FDS: July 2004 Archives

July 31, 2004

New state record sheepshead in Virginia.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Still no explanation for the mysterious flounder blitz off Myrtle Beach last week.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tropical Depression One has made its appearance, and the NC coast from Sunset beach to Cape Hatteras is in the projected path.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A member of the state Marine Fisheries Commission has resigned, citing the fact that the Commission cares more about fish than fishermen.

Well, I should hope so.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 30, 2004

Knot follow up

Here's a quick link that covers the basic knots we'd most likely be using.

Posted by Mason at 12:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A 1000 year old brewery has been uncovered in the Andes.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 29, 2004

Good on 'em

It was only a matter of time. The Intracoastal Waterway now has a group devoted to saving it, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beer Wars are good for the economy.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This makes sense. Fines for fishing violations in Texas are based on the rarity of the critter in question.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to fish the dog days--summer fishing advice from South Carolina.

Yea, it's a whole state away, but I figured it was close enough. They suggestthe use of a three-way swivel on a drum rig, which seems to incorporate all the pain in the ass things about a fish-finder rig but gives none of the advantages.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There are unspoiled beaches on the southern coast of NC--they're just hard to get to.

That's probably why they're still unspoiled, come to think of it.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Video of a potential tropical depression shows it headed for Hatteras.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There are no pictures to guide the reader along, so I'm not sure how useful it is, but there's a fairly indepth article on shock leaders and the knots used to attach them here.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nice snook

Here's a picture of a snook that looks pretty nice.

Making a return appearence for PENN reels here.

Posted by Mason at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 28, 2004

It is now illegal to possess a gill net anywhere in Florida waters.

Speaking of nets, I figure I'll bring the seine net, and we can see if there's any bait in the creek behind the house. It may also pay to take it out to the point and drag it in during the slow periods.

The gill nets I'll leave under the house.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Atkins Backlash beer--just in time for football season.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There's an update on the kid who was bit by a shark while wade-fishing.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Money for operation of the three Cape Fear River locks has run out, so they have been closed indefinitely. This affects more that boaters--it also affects the fish.

The locks are used for recreational boating today and last were used for commercial traffic a decade ago, she said. For the past several years, the locks have been used to encourage migration of spawning shad on the river.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ok--it is possible to catch fish at Bald Head Island. You just need a boat to do it.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Blue Crabs and big drum

Found a video showing (poorly) how to hook the blue crab for drum bait. Very simple and easy to do. I think one of the things we'll be dealing with is size. I'm sure we need to make sure they crabs are legal size (5 inches I think). Wonder how well something of this size would cast? Click here for the video. I am going to keep looking for some other info as well. At least this method doesn't require rubber bands! I think this would be awesome on the point right around sunset.

Posted by Mason at 10:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"...any fish you do catch are basically nothing more than shark attractors," I said. Didn't expect to be proven right so quickly.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Drink fast enough in Nova Scotia, and you can beat the drunk-driving rap. The anti-alcohol crowd at MADD is, predictably, outraged.

A Kings County man was found not guilty earlier this year of driving his all-terrain vehicle while his blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit.

Robert Albert Gibson, 36, argued that he had guzzled five beer quickly and was stopped by RCMP near Harbourville a few minutes later.

The Canning resident blew .10 (slightly higher than the threshold of .08 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood) an hour after his arrest.

But at his March trial in Kentville provincial court, a toxicologist testifying on his behalf claimed his impairment level at the time of his arrest, based on alcohol he had consumed during the day, would have been in the .04 to .105 range.

Judge Alan Tufts acquitted him, saying he had a reasonable doubt about whether he was legally drunk at the time of his arrest.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New member for FDS...

Click here for my nomination for membership in FDS club. Don't throw this one back!

Posted by Mason at 09:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 27, 2004

The one state program for monitoring water quality in the Pamlico Sound is about to run out of money.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 26, 2004

If it becomes necessary to rent another house due to overflow in October, a possibility that does seem remote at the moment but still may happen, I think I'll rent this one, then cycle a random 4 people through it as needed. Sure, they'll be apart from the main group--which could be a plus for some, but being able to fish off the front porch ought to make up for that.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:35 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 24, 2004

Gator wrasslin' in Wilmington.

English grew up "messing with" gators near Carolina Beach, but rapid development is pushing them increasingly onto city streets. There are just more people around, and it's more likely that a city dweller will stumble on an 8-foot reptile and scream himself silly.

"Especially Yankees," English said.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A beer style we can call our own--The American Double IPA

Posted by Bigwig at 12:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Big ass goliath grouper.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2004

Fishing the rips.

