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January 31, 2009

BRRRRR! It's cold!

Fishing Topsail Message Board
Topsail Area Charter Boats
2008 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide


Hello from Surf City! Water temp on the beach is now below 50* at 48*. The specks may still be here in spots, but I haven't seen any or talked to anyone who has caught any. I am hearing there are still a few inside, and the ones being caught are small. I am hearing this is the coldest winter in years, and I surely believe it. The wind just cuts through us when we are walking on the beach. Nothing biting, and it's cold on these old bones, so I am getting my reels and rods ready for spring with winter cleaning and guide replacement. Fresh line will go on most, although I think i will leave some backing on most reels and go for topshot of a better quality line, maybe braid. Just a thought, as I haven't used braid since the early 80's and my largemouth bass fishing days. I know it has changed a lot since those times. I don't get to fish for the bucket mouth bass often, but I may try to get to a freshwater lake or maybe hit the New River upstream from J'ville. Donna and I are moving to some new digs late Feb, a larger place in Topsail Beach. I am looking forward to the move, as I will have surf access as well as sound access via Banks Channel, both within walking distance. I will be busy moving, but if I hear something fantastic, like a 20 lb striper in the surf here at Topsail, I will post it. Good luck in the off season. God Bless you all and thanks for making 2008 a great year at fishintopsail.com.

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

January 22, 2009

No Fish for You!

Fishing Topsail Message Board
Topsail Area Charter Boats
2008 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide


Hello from Surf City! With the recent cold front and resulting snow, fishing is dead from the surf. All the piers are now closed. Haven't seen anyone surf fishing for days. I have seen some boats in the ICW as I crossed the swing bridge, but I haven't had any reports of any catches. Snow blanketed the island for the past couple of days, but most melted today and is now a distant memory. It's still cold though. Too cold for me anyway. Can't wait for spring.
Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

These pics are from the 1989 snow on Topsail Island.

January 20, 2009

Winter Fishing Around Wilmington, NC











(Snow day): A good day to sit at the house; drink coffee and write a fishing report! Well folks here is some of that “you never know weather” in North Carolina. Freezing cold and dry one day; the warm and wet another; bam snow! Go figure!! With all this crazy weather sometimes we ask; are the fish still biting? Yes they are; to the fishing report>>>

I’ve really had a mixed bag of fishing lately; a little fresh, salt and brackish water. We did some Speck fishing on 8-1, with some great success. We caught 16 Specks, 2 grays and a few black drum; two of the trout were over five pounds and one was 6.7. They mostly hit live shrimp and a few hit grubs in colors chicken on a chain and chart-diamond. We fished the falling and raising tides.

There are still some very nice Cape Fear River stripers biting. Most of the fish are in the four to twelve pound range, with a few bigger ones mixed in as well. We are catching the stripers on hard and soft baits. In the hard bait range; X-raps and mid-water crank baits are working well. As far as soft baits; Saltwater Assassin (Blurp) jerk shads in colors pearl and electric chicken. We are rigging the blurps Texas style, with a large bass worm hook.

On some of the windier days when it’s been hard to get out on the coast to fish we’ve been doing a little bit of fresh water fishing. The large mouth Bass have been biting well. Most trips we are catching nine to over fifth teen bass a day. The size of the Bass are running one to over five pounds, most fish are two to three pounds. Bass are hitting Bass Assassin rubber worms in colors black and red shad “red and black”. Rigging the worms Carolina style seems to work the best. On the last trip we caught a nice bream on a bass worm “he was hungry!

Fishing gear we use:

Stripers and trout: Pflueger Medalist spinning reels in sizes 7035 and 7040. Ugly stick lites 6’6” and 7’ rods in med-light and med action. Bass fishing Pflueger Supreme spinning reels 9030XT and an All Star ASR series rod 7’ ASR844S “great fresh water combo”!

In Other Fishing News: There are some great boat and fishing expos coming this winter to North Carolina. If you like fishing and boats you don’t want to miss these shows and fishing seminars! Here are the one’s that myself as well as other Ranger boats pro staff members will be at this winter.

January 23-25, 2009 - Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show - Raleigh, NC. www.raleighconvention.com/boatshow/ One of our top Ranger pro staff members will be at this show; C.A. Richardson of Flats Class TV and team Evinrude. This show will have lots of boats for you to take a look at, get in and get a feel for; “maybe you will find your next boat there!

January 31, 2009 - Saltwater Sportsman National Seminar Series – Wilmington, NC. http://www.nationalseminarseries.com/ Location: Hilton Riverside Wilmington- Grand Ballroom. This is a great day of seminars from local, regional and national fishing captains and guides! You can learn a lot at this great day of seminars.

February 20-22, 2009 - Carolina Power & Sailboat Show NC State Fairgrounds - Raleigh, NC. http://www.ncboatshows.com/ This show will have lots of nice boats to see!

