FDS: October 2004 Archives

October 28, 2004


Belgium's beers are unique because, unlike brewers elsewhere in Europe, the Belgians were perfectly happy to put damn near anything into their brew.

Unlike brewers in other counties, however, the Belgians took to hops not as a replacement, but as an addition to their existing brewing ways. While the use of gruit in beer became strictly verboten in Bavaria by the Beer Purity Law of 1516, for instance, the Belgians continued their tradition of flavoring many of their beers with herbs and spices. The benefits of this tradition has come to us in the form of such brews as the Hoegaarden Wit, the incomparable flower-flavored Cantillon Iris Gueuze, the hoppy-spicy crossover Duvel Strong Pale Ale from Moortgat, or the sublime, champagne-like DeuS from Bosteels in Bruggenhout. Likewise, while the Germans declared the use of sugar in beer-making a virtual crime, the Belgians steadfastly continued to put their rock candy sugar into many of their vats.

While the British insisted on fresh hops for their ales, the Belgians were just as happy to flavor theirs with two- or three-year old hops, a custom still practiced today in lambic brewing. Likewise, while most ale brewers started to make beer just from barley - unless they made Hefeweizen - the Belgians have always felt free to mix different grains in the same brew, as evidenced by a decree issued in the town of Halle in the Pajottenland (the lambic-brewing region in the Senne Valley to the south-west of Brussels). This decree dates from 1559, during the Spanish occupation, and stipulates that the local beer "must be made from 16 parts grain: that is, from 6 parts wheat and 10 parts oats and barley, as is the ancient custom." That 1559 decree is the reason why even today the ratio between wheat and barley in lambics is always 37.5%/67.5%.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Virginia is set to raise its fishing license fees. I found this part interesting, in light of the idea that NC license fees are supposed to go towards supporting fish stocks.

The DGIF isn’t just fishing for new money, but also would like to recoup some of its funds lost during the state’s budget crunch. More than $10 million was diverted from the department and earmarked for expenditures not related to hunting, fishing and boating. The pilfering of boating fees has hit the state’s boating program hard, causing a cutback of ramp construction and warder patrols.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The bigger the beer belly, the crappier the sperm.

Now, at first glance this sounds bad, but there are positives. It just needs some marketing spin.

"Fat Guys! We probably won't knock you up!"

"The baby's in mah belly, not yours!"

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

The Best Surrenderin' Whisky There Is

Glenmorangie has been sold to the French.

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


The more fish you eat, the more mercury in your system, even if it's just canned tuna.

Almost 33 percent of those who ate four or more servings a month of canned tuna had mercury exceeding the guideline. The study questionnaire didn't differentiate between different types of tuna. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that canned albacore has three times the mercury as chunk light.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


October pier fishing in the Carolinas.

According to pier operators, whiting, Spanish mackerel, spot-tail bass, flounder, sheepshead and trout are among the most frequently caught species at the piers. Some big-game type species are taken as well, including king mackerel and cobia. The kings generally average about 20 pounds each, although we’ve some record weights of nearly 50 pounds in the past.

Spots are one also a top choice for anglers. The most popular bait for this species is a toss-up between shrimp and bloodworms. The spots are often smallish fish, averaging anywhere from a half-pound to a little better than a pound, but they get the season kicked off in high fashion and can be taken in large numbers, even by inexperienced anglers.

I must be a snob. I catch a spot and I don't think "food." I think "bait."

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


Tarpon fishing in Costa Rica.

During 3 1/2 days of fishing, our two boats raised approximately 150 tarpon. Of that number, maybe 40 or 50 were brought to the leader. Most were between 70 and 90 pounds, with several topping 100.

I fished Costa Rica's Rio Parismina and Rio Colorado perhaps six or eight times during the early- to mid-1980s. Several of the trips provided excellent fishing; none surpassed the overall action of two weeks ago. There are several reasons for this.

First, the tarpon population in that remote region of northeastern Costa Rica appears stable. It might even be increasing. Commercial fishing pressure is light in the area, and all camps endorse a strict catch-and-release policy

We should fish foreign one year. I can just see myself asking for permission to leave the country to go fishing from the wife.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Southern Flounder

More reaction on the commercially-biased flouder plan put forth by N.C. Marine Fisheries.

Luther Penny of Raleigh, a self-described "weekend warrior" angler and CCA-NC member, said, "A lot of us see this as a turning point as to whether the [1997 reform act] will work. If the [commission] vote on the flounder plan is an example, the answer seems to be 'No.' If you throw out the science and do your own thing, what good is that?"

The rest may be up to us, the recreational anglers. If you think the proposed flounder management plan smells fishy, do something about it.

"Recreational fishermen really should contact members of the Joint Legislative Committee on Seafood and Aquaculture and the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and express their displeasure of the plan," Mandulak said. "If not, another fishery will go down the tubes."

Posted by Bigwig at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I think I've found our theme song.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2004


More trouble for stripers--American eel stocks are starting to crash.

But there is no secret about the eel's demise. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service survey, the recreational harvest of eels in 2001 was about 11,000, roughly one-10th of the peak of 107,000 in 1982. Commercial landings slipped from a high in the mid-1970s of 3.5 million pounds to a low of 870,000 pounds in 2001.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Once again, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission sides with the commercial fishermen over the recreational crowd.

The commission on a 5-4 vote in Kill Devil Hills on Oct. 13 went against recommendations from advisory groups. One measure would increase the minimum keeper size to 14 inches. The commission raised the minimum for sport anglers to 14 inches but let commercial fishers keep 13-inch fish.