Anglers new to rip fishing should consider fishing with a seasoned angler to gain awareness of both the fishing technique and the seamanship skill required. The presence of birds is a good indicator of feeding activity along a rip. If no birds are around, work the rip in several locations until fish are found. Pay attention to curves or indentations in the rip line which often are areas of weaker or concentrated flow which draw pockets of bait.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scary headline in Forbes today--U.S. Losing Its Beer Identity.

This is a bad thing?

Posted by Bigwig at 11:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Swedes will drink anything, apparently, up to and including liquid soap.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

State of the art fishfinders.

Anglers soon will have immediate weather radar and instant forecasts appear on their electronic fish finder screens.

Down the road, Lowrance said, anglers will find their lake depth screens will appear in 3-D effect to more easily visualize the haunts of fish. After that? Who knows?

At the same Nevada tackle, a new company, Biosonix, reported it soon would market a device that matched the underwater sounds of feeding fish so as to attract fish under an angler's boat.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cane pole dabbling:

The angler would tie a short (three feet or less) length of heavy monofilament on the pole and tip it with a bass-sized hook and a two to three-inch strip of red flannel, much like a fly fisherman's streamer. He would ease along the shore on a warm summer day and flick the "lure" up under overhanging bushes. When it was skittered along the surface right up in the vegetation, a largemouth couldn't stand the temptation and often ended up as special guest at a fish dinner. Dabbling was so effective when done right that it was considered by some to be unsporting. Wildlife commissions in a few areas made it illegal.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Catching a big muskie. Not something I would normally post about, but I found this passage annoying.

The man always set his drag too light, in my (humble) opinion, and fished with tackle too light ... six pound test, 16-ounce jigs. His drag whined. He blanched. He said he thought he was into something big. I heard the clear monofilament zip from the spool of his little spinning reel. (Here comes my part.) I dropped the net, yanked the starter cord again, put the motor in forward gear, and followed Kenny’s line as it sliced the cold water.

For 20 minutes I ferried Kenny this way and that in pursuit of his fish, which alternately ran with the line and sulked on the bottom. Then at last the fish came up. We saw it swim through a wave, its tiger stripes, and we gasped.

What is the damn point of using light tackle if you're going to chase after the fish in a boat?

Posted by Bigwig at 11:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Flounder blitz--in Myrtle Beach, of all places.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I found an albino crab once. That's what I get for sleeping with an albino.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2004

Black Drum aren't the only fish that wake people up at night when they feel romantic. The humble toadfish also has an audible call of romance.

Posted by Bigwig at 08:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What's the point of drinking?

If you answered "To get drunk," you might have some German in you.

Posted by Bigwig at 08:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nice animated loop of a tropical wave south of Cuba--the system is not expected to develop into anything at this time.

Posted by Bigwig at 08:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2004

Note the top middle picture here. As Woundwort says, It's a sure sign of the apocalypse.

And if that didn't send shivers down your spine, maybe this will.

The winner in the House District 8 race between Edith Warren and Mary Lawrence Williams will face Republican Curt Hendrix in November. The district includes parts of western and northern Pitt County.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Manatee in Ocracoke Inlet.

Too bad he won't be there in October.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gathering Stone Crabs--by hand.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Out fishing one day, Louis Roach was finned by a hardhead catfish. A week later he was a double amputee.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The final shape of the saltwater fishing license.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beware the Black Carp.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Molson and Coors are planning to merge.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2004

Tales From The Drunk Tank

"Morning, Honey. Sorry I got a little lit last night. I cooked you breakfast to make up for it.'

"Honey? Honey?"


Behold the power of cheese. This one's amazing. I'm pushing it up to the main blog as well.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mislabled Red Snapper may turn out to be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the seafood industry.

"The profits in mislabeling fish can equal or exceed [those of] drug dealing," says Tim Duffy, a consumer advocate in Covina, Calif. Enforcement is lax, Mr. Duffy adds, even though labels can be blatantly false.

He points to the alleged marketing of pieces of the "wings" of skate - a fish that resembles a small manta ray - as scallops. And Duffy says he recently found a packet of Atlantic cod labeled "product of China."

"I wasn't great in geography," he says, "but I don't think the Atlantic Ocean goes to China."

Posted by Bigwig at 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 18, 2004

Some interesting data on the feeding habits of Red Drum in the fall. Think shallow, and think crabs.

And yes, the data's from Texas, but I don't imagine that the drum down there know they're in Texas.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Got a 25% off coupon in the email for Internet Wines and Spirits, good from now through August 1st. It's, literally, "money."