March 21, 2009 Saltwater Fishing School Saturday, 2615 Jefferson Davis Hwy (US 1 South) - Sanford, NC. http://www.northcarolinasportsman.com/
This all-day event will feature successful tournament anglers, prominent charter captains, top notch guides, knowledgeable pro team members, experienced local fishermen and well-informed industry professionals giving tips, plus explaining lures and techniques used to catch everyone's favorite fish.

If you get a chance you should really take the time to visit some of these shows and seminars. You will learn lots of great info from the fishing seminars and see some great new boats! For more info on these shows and seminars just go to the links on this page.

Thanks for reading this report; I’ll see ya on the water!

Good Luck Fishing,

Captain Jot Owens
http://www.captainjot.com/
910-233-4139




January 18, 2009

Topsail Report

Fishing Topsail Message Board
Topsail Area Charter Boats
2008 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide


Hello from Surf City! Not much going on in topsail. Haven't heard of anything caught in the
surf for the last week. Cold front just about stopped everything. I
hear that boats right offshore are catching stripers. We don't seem to
get many here. They are always to the north and south, as close as
Cape Fear. If you are going out, good luck. Stay warm!!

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny
http://www.fishintopsail.com

January 16, 2009

SPOTTED SEATROUT ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO MEET

Fishing Topsail Message Board
Topsail Area Charter Boats
2008 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide


Hello from Surf City!
We got this notification from the NC Dept of Environment and Natural Resource today. Thought some of you may be interested.

[quote]
MOREHEAD CITY- The Spotted Seatrout Advisory Committee to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 12 at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resource Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

See attached agenda.
For more information, contact Beth Burns at 252-473-5734 ext 221 or Beth.Burns@ncmail.net or the Marine Fisheries Commission office at 252-808-8022.


MFC Spotted Seatrout FMP Advisory Committee Meeting

February 12, 2009 at 6 p.m.

NCDENR Regional Field Office – Washington, NC

AGENDA



§ Introduction
§ Modifications to the agenda
§ MFC Update
§ Roles and Objectives, Travel
§ Update Timeline
§ Stock Assessment Executive Summary
§ Public Information Brochure (PIB)

· Goals and Objectives

§ Potential Issues
§ Spotted Seatrout Life History Information
§ Rules and Regulations
§ Meeting Arrangements
§ Next Meeting

· Issues

[end quote]

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny and Donna
"Fishin'Topsail"

January 11, 2009

Topsail Report and Flounder Recipe

Fishing Topsail Message Board
Topsail Area Charter Boats
2008 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide


Hello from Surf City! It was too windy for me to fish today, but Donna and I took a long walk on the beach just north of Jolly Roger Pier. The peanut pogies were in the water thick, and the birds were having a feast. We didn't see anyone catch a fish, but we enjoyed our walk. The water temp is back up to 56* today. Good news for our speck hunters.

Check out a new recipe for flounder on our recipe page.

Have a wonderful day, and get out to the beach before the water gets too cold.

January 6, 2009

The Bigger Cape Fear River Stripers Are Biting!


Folks, it’s a new year! Gas prices are down, weather has been pretty warm around these parts and fishing has been pretty good too! I hope fishing will be as good this year as it was last year; but with better gas prices!! I think that would make a lot of us happy; for this up coming summer fishing run! Let’s talk fishing, to the fishing report>>>

Those Cape Fear River stripers are still biting well. Most of the stripers have been in the 18” to 28” range with a few bigger stripers mixed in too. We caught one of our top three largest Cape Fear Rivers ever just before Christmas Eve; she was 31.6 pounds. We were fishing a drop-off on the edge of the river channel; throwing green-back x-raps 4 3/8”. When my friend Duane’s lure got smacked; the fish about took the rod out of his hand! Fifth teen minutes later he got her to the boat; photo, tagged, weighted, and released. That was one striper I’ll never forget!

The stripers are still biting good ole’ x-raps, “blurp” jerk shad (5”) and swim shads. Colors that seem to catch them, green back, blue back and some white hard lures. In the soft bait colors Electric chicken, Chicken on a chain, pearl and fire tiger seems to do the trick. We are casting on drop offs, creek mouths and turns in the river. You never know where you will catch one, you just have got to go and try!

There has been some rather nice catfish coming out of the river as well. Most of the cats are hitting chicken livers (fresh as possible). The cats are hanging around docks and brush piles. Fishing Carolina rigs with forty pound leader and L42 or circle hooks in sizes 2/0 to 4/0 will work. There has been a few cat fish over twenty pounds and larger caught.

