore: Warm temps are keeping the kings around. Just go fish where there is a nice temperature break and the water hits 68+ degrees.

Gulfstream: No reports…but I bet the blackfin are biting.

New for 2008: You can expect the same hard working, friendly atmosphere as always. Yet, we will be changing boats for 2008. My Sea Pro is one excellent boat, but I have been made an offer on a new boat that I do not want to turn down. No it’s not free, but it is a good deal. My new boat will have more seating, more room and the best floor plan I have seen in a bay boat. Until I actually order the boat, I want to keep the make a secret, but you will be hearing me talk about it very soon. As a result of the new boat, it’s official; the Sea Pro is for sale at a price guaranteed to sell fast. Check my announcement page for details.

Also, in 2008 I am proud to announce that we will be bringing on a new Captain to help out with weekend charters. My son, Capt. Ricky Bennett Jr. will be serving your needs many weekends and his fishing ability is sure to put you on the fish. Come meet Capt. Ricky at the Raleigh and Greensboro boat shows. He will also be a featured speaker at my fishing schools.

Finally for 2008, I will be doing something I have longed to do for many years. With the addition of Capt. Ricky to the charter business, it will free up some time for me to teach CUSTOM ROD BUILDING. That’s right; I will be holding one day and two day classes on weekends to teach rod building. The one day class is for teaching the “how to” of rod building and the two day class will allow you to build your own custom rod. I will only be doing small classes from one to four in most cases. If you are interested, please give me a call for details and to schedule your weekend…1-888-5RODMAN.

We are now registering folks for my two Rod-Man Fishing Schools. See the ad in NC Sportsman and save.

As always,
Let’s Go Fishing

Capt. Rick Bennett
Rod Man Charters
910-799-6120
(end quote)



Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny



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November 27, 2007

Where Are the Speckled Trout

Hello from Surf City! Again, I want to apologize for the lack of posts recently. Believe me, it's not by choice that I haven't been able to check out and try to verify fishing reports, or even go fishing. Hopefully I will be back out there on a regular basis before the speckled trout quit biting. Oh wait a minute. The specks haven't started biting yet! Well, maybe a few are biting. But it seems that there aren't many biting in the surf. Not like last year anyway. I have a few "unverified" reports of a few anglers getting some really nice specks down south near Jolly Roger Pier, a few more reports from the beach drivers down near the inlet, and the occasional "one of 'em was really big" from anglers around Surf City Pier. But to tell you the truth, I haven't SEEN a keeper trout lately, and I surely haven't caught one. I heard an interesting theory today while I was chatting with other trout seeking anglers with empty coolers. As you may know, we had one of the most successful king fishing years in recent history, with many catches coming a few hundred yards from the beach. Was this influx of a ferocious predator the downfall of our winter trout fishing? Could be, I guess. According to this angler, this happens each time we have a bumper crop of kings. Who am I to say yea or nae? I am certainly not an expert on king mackerel or king mackerel fishing. Any other theories? Or maybe it's just that the weather has been mild, and the water is still relatively warm, and they just aren't in the surf yet?

There are some smallish black drum coming out of the surf today, and some huge sea mullets in the early mornings. And with the water still churning and muddy, I am not surprised. I have caught the largest whiting in rough water.



Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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66980

November 21, 2007

Rod-Man Fishing Report

Hello from Surf City!

(quote)
Hi Folks; with this report I send a heart felt thanks to all of you who have made 2007 a wonderful year for me. Relatively speaking, it has been a tough year for fishing. The fish have been uncooperative at times and the weather has been the worst I have seen. Nevertheless, we have come through the season intact. For that I am thankful. I hope all of you have many things to be thankful for this holiday season.

Recent fishing has been pretty darn good. We have been catching albacore near the inlets, trout in the creeks and as recent as 3 days ago we caught seven flounder. Bluefish are thick and MOST of the pinfish have gone to wherever it is they go when the water cools.

Now here’s my report:

Inshore: The best bite has been on trout and some surprising flounder. We have found both these fish in the creeks and the channels. Catch them on GULP or live shrimp. Black drum are hitting fresh shrimp and the whiting bite is happening in the river.

Near Shore: False albacore are biting anywhere from just outside the inlets to 10 miles out. They are lots of fun on light spin tackle and will hit a casting spoon retrieved fast. Bluefish are all over the beach and inlet mouths. Many are running 3+ pounds. Be sure to check out my new False Albacore video at http://www.rodmancharters.com/fishing_videos.htm

Offshore: Bottom fishing has been very good with grouper being caught within 10 miles. Kings are biting from 20 miles on out.