Just enter the coupon code "money" at the checkout page and receive 25% off of your entire order. This offer applies to in-stock items only. This offer does not apply to futures orders.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2004

Ocracoke Livin'

Well, the annual trip to Ocracoke is now over…..dammit. The weather was the best we have had in years (rained only Saturday night, late) so it made it easy to get in a lot of fishing. As traditional on this trip, the fishing party included…………just me. I woke up each morning around 5:30 or 6 and fished until about 9, and then went back out each afternoon from about 5 until 8. While the weather was beautiful, the fishing was just “okay.”

I caught enough fish for the week, but nothing really spectacular. I caught a lot of flounder, some blues (a couple were decent in size), and a few speckled trout (also okay in size). What I really wanted to catch were some of the large blues people were talking about. As Mason mentioned before my trip, getting out early and fishing with a Hopkin’s lure was the ticket. I talked with one fisherman who claimed that he caught a couple off the shore that were approximately 5 or more pounds. This peaked my interest for getting on the beach by 5:30am.

One particular morning I got up around 5 and was fishing by about 5:20 or so. I threw a Hopkin’s for about 45 minutes to an hour non-stop……….and didn’t get jack, not even a nibble. I was discouraged. I tried it every other morning as well, but didn’t get a thing with it. Even though I didn’t see the fishermen around me getting anything either, I was still a bit dejected.

What pissed me off the most was the amazing number of crabs that seemed to be drawn to my line like magnets. It sucked. They often took my bait, sometimes making me reel them up to shore before they dropped off. I wanted to rip their claws off just out of spite, but resisted the urge (so PETA members save your emails).

As you can imagine, the July 4th week is a busy one, and the island is as busy then as it is at any other time during the year. Still, it was always easy to find a fishing spot at the southern end of the island, a favorite among fishermen. Apparently more people are interested in getting away from their everyday lives or sunning themselves than they are in fishing.

While I didn’t get the motherload like I was hoping for, a bad day fishing at Ocracoke is better than most days anywhere else in the world.

Posted by Woundwort at 09:09 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 15, 2004

Breaking the last Scotch taboo.

The Scots are loosening up a little when it comes to their native dram, and although some are doing their share of kicking and screaming about the misuse of their beloved whisky, many modern-minded bartenders in that bonny wee country are pouring top-notch scotches into cocktail shakers and making an array of fabulous mixed drinks. Robert Burns, the Scottish bard who penned "Auld Lang Syne," might have called these potions "cups of kindness," but he's more likely to be spinning in his grave.

Posted by Bigwig at 05:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The two best days of a man's life.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

We must live in one of the world's top fishing spots. How else to explain the appearance of a Carolinas fishing report in a South Dakota newspaper?

Posted by Bigwig at 04:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Anglers in Delaware and Maryland are having trouble finding menhaden to use as bait. The man behind the likely decline of the stocks, Joseph L. von Rosenberg III, calls the idea of a shortage an "outright lie."

Posted by Bigwig at 02:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hefe Jefe

The popularity of hefewiezens is growing fast.

I'm not surprised. I've been singing the praises of Weihenstephaner for years. It was bound to have some effect sooner or later.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tides for Ocracoke Inlet 10/16 thru 10/22

Saturday, October 16th
3:11 AM Low Tide
7:13 AM Sunrise
9:41 AM High Tide
4:04 PM Low Tide
6:30 PM Sunset
9:54 PM High Tide

Notes: If the group holds true to form, we won't have everyone on the island till about 9 pm. However, since most of us should know the way to the house by now, there's no reason for anyone to come back should a group wish to try the inlet from, say, 6 to 10 or 11.

Sunday, October 17th
3:56 AM Low Tide
7:14 AM Sunrise
10:31 AM High Tide
4:57 PM Low Tide
6:29 PM Sunset
10:45 PM High Tide

Notes: Should be possible to catch two high tides and one low pretty easily--though I suspect most people will be too hungover to do much around the first high.

Monday, October 18th
4:47 AM Low Tide
7:15 AM Sunrise
11:27 AM High Tide
5:55 PM Low Tide
6:27 PM Sunset
11:43 PM High Tide

Notes: If the advice from Georgia below holds true for Ocracoke, the evening low should be an excellent time to go after big drum in the inlet--as if we're going anywhere else.