The speckled trout have been hit and miss lately, some days we catching some days we don’t. When we do get them; live shrimp has worked, as well as grubs have. Just lately I’ve had a few friends catch some bigger trout around the Masonboro jetties. When I’m looking for bigger trout, I turn too the live shrimp, not to say that big trout will not hit lures; they will! But for ease of fishing with charters; live shrimp do the trick time and time again!

When we are using grubs these are some of the patterns that are catching trout. One grub color by Saltwater Assassin that has really been a great one this season is the new color (Chicken on a Chain). Some other colors that are producing well are salt & pepper, chart-diamond, space guppy and pearl. We rig the grubs on jig heads in colors black and red; in sizes 1/8, ¼ and ½ oz. With a twenty pound fluorocarbon leader, I don’t use a lot of floro, but I do for speckled trout fishing.

The Fishing gear we use:

Trout and Stripers: Reels Pflueger Medalist spinning in sizes 6035 and 6040. Rods: Ugly stick lites 6’6” and 7’ Med & Med-Heavy. 12 & 20 pound Ugly Braid. Bait cast rod and reel combo Pflueger Supreme low profile with an All Star Platinum P845MC 7’ rod. Great striper set up!

In Other Fishing News: Don’t forget starting this coming weekend; there are some great boat and fishing expos coming to North Carolina. If you like fishing and boats you don’t want to miss these shows and fishing seminars! Here are the one’s that myself as well as other Ranger boats pro staff members will be at this winter.

January 9-11, 2009 - Raleigh Bass & Saltwater Fishing Expo NC State Fairgrounds - Raleigh, NC. http://www.ncboatshows.com/ This is a GREAT show, with over 160 booths offering everything from the latest lures, plastics, jigs, custom rods, apparel, knives, product sample booths, hard-tops, saltwater charters, fresh water guides, cast nets, gaffs.....by far one of the best shows of its kind in the Carolina's and Virginia. I will be there along with other Ranger pro staff members who include; Jeff Cronk of Fish’n 4 Life charters and Capt. Mike Taylor of Taylor-Made charters, as well as many others fresh and salt water pros! I will have tarpon and cobia fishing seminars all three days of this show.

January 23-25, 2009 - Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show - Raleigh, NC. www.raleighconvention.com/boatshow/ One of our top Ranger pro staff members will be at this show; C.A. Richardson of Flats Class TV and team Evinrude. This show will have lots of boats for you to take a look at, get in and get a feel for; “maybe you will find your next boat there!

January 31, 2009 - Saltwater Sportsman National Seminar Series – Wilmington, NC. http://www.nationalseminarseries.com/ Location: Hilton Riverside Wilmington- Grand Ballroom. This is a great day of seminars from local, regional and national fishing captains and guides! You can learn a lot at this great day of seminars.

February 20-22, 2009 - Carolina Power & Sailboat Show NC State Fairgrounds - Raleigh, NC. http://www.ncboatshows.com/ This show will have lots of nice boats to see!

March 21, 2009 Saltwater Fishing School Saturday, 2615 Jefferson Davis Hwy (US 1 South) - Sanford, NC. http://www.northcarolinasportsman.com/
This all-day event will feature successful tournament anglers, prominent charter captains, top notch guides, knowledgeable pro team members, experienced local fishermen, and well-informed industry professionals giving tips, plus explaining lures and techniques used to catch everyone's favorite fish.

If you get a chance you should really take the time to visit some of these shows and seminars. You will learn lots of great info from the fishing seminars and see some great new boats! For more info on these shows and seminars just go to the links on this page.

Thanks for reading this report; I’ll see ya on the water or at the shows!

Good Luck Fishing,

Captain Jot Owens
http://www.captainjot.com/
910-233-4139




January 4, 2009

N.C. Aquariums Planning for Piers

Fishing Topsail Message Board
Topsail Area Charter Boats
2008 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide


Hello from Surf City!
Please take time to read this press release from the NC Aquariums. Thank you for your time.


Press ReleasePress Release
North Carolina Aquariums Launch Pier Efforts


[quote]
In order to preserve a coastal tradition that weather and economics have nearly erased from the shoreline, the N.C. Aquariums want to build and run three storm-resistant ocean fishing piers – one near each of the state’s aquariums at Fort Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores and Roanoke Island.

"We are losing piers along our coast, and more are likely to disappear,” said Bill Laxton, chief deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “Our goal is to build three new concrete piers that will withstand coastal storms and provide future generations with invaluable ocean access."

Aquarium staff views the proposed educational piers as another avenue to advance the Aquariums’ mission of inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments.

Piers provide a vantage of the surf zone to visitors who come just to stroll along the deck. In addition, the Aquariums’ proposed pier complexes will facilitate beach access and other recreational activities.

The interest in recreational fishing presents a wonderful opportunity to teach conservation,” said Division Director David Griffin. “Getting people out into their natural surroundings is the most effective form of environmental education.”

