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May 15, 2021

Outdoors report: Nice bass turning up despite the heat

Fishing activity has been steady despite hot temperatures early in August.
On High Rock Lake, fishermen are finding nice bass suspended on deep water structure and on underwater humps or sandbars. Chartreuse green crank baits with a blue back and shad colored rigs are working well. Carolina rigged lizards worked on deep points are also bringing in some solid 3- to 4-pound bass.
Early morning and late evening are the best times to find top water action.
White bass, white perch, small stripers and largemouth bass can be found in good numbers on many places on High Rock. Try the mouth of Panther, Crane and Abbott’s creeks, and areas near and around Bean Isle/Black’s Bottoms.
White rooster tailed spinners, plastic jigs in pearl or white, and top water plugs such as pop-r’s and skitter-pops, are very effective. Look for the feeding fish splashing the surface as they chase schools of shad. Maneuver your boat quietly within casting range and prepare for a frenzy of action as feeding fish hit almost anything within their sight.
Night fishing for crappie continues to produce good numbers and some fair catches. Most any highway bridge is a great place to try. Remember not to block the navigation of other vessels by anchoring or tying in the main channel or thoroughfare, and when anchored at night, display a white anchor light.
On Tuckertown Lake, crappie and white perch have been providing steady action most days along the Davidson County shoreline just downstream from the High Rock Dam. Minnows are the top choice of most fishermen with jigs in various colors a close second. According to the discharge rate of water from the dam, white bass, stripers and white perch have been seen in good numbers several days recently.
Stripers up to 10 pounds were caught off the fishing wall on the Davidson County side of the lake recently. These will continue to be near the dam as long as water is discharged and shad continue to be found in good numbers.
Catfish are biting well below High Rock Dam, with channel catfish up to 10 pounds seen regularly. Cut-bait, worms and chicken liver are great choices for catching a few “Mr. Whiskers” for the frying pan.
Habitat management for deer
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is among the sponsors of a daylong workshop on managing land to improve wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities.
Biologists Brad Howard, Michael Juhan and Gordon Warburton are scheduled to speak at the “Habitat Management for Wildlife and Whitetail Deer Workshop” slated for 7 a.m. to 6: 30 p.m. on Aug. 22 at the Pine Bridge Inn and Conference Center in Spruce Pine.
Craig Harper, a professor of wildlife management and extension wildlife specialist at the University of Tennessee, is also scheduled to speak.
Discussion topics will include white tail deer biology and management, management of hunters and wildlife, supplemental plantings for wildlife and forest habitat management. The workshop will also include an afternoon site visit to a nearby demonstration area.
Registration is $60 per person (including lunch) and is due by Wednesday. Dinner is an additional $15.
For more information, call Bernie Riddle at 828-284-2109 or Jim Phillips at 828-208-3800.
For information on accommodations, contact Rhonda Moore at the Pinebridge Inn at 800-356-5059.
Military license exemption
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission wants all military personnel, their families and friends to be aware of a new law establishing a hunting and fishing license exemption for North Carolinians serving full-time military duty outside of the state. The new law (House Bill 97) was incorrectly interpreted in an article in North Carolina Sportsman magazine’s August issue.
The new law states that a resident of North Carolina who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, including reservists, serving full-time military duty outside the state is exempt from hunting, inland and coastal fishing license requirements while on leave in this state for 30 days or less . Individuals must have military identification and a copy of the official authorized leave notice from a duty station outside the state with them while hunting or fishing to take advantage of this exemption.
For more information, contact the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at 919-707-0040.
Permit Hunts on Game Lands
Don’t miss the application deadline for special dove hunting areas on game lands. In Rowan County, the only public land that has farm fields and will have cut crops are the Second Creek Game Lands.
This permit only game land gives a limited number of hunters the chance at excellent dove hunting.
The Permit Hunting Opportunities Program, formerly known as Special Hunts, was established by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and allows managed hunting opportunities for dove, deer, bear, waterfowl, tundra swan, turkey, small game and furbearer trapping. This program also includes special opportunities for youth and persons with disabilities.
The program offers both quota and non-quota (point-of-sale) hunts.
This program is comprised of state-owned game lands, private lands and federal lands. The Commission administers the hunts on game lands and some private lands. It also administers the permit application and draw process.
Non-Commission program participants such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife ServiceńNational Wildlife Refuges facilitate and administer the hunts they have listed in this program. Hunts taking place on private or federal lands may have separate rules and regulations pertaining to their hunts.
For more information, refer to the Refuge Area Reference Information section. These program participants include: Currituck NWR, Mattamuskeet NWR, Pocosin Lakes NWR, Roanoke River NWR, and Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation.
A booklet titled Permit Hunting Opportunities in North Carolina outlines all of the hunts available and provides procedures for applying.
Hunters may apply in person at any Wildlife Service Agent (place that sales hunt/fish license)
The Second Creek Game Land Dove hunting involves any legal weapon.
Cost is $5.
Quota is 25 people per hunt choice.
E-mail Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources at huntfishguy66@aol.com.

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