Tuesday, October 19th
5:45 AM Low Tide
7:16 AM Sunrise
12:28 PM High Tide
6:26 PM Sunset
7:00 PM Low Tide

Notes: Early High, Early Low, and the second half group arriving. Probably a good night to drink

Wednesday, October 20th
12:50 AM High Tide
6:52 AM Low Tide
7:17 AM Sunrise
1:35 PM High Tide
5:53 PM Low Tide
6:25 PM Sunset

Notes: Good night to fish the incoming afternoon high, then return for the the evening low and sunset

Thursday, October 21st
2:04 AM High Tide
7:18 AM Sunrise
8:07 AM Low Tide
2:45 PM High Tide
6:24 PM Sunset
9:16 PM Low Tide

Notes: See Wednesday

Friday, October 22nd
3:18 AM High Tide
7:18 AM Sunrise
9:23 AM Low Tide
3:52 PM High Tide
6:23 PM Sunset
10:18 PM Low Tide

Notes: Noon to 8, Dinner at Howards, and time to kill the rest of the beer. Also, this will be the last day we can take trash to the dump, so most of the cleaning up will have to happen on Friday

Posted by Bigwig at 11:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Time & Tide

Looking up the tides for October. Once I post them, we might want to keep this advice in mind. Certainly it jibes with what we've seen over the past two years.

During the spring and summer, most inshore species will be found along the edges of the sounds, beaches and inlets. Try to locate bait. Look around the shallows of small islands and guts that drain the marsh. Trout will move into these areas and often congregate for entire tidal stages. Also look for bends in creeks that flow past shell mounds or points with sand or shell bottoms. Most of these places will be productive during the last three hours of ebb, and first three hours of the flood tide. Fish along places where small rips form or where the water flows from a point. Trout will often be out away from the "structure" in 6-8 feet of water, whereas red drum and flounder tend to be up close to the shells in less than 2 feet of water. Adjust your fishing depth and try different locations until you get a strike. When a strike occurs, fix that spot in your mind and cast right back in the same location. Trout are a tight schooling species and many times bite only in a very small zone.

When fishing around marsh islands and points, try high flood and high ebb tide stages. Rips will be easier to find during these periods. During high tide, try fishing directly over submerged shell mounds and off the tips of marsh islands. During dead low tide, take a break, eat a sandwich and wait for the water to begin moving again.

Also, note what the moon phase be while we're there.

First Quarter:

This phase typically results in much clearer water. Notice on your tide chart that the heights at high tides are in the 6.0 to 7.0 foot range. During this moon phase (waxing phase) the current will not be as strong and the waters will be much clearer. Time to go fishing!

Posted by Bigwig at 11:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beer bottle acoustics.

However, the sound of Bavarian beer being poured is much more arousing than the sound of the lighter Kölsch beer. And this can be improved upon, according to Bluter. "If the brewers manage to generate deep, slow vibrations as heard with the Czech Pilsner, their beer could become even more successful."

Posted by Bigwig at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Much as I like to think of our group as whole-hog beer drinkers, I suspect only Mangum is on track to break this record.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:51 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Ever fought a cobia

Great story as it sounds like something one of us would do: fish fight I gained a new posting skill with the URL links!! Learn something new everyday!!

Posted by Mason at 10:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Genetically modified beer is unsurprisingly unpopular in Europe.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2004

Be careful when telling a doctor how much you drink--it could mean your license.

A man who told his doctors that he was drinking more than a six-pack of beer daily is now fighting to get his driver's license back because physicians apparently reported him to the state.

Keith Emerich, 44, said Tuesday that he disclosed his drinking habit in February to doctors who were treating him at a hospital for an irregular heartbeat.

"I told them it was over a six-pack a day. It wasn't good for me--I'm not going to lie," Emerich said at his home in Lebanon, about 30 miles east of Harrisburg.

Emerich received a notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in April that his license was being revoked effective May 6 for medical reasons related to substance abuse. He has petitioned a judge to restore the license, and a hearing has been set for July 29.

Posted by Bigwig at 03:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

That Red Snapper on your dinner plate? It ain't

Posted by Bigwig at 03:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

.08. It's the law in Washington, unless the patrolman decides otherwise.

It may come as a shock, but the legal limit has become a mere formality. A Washington driver can be found guilty of DUI or "physical control" (vehicle not in motion) in two ways:

Within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood or;

While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; while the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.

What does that mean? Who decides if you are "affected by" alcohol? Usually it's the officer who stopped you -- he or she will file a ticket with the prosecutor and declare that you were "affected" by the consumption of alcohol when you drove, even if your breath test was under .08.

Posted by Bigwig at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

First there was pfiesteria, now there's a mysterious new algae killing fish in Florida.

Posted by Bigwig at 03:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The essentials of the draft Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan; a yearly closed commercial season from Nov. 8 to Dec. 31, and an eight-fish creel limit in inshore waters.

Posted by Bigwig at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bass Beer may be on the way out.

Posted by Bigwig at 02:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hot girl on girl action! -- the new old trend in beer advertising.

Posted by Bigwig at 02:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Typical journalists. How am I supposed to tell if kicking a man to death over a 12 pack is justified if I don't know what kind of beer it was?