Gulfstream: I have received reports of very good wahoo fishing. Blackfin tuna have been a steady bite. Kings and bonito round out the action in the stream.

It’s time to thank my sponsors. Berkley, makers of Fireline and Gulp, just to mention some of their fine products; Chatlee Marine; Okuma; Bug-Em Bait; Bass Assassin (some of the best jig heads in the business); Minn Kota trolling motors and of course my wife who puts up with me. Folks, I don’t just use these companies’ products because they are free or discounted. I use them because I believe they are the best. Try their products and I think you will agree.

Just a word on this year’s fishing schools: folks we have the best line up of speakers we have ever had, with loads of new and interesting information. Add to that lots of quality door prizes, free charters and catered lunches and I think we have the best fishing schools in NC. Check out the details at http://www.rodmancharters.com/2008-annual-fishing-school.htm. And you can see a recap of last year’s school in the video library.



Happy Holiday!!!

Capt. Rick Bennett
Rod-Man Charters
910-799-6120

(end quote}


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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November 20, 2007

At Long Last.......A Fishing Report! Bout Time!

Hello from Surf City! I have finally found time to check some of my sources and gather some fishing reports. Take note, I didn't fish, but it will not be too long that I can get out on the sand, Lord willing. From the surf, large whiting (sea mullets) are being caught on sand fleas, as well as cut shrimp. Really big ones, over two pounds are being enticed into biting a hook baited with LIVE shrimp! There are still some shrimp on the inside, so with a little work, you may not have to buy them. A few, (very few) speckled trout are being caught in the surf. It seems that live shrimp is the bait of choice, with Gulp Saltwater running a close secon. Check with East Coast Sports or Herrings Outdoor Sports for the best colors. The flounder bite in the surf is still good, with a few keepers. I even had a report of flounder biting mirro lures in the night hours. Haven't seen or heard of a spot in quite a while. The puffers should begin showing up soon. Note: I tried puffers in the early spring this year, and found them to be delicious! And contrary to what I have heard before, they are not hard to clean, and a beautiful strip of white firm meat is on both sides of the fishes backbone. Give them a try. Be careful cleaning puffers, I am told that the bladder holds some pretty "sick" stuff and you don't want to contaminate your fish with a bursted or cut bladder.

On the inside (ICW and adjacent waters) the flounder bite is still good. There seems to be more here than in the surf. There are lots of trout around, mostly in the creeks. I can't give any specifics about location (my sources would have me skinned), but look for deeper holes off the ICW and deep water tidal creeks. Try popping corks rigged with shrimp, or float live shrimp just off the bottom. Gulp Saltwater lures are producing as well. Use the Gulp on the lightest jig head you have, or use a carolina rig.

It seems the ocean water in Topsail Bay is cooling more every day. The speckled trout will start showing up at night first, then early morning as more move in. They should be schooling in the surf pretty soon.

Surf City Pier will be closing soon. If you don't have your season pass for next year, you had better get it soon. I'm just reminding you that you can't fish from the pier this winter unless you have a new key. The lock will be changed the day the pier closes, so this years key will not work.

Again, let me apologize for the lack of posts recently, but the time to get out and talk to folks has just been scarce, and I don't like to just post stuff, just to be posting. I am trying to keep the blog as accurate as possible.

Thanks to everyone for their loyalty. Also, thanks for clicking on the advertisements that are on the blog. You don't have to make a purchase, just clicking on the ads helps with the cost of keeping this blog open.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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66266

November 14, 2007

Picture is Worth a Thousand, NO, a MILLION WORDS!




Hello from Surf City! I haven't posted lately. Family responsibilities have kept me pretty busy. But as the Surf City Ocean Pier fishing season is winding down, I am reminded what an inspiration fishing can be. It is better than any medicine, more relaxing than any therapy, and a real Blessing to us all. The picture above says it all. What can be more meaningful than the expressions on the faces of these young anglers! Really, no other caption is needed.

Thanks to Surf City Ocean Pier crew for taking this picture and sharing it on their website.

Check out this picture and more on the Surf City Ocean Pier website.


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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November 8, 2007

Spots?

Hello from Surf City! It seems that the spots have disappeared. They are not biting on the piers or the surf. Sea mullets are biting a little better, but the bite doesn't seem to be as good as it was this time last year. Kings are history, and so are the spanish. The water temp is about 66 degrees. Specks should be in the surf anytime. Go gettum and Good Luck!

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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65056

November 7, 2007

Kings at Surf City Pier

Hello from Surf City!
So far this year, 223 kings caught from Surf City Pier!




Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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64943

Rod-Man Report November 7, 2007

Hello from Surf City!
Rod-Man Report November 7, 2007



Hi Folks, fall fishing is definitely here! Weather has been an issue on some days, mainly wind and fronts, but that is to be expected. We have seen the start of the trout bite and that should only improve, especially after this cold snap. Live bait is hard to find, but no worries. Recently, I had a trip without live bait and we went up a creek and used GULP SW shrimp in New Penny color on ¼ ounce jigs. We caught reds and flounder (see the pics below or on my website under this week’s fishing report.

Now here’s my report:

Rod-Man Report November 7, 2007

Inshore: Trout are biting. GULP, mirrolures, live bait if you can find it; all are catching trout. Best bites have been very early in the morning and at high and low tides. Reds have been spotty this week, but this is the time of year when they move to the ocean and patrol the beaches. Still catching some flounder. Blues (big ones) are biting in the inlets.

Near Shore: Bluefish are just about everywhere. Albacore are on the beaches balling bait. Look for the birds. Still some gray trout around when you can find a calm day.

Offshore: This may be the best year for kings in close in many, many years. Grouper are biting at 10 miles.

Gulfstream: It has been hard to get out to the stream due to winds, but one report coming in noted a good catch of wahoo and kings.

Of interest: The Rod-Man Fishing School is just around the corner. Seating is limited so don’t be left out.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: try some GULP SW on jigs and catch fish without having to mess with live bait.

Okuma VS reels continue to impress me and my customers. Recently, two customers went fishing with me wearing Okuma hats…now I have to find out where I can get one.

I may be looking for a new boat (wife says I’m never satisfied) this winter. I will be looking at Chatlee Boat and Marine in Sanford. If you are interested in a good custom rigged Sea Pro Bay Boat, contact me.

Let’s Go Fishing!!!

Capt. Rick Bennett
Rod-Man Charters
910-799-6120


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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November 3, 2007

SPOTS!

Hello from Surf City! Spots are biting everywhere! Everything! Nuff said!





Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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64405

November 2, 2007

NC Aquariums and The Town of Emerald Isle Trying to Save a Pier!

Hello from Surf City! This is great news!
(quote)
The North Carolina Aquariums submitted a proposal to the new North
Carolina Waterfront Access and Marine Industry (WAMI) Fund on
November 1 for funding to proceed with the development of three State
ocean fishing piers that will be owned and operated as satellite
facilities of the North Carolina Aquariums at Roanoke Island, Pine
Knoll Shores, and Fort Fisher. The Town of Emerald Isle is pleased
to announce that it is partnering with the North Carolina Aquariums
for the central coast pier that will be operated in conjunction with
the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The NC Aquariums' WAMI Fund
proposal seeks a total of $4 million for the coast-wide effort, with
approximately $2 million of this request earmarked as initial funding
for site planning, design, permitting, and site improvements for "The
Aquarium Pier on Emerald Isle".

The Town of Emerald Isle and the NC Aquariums have been working
cooperatively for the past 18 months on strategies to insure the
perpetual existence of an ocean fishing pier on North Carolina's
central coast. "The Aquarium Pier on Emerald Isle" project outlined
in the WAMI proposal is the result of considerable research,
analysis, and discussion over that time, and the two partners are
eager to move forward with the project. The proposed project
involves the transfer of the Town's Eastern Ocean Regional Access
facility, located oceanfront at mile-marker 15 on NC 58, to the NC
Aquariums to be the home of the new facility. The 4.2 acre site is
the former home of the historic Emerald Isle Pier that was dismantled
after the hurricanes in 1996, and has since served as a major public
beach access for the area. This property is valued at approximately
$5.5 million, and will be transferred by the Town to the NC Aquariums
at no cost.

The new ocean fishing pier and related facilities will be modeled
after a similar project currently underway in Nags Head involving the
NC Aquarium at Roanoke Island, with "The Aquarium Pier on Emerald
Isle" operated as a satellite facility of the NC Aquarium at Pine
Knoll Shores. The pier will be constructed primarily from concrete
to enable it to withstand future hurricane activity, and will jut
1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. A new, first class pier house
will be constructed and will include a tackle shop, food service,
public meeting spaces, NC Aquarium exhibits, and other amenities.
The project also calls for the construction of a smaller sound-side
pier on Bogue Sound across from the new ocean fishing pier. Total
design, permitting, and initial site improvement costs are estimated
at $2 million, which would be funded by the WAMI proposal submitted
on November 1. The Town of Emerald Isle's land contribution is
valued at $5.5 million, and the total estimated construction cost is
$12.2 million. The remaining construction cost will be funded
through a combination of NC Aquarium admission receipts, future grant
requests, local government contributions, and a private fundraising
campaign. The proposal calls for construction of "The Aquarium Pier
on Emerald Isle" to begin in 2010, with the new pier complete and
open to the public in 2012.