The Aquariums have asked for $4 million from the state’s Waterfront Access and Marine Industry Fund (WAMI) toward the development of the piers. The General Assembly included the WAMI program in the 2007 state budget for projects that improve public and commercial waterfront access. The move came after a committee appointed by the legislature took a broad look at diminishing waterfront accessibility of all types.

Visitors and tourism-oriented businesses have mourned the rapid vanishing of fishing piers in the last decade. A succession of hurricanes in the late 1990s wiped out many of these gathering spots, favored by vacationers and locals alike. Soaring real estate values spelled the demise of others.

Griffin noted that fishing piers have played an important role in the culture and history of the coast, as well as in the tourism-driven economy. The price of oceanfront real estate makes the prospect of private investment in new piers unlikely.

“The North Carolina Aquariums are uniquely positioned to address this loss,” he said. “We already have well-established programs and facilities within an easy drive of all the major tourist beaches.”

The proposed piers will extend 1,000 feet into the Atlantic, with concrete pilings to withstand crashing waves and high winds, and timber decks to reflect tradition. The design will employ “green” building principles and stormwater treatment methods. The facilities also will accommodate people with disabilities.

Anglers and vacationers won’t be the only users. The proposed complexes include pier houses, exhibits, classrooms, meeting and event rooms, accommodations for other water-based activities, and staging areas for data collection and research. The sites also will provide bathhouses, parking and access for beachgoers. Among the many programs planned will be fishing conservation workshops, beach walks, sleepovers, science camps, school programs, kayak excursions and surfing classes.
“With the piers, we’ll be able to bring new programs to more people,” Griffin said.

The Aquariums already have two of the projects underway. Construction is set to begin in mid-2008 on a concrete pier to replace Jennette’s Pier at Nag’s Head, in conjunction with the Aquarium on Roanoke Island. The first fishing pier on the site was built in 1939. The N.C. Aquarium Society, the Aquariums’ member-based support group, acquired the existing pier in 2003, and turned it over to the state in October. The new pier is expected to open in 2010.

The Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores plans to begin design and development on its pier next summer. The Aquarium is partnering with the town of Emerald Isle to build the project at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access . The 4.1-acre site was home to the Emerald Isle Pier until it was torn down after damage from two 1996 hurricanes. The site, eight miles from the Aquarium, stretches across Bogue Banks at about its midpoint. The Aquarium plans a fishing dock, kayak launch area and other amenities on the sound side section of the property in addition to the ocean pier and facilities.

“We are excited about this partnership with the North Carolina Aquariums,” said Emerald Isle Mayor Art Schools. “We believe the project will provide tremendous benefits for North Carolinians for generations to come.”

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is considering various sites for its proposed pier project.

Each pier is estimated to cost about $12 million. The Aquariums plan to pay for the projects with money from Aquarium admission receipts, pier user fees, grants, contributions from other government agencies and donations from the Aquarium Society.

Tourism industry leaders welcome the efforts to perpetuate the familiar and family-friendly coastal icons. “The pier and sound side access here on the Crystal Coast will be a welcome addition to the area,” said Carol Lohr, executive director of the Crystal Coast Tourism Authority in Carteret County, home to the Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. “The expanded programs from the Aquarium, and the fact that both will be open to the public, will be another eco-friendly area the tourism authority can market and promote.”
[end quote]

This article can be read on the NC Aquariums website. Click Here

Folks, this is a great idea, and one that as pier fishing enthusiasts, we should wholeheartedly endorse. I am waiting for word from the NC Aquariums as to what we can do to help get this program implemented. I urge you to contact your state reps in Raleigh to urge them to help with this plan any way they can. We can't do a lot as individuals, but together we have a voice. Let's use it.

Thanks,

Till next time....
Tight lines!
Johnny

January 1, 2009

Red's, Specks, and Dolphin Dip

Fishing Topsail Message Board
Topsail Area Charter Boats
2008 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide


Hello from Surf City! Happy new year! Thanks for all your support last year with the message board and the blog. www.fishintopsail.com
The speckled trout are still in the water and it's cold!!! Water temp 53*, air temp 44* at noon. Water temp is still above 50, so the reds and the speckled trout will still be out there. I've seen mostly dink specks, but there have been some good ones, three to four pounds. Also some slot reds on mirro-lures. I am hearing purple, and pink, don't know the numbers. I might be down at New Topsail Inlet in Topsail Beach on Saturday. I am in a black Chevy Blazer. See you on the beach! Good luck!
Dolphin Dip at Surf City...... My brave wife Donna swam in the Dolphin Dip fund raiser at Surf City today at noon. BRRRRRRRR!! There seemed to be several hundred swimmers, along with at least that many on-lookers. I feel guilty for not swimming with her. I guess I will have to give it a go next new years. Johnny' aka "FishinTopsail"

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