Mind you, if 12 pack was Bud, the beating was justified if someone was forcing him to drink it.

Posted by Bigwig at 02:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2004

Lake Gaston report

Spent Friday thru Sunday at Lake Gaston. No wife but did have Holden. Tried the drum rig method for cat fishing. No luck that way. I guess too much hydrilla on the bottom or something. The heaver combo really was working well though. Switched to medium spinning gear and old fashioned float/cork rig. Caught live bream and put straight on the hook and fished in about 10 feet of water w/bait floating off bottom. Caught blue and channel cats. Largest was 11 pounds. No monsters though. Kept 4 of them on Saturday. Skinned and cut them up in chunks/strips. Sorry no blackened catfish on this trip!! Wrong atmosphere for that stuff!! Soaked in milk and then breaded and deep fried. VERY DELICIOUS eating. Not muddy at all. Water was crystal clear, easily could see bottom in 10 feet. Cats were always biting. Caught a nice 3 pound largemouth bass Sunday morning. Released unharmed. Spent the rest of the time fishing for the bream with Holden. Also managed to drink a few beers and frozen drinks!! Not too bad fishing. It was nice to actually get some good pulls. Power Pro braid worked very well. Ready for the trip in October!!!!!!!!

Posted by Mason at 04:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 12, 2004

Beware of the tarpon that lands itself.

One can only imagine the confusion once the fish began flopping around, trying to free itself from the confines of a 15-foot boat.

"It nearly tore the boat up," Donaldson said, adding that he stayed at the bow and Harrington climbed on the motor to stay out of the way of the thrashing.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another long, and I mean long, look at the imperiled Intercoastal Waterway, plus a description of a grounding in Lockwood's Folly. (login available at BGMNT)

As soon as the barges move into the bend, a sharp jerk shudders through the boat. Everyone onboard the tug is thrown forward with the sudden loss of momentum.

The Island Express is aground.

Donnelly stands up to operate the boat's controls, his only show of concern. He reverses the engines, and the boat rocks violently as it struggles to break free. The tug is lodged on a sandbar, and every move Donnelly makes seems to mire it more deeply, the engines whining in protest. The 30-year veteran sailor knows what he must do. He orders his crew to unlash the barges.

As soon as the barges are released, the tide pushes them toward a row of private docks. Stranded, Donnelly watches with a hint of worry in his eyes. He knows there isn't much time to stop an impending disaster.

He revs the tug's twin, 500-horsepower Volvo engines and the Island Express lists hard to starboard. Off the stern, the water churns into an ugly gray cloud.

The tug doesn't budge.

The article makes the point a number of times that the economic benefits to each state far outweigh the maintenance costs of keeping the waterway open, but never jumps to the logical conclusion that each state should say "the hell with the feds, we'll keep the damn thing open ourselves." To be fair, it doesn't appear, with the possible exceptions of North Carolina, which is considering buying its own dredge, and Florida, that the individual states have come to that conclusion either.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Chapel Hill town council has tabled a motion to allow sidewalk drinking un til at least September.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Chapel Hill town council has tabled a motion to allow sidewalk drinking un til at least September.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

If a brewer wants to add a little something extra to his brew in Germany, he's got to fight the Reinheitsgebot "beerocracy."

Need a login for the link above? Try BugMeNot.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 10, 2004

The Jacksonville Daily News, in a editorial that sounds like it came straight from the mouths of the commercial fishing lobby, comes out against the saltwater fishing license.

Fortunately, it's too late.

A saltwater fishing license for recreational anglers moved one step closer to Gov. Mike Easley's desk when the House tentatively agreed to the Senate's permit format. The legislation would create a $15-a-year license for charter boat fishermen or shoreline anglers. A seven-day permit designed for tourists and one-time fishermen would cost $1. The House had passed a different version last year. By a vote of 54-50, House members agreed to accept the changes, even after a one-hour floor debate that revealed casual shellfish hunters would have to get a saltwater license as well under the bill. A final vote could come as early as Monday night. The bill would then go to Easley to be signed into law. Sport fishermen has pushed for a recreational license for years as a way to generate money to research declining fish stocks. Opponents complain the bill would keep ordinary people from catching their dinner out of financial necessity. The bill does allow for indigent residents to get a permit free of charge.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 09, 2004

Coors, feeling left out of the current brew-ha-ha, is desperately seeking to join the beer wars.*

*Reg. Req. Use "bigbutts/bigbutts." Login courtesy of Bugmenot.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A low-carb beer with taste.

Watt's L.C. Amber Ale is brewed with a blend of caramel malts, as well as fresh, whole hops, which results in a full-flavored beer, Sonora brewer Uwe Boer said.