"We are excited about this partnership with the NC Aquariums", said
Mayor Art Schools. "We believe the project will provide tremendous
benefits for North Carolinians for generations to come. The project
will provide recreational fishing benefits, further the Aquarium's
mission to enhance the public's understanding and appreciation of the
aquatic environment, add to the area's strong tourism economy,
maintain public beach access, provide accessibility for handicapped
individuals to enjoy the ocean, and provide opportunities for marine
research and data collection." "Public ocean fishing piers remain
threatened by escalating coastal real estate values, and it is
important for the State and local governments to take action to
insure the perpetual existence of piers along the North Carolina
coast." NC Aquariums Director David Griffin echoed the Mayor's
comments and added, "We are excited about our partnership with the
Town of Emerald Isle, and look forward to working with the Town on
this important project. The Emerald Isle pier project and our other
two pier projects are a logical intersection of the NC Aquariums'
mission and the need to preserve the ocean pier experience for
current and future generations of North Carolinians. "
(end quote)



Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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November 1, 2007

Rod-Man Charters

Hello from Surf City! Here is the latest report from Capt Rick Bennet and Rod-Man Charters.
(quote)
Hi Folks, Well it has been windy and will be for a day or so more. Good thing, so to speak, the fish cannot feel the wind. Inshore fishermen have heart. There are plenty of good fish biting: reds, flounder and trout. It just takes time and patience.

Now here’s my report:

Inshore: On the falling tide we have been catching some nice redfish, some nice flounder and some nice trout. I have used live finger mullet, Gulp SW on ¼ oz. jig heads and some topwater mirrolures. Fish are showing around the inlets, the ICW, the creeks and the marsh banks.

Near Shore: And I do mean near! Plenty of nice blues are at the inlets on high tide. Catch-em on just about anything.

Offshore: No reports due to wind.

Gulfstream: No reports due to wind.

Hopefully the weather will settle down in the next few days and great fall fishing will explode. The fish are ready.

In just two short months the boat shows will be here and right behind them will be my two fishing schools in Raleigh, February 9 and in Wilmington, March 1. We have some the absolute best captains and speakers lined up this year with a program that has something and in most cases a whole lot for everyone. Individual attention is guaranteed. Check it out at http://www.rodmancharters.com/2008-annual-fishing-school.htm

See you on the water….or you can come with me.

Let’s Go Fishing!!!

Capt. Rick Bennett

Rod-Man Charters

1-888-5RODMAN (576-3626)


(end quote)

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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64167

Spots

Hello from Surf City! Spots are biting at Surf City Pier, Jolly Rodger Pier, and Sea View Pier. A few black drum, and some sea mullets are biting at night. If you are persistent, you may catch a keeper flounder. In the surf it's pretty much the same thing. Inside, there are plenty of reds moving around the weed lines and the flats off the ICW. Speckled trout in the New River area. Thanks for visiting the blog.. Hope to get a more complete report soon.


Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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October 30, 2007

Spots, More Spots, and Even More Spots!

Hello from Surf City! Sorry I haven't posted recently. Been moving and time is getting short. Just wanted to let you know, you probably already know, that the spots are biting. They have been biting all week, and they are still biting. There have been small flounder at the piers and the surf, but not many keepers. Kings have disappeared and spanish are biting bottom rigs. The water is really muddy. There have been a few black drum and some sea mullets from the piers and surf. Surf City pier has reported a HUGE red drum, 46 inches long and 28 inch girth, and was released alive. I am told that using these numbers will give you an estimated weight of 43 pounds. The formula to use is length x girth x girth divided by 800. So 46x28x28=3064 divided by 800 = 45.08 lbs. That's a new pier record! The king bite offshore continues, as well as the gray trout. The specks are biting on the inside, baits have been live shrimp, mirro lures, and assorted grub combinations. Hope I can get to fishing soon.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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63911

October 25, 2007

Ms. Addie Thornton, 84 Years Young with her FIRST FISH!



Hello from Surf City!

Above is a picture of Addie Thornton and her fish. She is 84 years young and she says this is the first fish she ever remembers catching!! She has trouble getting around by herself, but she pulled in this "whopper" with no problem.... Ms. Addie was surf fishing with her daughter, granddaughter, (Robin) and son-in-law Ray. The family group managed to catch a nice mess of fish, including several big mullets, 3 keeper pompano, and 3 big spots. Just enough for a good fish fry !!