I'll believe it when I see, er, taste it.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The most popular lure of all time is 100 years old this month.

Eppinger’s original metal spoon was unique because it was hammered out to be thinner in the middle and thicker around the edges. This special design caused the spoon to wobble and swing from side to side, nearly turning over, but always righting itself. The prototype was eventually turned into a finished lure that was called "The Osprey." The fish attracting motion lead Eppinger to change the name to "Dardevel" after the moniker given to the 4th Marine Brigade. The allies called the U.S. Marines "Dare Devils" after the battle of Belleau Woods in 1918.

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July 08, 2004

The popularity of the Omega-3 health supplement is growing by leaps and bounds, and that's a problem, as the main ingredient in Omega-3 is the humble menhaden.

But the resulting added demand for menhaden worries anglers, and businesses that support recreational fishing, because menhaden are standard fare for striped bass, weakfish and other game fish prized by people who hire charter boats on the Chesapeake and Delaware bays.

Without enough menhaden, the fish they seek could be in trouble. And there are signs of trouble with at least two game fish that feed mainly on menhaden: striped bass and weakfish.

Weakfish harvests have declined to their lowest level in more than 30 years, according to a May report by the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Fish & Wildlife.

And as much as 70 percent of the striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, and 10 percent of the stock in Delaware Bay, is thought to be infected with mycobacteriosis, a disease that causes sores on some bass and attacks the internal organs of other seemingly healthy fish. Scientists think a shortage of food may be stressing the bass and leaving them vulnerable to the disease.

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A case of mistaken identity in Havelock almost put Chuck Finney's name in the record book.

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Gator Rasslin' in Wilmington.

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New security rules may mean NC ferry workers will have to open up and inspect vehicles before they can be allowed onto the ferry in future.

“Signs are up that say passengers are subject to a search,” said Ferry Division Director Jerry Gaskill. “Right now, they’re not making us inspect or search any vehicles. As I understand it, that’s something that will come out in the near future.”

The Coast Guard is charged with inspecting the facilities and the vessels to make sure they meet the standards of the security plan, but the ferry division has to do its own training.

It gets worse.

At the busiest route between Hatteras and Ocracoke, summer traffic often creates more than an hour backup in stacking lanes. Gaskill said he is not getting any additional staff .

If numerous searches had to be conducted, he said, it could stress the system.

“We’re shorthanded as it is,” Gaskill said. “Certainly, if it went to that, it would throw our schedule out the window.”

Security is one thing, but this is effing stupid.

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The CCA Wins One

The state Senate has approved legislation mandating a saltwater license for North Carolina fishermen.

The measure, which would take effect in January 2006, would require most casual fishermen to pay $15 per year for the right to fish in coastal waters. Children under 18 would be exempt. One-time fishermen or anglers could purchase a seven-day license for $1.

A person wouldn't hold an actual paper license: the Division of Marine Fisheries would keep permit owner's personal information.

Glad to see the license finally passing, but I wonder how enforcement is going to be handled if there's no physical copy of a license.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 07, 2004

The Peatinator

Scientists have discovered that the carbon dioxide exhalations of peat bogs are playing a large role in the acceleration of global warming.

As an ecologically-minded citizen of the planet, my duty is clear. If peat bogs are a threat to the planet, I must become a threat to the peat bogs.


Yes, this also appeared at the main site. I liked it that much.

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Bourbon Banana Bread

3/4 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick; see note)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

One hour in advance, bring raisins and bourbon to a rapid boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, cover and let stand; the raisins should absorb most of the bourbon; drain before using.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 6-inch or one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with both sugars until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the bananas and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just enough to blend; fold in the walnuts and drained raisins. Spoon the batter into the pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

PER SERVING: calories: 293 (40% from fat); protein: 4.4 grams; total fat: 13.5 grams; saturated fat: 4.6 grams; cholesterol: 56 mg; sodium: 252 mg; carbohydrate: 38.7 grams; dietary fiber: 1.7 grams

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Nothing like an American beer judge when it comes to embarrassing the country in front of foreigners.

Case in point was a young American, who gave seven out of 10 to a beer that drew ones and twos from the rest of the panel (except for one Slovak female, who gave it a five). Our British judge asked if the American had "gone mad," and went on to describe the sample in unprintable language. The beer caused our American colleague further embarrassment when it was revealed to be non-alcoholic Topvar.

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July 06, 2004

I want a kayak.

Take myself on an Ocracoke inlet sleigh ride, I will.

Update: Here's another pic of the kid and his fish.

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If you're bored, drunk and aren't catching any decent fish, you can always make the ones you are catching......glow.

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Carolina rig a goldfish when going after Yadkin River Flatheads.

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Well, Duh

Lower drunken driving limits found to have little effect on actual drunk driving practices.

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An idea for next year's trip--skip the house, and go directly to the houseboat.

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What a half-day trip is like on the Capt. Stacy, from the guy on the other side of the office.

"Two and a half hours out. Two hours fishing. Two and a half hours back."

It seems "speedy delivery" isn't part of the Stacy's lexicon. Boats were passing them left and right on the way out and back. As for the fishing, it consisted of mostly undersized black sea bass and porgy.

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July 02, 2004

Six North Carolina beaches have made the 2004 Certified Healthy Beach list.

Bald Head Island
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
- Cape Point
- Ocracoke Island
-South Core Banks
- Shackleford Banks
Holden Beach

South Carolina and Virginia each have one measly beach each on the list--Kiawah Island and Tom's Cove Beach, respectively.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm not the only spool thumber out there.

Line melted off the spool as he made a wide semi-circle around the boat. The fish was a big bull redfish who didn't have any quit in him. We could have pulled anchor and followed, but I didn't want to stop the others from trout fishing. So I just held on as my line got lower and lower on the spool. Finally, the line was almost gone, so I stuck my thumb on the spool and tried to stop him. The 15-pound monofilament line stretched out to the max and broke with the sound of a .22-rifle report.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

South Carolina gets another artificial reef.

"The high structure tends to bring in pelagic species," Martore said earlier this week. "They like to school around tall structures like that."

A group of McClellanville residents recommended a number of sites for the reef, and Martore and company took it from there.

"We checked out the areas and did bottom surveys," said Martore. "Bull's Bay is a good nursery. As [fish] leave [Bull's Bay] and the salt marshes, it will give them an area to grow up in. It should really get a variety of inshore fish.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ten of the most enticing beer styles, via the gd Atlanta Journal Constitution. (login available at bugmenot)

Think of it this way: What if the greatest chefs were allowed only to cook with low-fat margarine and skim milk, rather than butter and heavy cream?

Many of the beers we've been missing use the brewing equivalent of butter and cream, in the form of dark-roasted malts, exuberant yeast strains and exotic flavor additions. If you're used to drinking light lagers, be prepared for a shock.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A glossary of beer terms, taken whole from the Atlanta Journal Constitution because their registration process is so gd intrusive. ( though I got in thanks to Bugmenot.com)

abv – Alcohol by volume, measured as a percentage of the total volume, such as 7.5 percent; the higher the percentage, the stronger the beer; wine is usually 10-14 percent abv, but spirits are measured by "proof," an older method not based on volume; for example, 100 percent proof rum contains 50 percent alcohol by volume.

Ale – Beer typically fermented at warmer temperatures (60-72 degrees) with "top fermenting" yeasts that tend to impart fruity, spicy flavors; one of the two main families of beer styles; examples include IPA, stout and barleywine.

Beer – An alcoholic beverage made by the fermentation (with yeast) of malted grains, principally barley (and sometimes wheat, oats and rye) and flavored with hops (and sometimes spices and herbs); at its most basic, beer consists of water, malt, hops and yeast.

Hops – The aromatic and resinous female flower cones of the perennial vine, Humulus lupulus; used in brewing to give the distinctive bright aroma and bitter flavor to beer and also acts as a preservative; "hoppy" is used to describe flavors and aromas that range from spicy to floral to citrusy to herbal.

Lager – Beer typically fermented at colder temperatures (46-55 degrees) with "bottom fermenting" lager yeasts that tend to impart clean, crisp flavors (lagers are cold aged at 32-45 degrees for weeks or months); one of the two main families of beer styles; examples include pilsner, bock and märzen.

Malt – Barley or other cereal grains that are prepared for brewing by being steeped, germinated, roasted; the extent to which malt is roasted determines the color of the beer, from pale gold to tar black, and contributes to the flavors of the beer, from caramel to chocolate to coffee; malt provides the fermentable sugars that become alcohol; "malty" is used to describe sweet or bready flavors and aromas.

Trappist – Order of Cistercian monks making strong ales in Belgium; labels on beers from the abbey breweries at Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westvleteren and Westmalle are imprinted with an "Authentic Trappist" logo.

Yeast – Beer yeasts are simple, single-celled fungi that convert malt sugars into alcohol; yeast by-products give beers some of their most important and varied (but often underappreciated) aromas and flavors, ranging from fruity to spicy to minerally to woody. Ale yeast works at warmer temperatures and tends to settle on top of the beer during fermentation, while lager yeast works at cooler temperatures and tends to sink to the bottom.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

It was a potential world record, and he released it.
Now there's a fisherman.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

You know it's been a crappy tournament when the winning fish is a 23 pound tarpon.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquaria.