Ms. Addie says she would love it if "She could be Famous" with a picture of her and her first fish on our blog. Here is the picture Ms. Addie. We are happy to "Make You Famous!"

Congratulations to Ms. Addie and her family. We are glad they had a nice vacation. I hope it isn't too long before they can make the trip back to Topsail.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny and Donna

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Rod-Man Charters

Hello from Surf City! This is the latest post from Capt. Rick Bennett and Rod-Man Charters. 910-799-6120

(quote)
Hi Folks, I am trying to be more punctual with my reports. Fishing is good to great, depending on if you are in or out of a rain shower. Reds, flounder, trout, Spanish, blues, kings; all are biting.

Now here’s my report:

Inshore: Red fishing is on fire right now with the best bite on the falling tide. We are using topwater, GULP and if we have to…live bait. Trout and large flounder are biting in the river and with the cool down early next week, we should get some good trout fishing everywhere.

Near Shore: In close the blues in the 2+ pound range have been in the inlets on the full tide. Spanish have been jumping from the beach out 4 miles. Catch them sight casting with the Boone Squid spoon. You can find these at Bug-Em Bait. Kings have shown up in good numbers from the beach out 10 miles; live bait, dead bait or GULP cigar minnows or GULP squid will catch you a limit. False albacore are biting jigging/casting spoons around the 7 mile range.

Offshore: Most everything is in close so no offshore report.

Gulfstream: The wahoo bite is awesome!

Registrations for my fishing schools are starting to come in now. If you want to go, and who wouldn’t want to learn from the pros, please don’t wait to the last minute. Seating is limited. A link to the fishing school and registration page is http://www.rodmancharters.com/2008-annual-fishing-school.htm

Fall fishing is into full swing and will only get better over the next several weeks. Hurry up and get on the water and enjoy the action.

Capt. Rick Bennett

Rod-Man Charters

910-799-6120
(end quote)

Thanks to Capt. Rick for this report.

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

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October 23, 2007

Current Adventure 10/23 Report

Hello from Surf City!


Greetings to all!!!

Fall fishing is in full swing and we can only expect it to get better. The water is still a little warm, but the fishing is pretty hot.

Inshore the big story is still Redfish, Flounder and Speckled Trout. Live and artificial baits are both working well. Bluefish and some Spanish Mackerel are biting in the nearshore waters. Some Gray Trout are being caught around the near shore wrecks and live bottom areas.

The King Mackerel bite is really hot from just off the beach on out to 25 miles. A few Dolphin are being caught out around the 20-25 mile area, with a report of a few nice fish being caught inside of 10 miles. The Grouper bite has also picked up, especially in the 20-30 mile range.

Oct. 14, I had Bob and Carol aboard for a half day of inshore fun. They were the winning bidders for a trip that I donated to the UNCW athletic association for a fund raiser. We spent the morning fishing around the Fort Fisher historical site and had a great time. In all we caught a half dozen Redfish, 3 or 4 Flounder and a couple of small Specks.



On the 16th, I had one of our fine servicemen, home from Afghanistan, aboard for another day of great inshore fishing. Chis had contacted me via the internet while still overseas and I let him know that I would be honored to take him fishing. I new the day was going to be good when I hook and landed a nice speck on my first demonstration cast. We proceeded to work the specks over for the first two hours of the morning. Once that bite cooled off, we went in search of Chris's first Redfish. Chris told me that he had been trying to catch a Redfish since 1967 and that day, not only did he catch his first, but several more as well. We spent the day together picking away at the Redfish and Specks.



Welcome home soldier and be careful when you return!!!

This past weekend I spent my second year in a row guiding in the Cape Fear Red Trout Tournament to benefit Cystic Fibrosis. This tournament is part of the Redbone Tournament series. Once again, I had Wayne aboard, with his new partner Blake. Again, like last year, mother nature decided to hit us with a front and man did it screw up the fishing. The first day we made a 30 mile run down the river to get on the fish that I had been catching earlier in the week, but it just wasn't to be. Though we caught a few fish, none would measure so we made our 30 mile run back to the weigh-in with empty pockets. On Saturday, we fished closer to the tournament HQ, but once again, the fish had lock jaw and we ended up with a big goose egg. That's fishing folks.

October is almost gone, but November is coming quickly and I have good dates available. With the mild weather we have been having, the fishing will continue to be great. Give me a call and book your trip today.

Tight lines and remember, "keep what you can eat and release the rest to be caught another day".

Capt. Brent Stanley
Current Adventure Charters
910.200.9959
Send mail to Capt. Brent


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