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July 01, 2004

Now that's a good way to post a fishing report, even if it is set in the future.

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Beer--bad for democracy.

Nonetheless, some Russian political scientists are inclined to blame the fashionable drink for young people's increasing political apathy. For example, they point out that the turnout at the recent presidential elections was far lower among young people than the older generation. Statistics suggest that only 20% of young people are ready to defend their civil rights, and perhaps the beer revolution has played a role here.

"The young people think that beer, foreign clothes and CDs are all manna from heaven, and they don't have to do anything to obtain it," complains famous sociologist Mark Urnov. "They are convinced that nothing depends on them. They would rather go and have some beer than cast their votes at polling stations..."

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After the state's failure to pass new regs governing recreational striper take, the Atlantic States Marina Fisheries Commission may ban striper fishing in New Jersey after August 1st.

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North Topsail is in a bad way. If a hurricane hits it this summer, I don't suspect it will make it through.

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Par Fishing: It's not golf, it's not fishing, but you know there's just gotta be beer involved somewhere.

To get from the tee box to the green requires the use of a driver, or in this case, a 12-foot surf rod with a 12-pound test line. The lure of choice here is a two-ounce weight, something that is capable of traveling down the fairway.

Out on the fairway, Par Fishing anglers go to a 7-foot, medium action rod — replacement for most fairway woods and irons — with 8-pound test line and usually a 5/8-ounce hookless jig.

''You can take a cast (or stroke) off your score if you can flip, pitch or cast the lure into the cup from off the green,'' Afflick adds. ''And then you get to cast first on the next hole.''

Posted by Bigwig at 09:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A Reel Pain In The Ass

The more expensive the reel, the more care you need to give it.

Using warm water and mild detergent or some biodegradable cleaner such as Simple Green, wash and rinse the reel. Don't forget to clean the worm gear that runs the reel's levelwind on baitcasters.

Make certain to use warm water, Reina said. Cold water can solidify salts and minerals. Warm water dissolves them.

Once the reel is cleaned, dry it with a soft towel, hair dryer or compressed air.

Then lightly — lightly — lubricate the moving parts
such as bearings, spool spindles, gears, worm gear and pawl.

And that's not the half of it.

I think I'll stick with cheap.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A Jug of Wine.....And to Hell With The Rest Of It.

I wanna be a Beer Poet. I mean it.

In that year, Mace, inspired by the debauchery of Baudelaire and Dylan Thomas, joined together with fellow rhymesters Gorney and McGulligan to dedicate twelve months of their life "steeped in the alcoholic madness of the heart" in order to bring their consciousness closer to artistic purity. So the three poets, all hitting 40 years of age, embarked on a tour of the pubs of Britain and the bars of the world.

There were five daily rules.

1. Each poet must be drunk by noon.
2. A poem must be composed by closing time.
3. The poet must not leave the pub until closing time, unless the bar staff eject him.
4. If the bar staff eject the poet before closing time, he must go to another pub.
5. Only alcoholic drinks may be consumed. Water and mixers are banned, but ice is allowed. Food is also permitted.

To pay for the journey, the poets applied to the lottery fund for enough money for travel, accommodation and to keep them "spiritually lubricated" for a one-year period.
As I asked after the composition of that day's poem, Mace, seriously blotto and almost incomprehensible, brought out a copy of Palgrave's Golden Treasury. He chose a poem at random – in this case, Shakespeare's Sonnet Number 116, 'Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments' – and said, in a revealing confession, "I just pick any old piece of verse, move the words around or invert its meaning and hackademics like you write about how I am being inter-textual, post-modern or creating a dialogue with the past!" Although Mace then laughed in my face, I asked if this did not interfere with a certain sense of pride in his professionalism, but he seemed not to hear and thus avoided giving an answer.

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Anheuser-Busch's tips for the best beer drinking experience on the fourth.

-- Always store your beer in a cool, dark location. Heat and sunlight can diminish the freshness of beer.

-- Beer is a food product and should be served at 40 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal freshness and drinkability.

-- Enhance the beer drinking experience by incorporating all the senses: Pour your Budweiser into the center of a beer-clean glass. Doing so releases the aroma, ah, smell those hops and malted barley. Notice the rich color and collar of foam.

--Then toss it out like the crap that it is and get a real beer--a Guinness, say.

Or a Hefeweizen--which, by the way, has so much flavor it doesn't need the dry glass Bud so desires. If fact, it's recommended that one pour a Hefe into a wet glass--like bringing coals to Newcastle for an A-B product.

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