"All the analysis that has been done on this plan indicates it's very unlikely to end overfishing," commission member Mac Currin of Raleigh was quoted as saying in the Jacksonville Daily News.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Turns out MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) don't replenish fish stocks in waters surrounding them after all. They instead suck fish from the fishable waters around them into an area where they can't be caught. Total numbers don't appear to change.

Score on for the CCA, wh has opposed them all along.

According to Ted Forsgren, executive director of Coastal Conservation Association Florida, that finding should deal a blow to fishery managers who say marine protected areas are a way to produce more fish, as well as to divers who have championed the benefits of MPAs that do not allow fishing so that they can have coral reefs all to themselves.

"The claims of replenishment and other fisheries management benefits made by no-fishing zone advocates are clearly undermined by this research," Forsgren said. "The results refute the theory that NFZs are viable fisheries management tools. It is also very significant that the research was conducted at the no-fishing zone near the Kennedy Space Center, the same area that NFZ proponents have been using to claim that replenishment does occur."

Posted by Bigwig at 11:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What's Not For Supper

Blue Marlin. They have up to 30 times as much mercury in them as other fish.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Dream Job For the Ages

"What do you do?"

"I get bees drunk."

"Fun job?"

"No, kind of a buzz kill."

The more ethanol they consumed, the more difficulty the bees had flying, walking, standing still and grooming. Some of the bees became so drunk they ended up flat on their backs

Posted by Bigwig at 10:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Tommy Farmer: World Champion Surf Caster.

Several times a week Farmer casts his reel on the field near the Wilmington International Airport.

Yes, he practices on land. With a weight, a thousand dollar pole and lots of practice Farmer cast enough to make his cast long enough to earn the title in last month's competition.

There's video of Tommy casting as well. Look for a link under the two pictures of him.

You got some practicing to do, Dog

Posted by Bigwig at 10:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


This is why I always salt my fish with some of those round splitshots.

Which would you rather have: a 10-pound speckled trout or a 30-inch speckled trout?

Posted by Bigwig at 10:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 26, 2004


Fishing for Tarpon off Islamorada.

"I think we need a bigger boat."

Posted by Bigwig at 10:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


It wasn't just us. Apparently there was a general curse on the NC ferries last week.

The Coast Guard is investigating a crash that will close the Cherry Branch ferry for at least ten days and alter travel plans for the estimated one-thousand drivers who use the ferry daily to cross the Neuse River

Posted by Bigwig at 10:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Much To Howards' Glee

More on the system that chased us off the beach last week.

It’s the same time of year, but it’s not shaping up to be the same kind of storm. The Halloween Storm of 1991, known as the “perfect storm,” was memorable on the Outer Banks for the fantastic amount of ocean overwash, stretching to westside areas that had rarely, if ever, had ocean tide touch them before. And, oddly, as the water rose and rose, the sun shone and shone.

The extra-tropical low pressure system – tropical except for its cold core – that has been blustering offshore since Thursday has whipped up the ocean into a storm frenzy, with waves as high as 12 feet, creating overwash in some spots during the lunar high tides.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Saltwater anglers are releasing more fish than ever before.

If they're like us, most of them wriggle away while we're washing the sand off so we can get a prettier picture.

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

Politicin' Falls Under The Stinkin' Theme, I Suspect

The Reflector has a story on our boy, Curt. The socialistic old battleaxe he's trying to unseat--who I believe wants to give your hard-earned money to differently-abled transgendered halfway houses for gun control purposes--is mentioned as well, I think.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Next Year's T-Shirts

I'm putting it down here so I won;t have to try and remember come next September.

Tie-dyes with the logo "No Hippy Chicks."

Next year's trip, October 1-8.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Trip Pics

I've posted them over at the Photo blog. If you've got any more, email them to me.

And yes, the second half of the week sucked. However, things appear to be improving now.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 18, 2004


Fish pic over at the main blog.

More to come.

Red Drum, Black Drum, Specks, Chopper Blues, Flounder, Pompano, Rays, Croakers, Spots, Grey Trout.

Busy, busy week once the wind died down. More later.

Posted by Bigwig at 07:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 14, 2004

In the short rows now...

As some of you will be heading down tomorrow, I guess we are almost to the official launch point. To those heading out Friday, have a safe trip down. I hope you get in on a good bite, just save some for the rest of us. If you get there and think of something we must have ASAP, give me a call(Bigwig has my #) and I'll do my best to get it on the way down. Curt and I are taking the 9:30am SQ ferry over on Saturday morning. We'll see you all on the beach early Saturday afternoon.

May the fish be with you!!

Posted by Mason at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Don't drink and dial!

Translation: When you’re drunk, there are no rules. You don’t have to worry about sounding like a jerk if you can’t remember it the next day. Drunk-dialing really got its wings with the introduction of cell phones. Getting in touch with people used to be a whole lot harder. Before cell phones, students never had such instantaneous access to communicating with so many people. Not so anymore. Now you don’t even have to be able to pee straight to call your ex-girlfriend at 2:30 a.m

Or your wife. And boy will she appreciate it!

Posted by Bigwig at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I'm hoping for a certificate drum, but a giant squid would be ok, too.

When a fiery red creature popped to the surface, they thought they had a Pacific red snapper. Then they saw tentacles and thought it was an octopus.

As the creature came closer to the boat, Gudmundseth realized it was a squid and tried to net it so he could set it free.

As Gudmundseth tried to extract hooks from the squid's beak and eye, the squid attacked with its tentacles, changing from bright red to brilliant white to brown to bright red again and back to brown in the struggle.

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

October 13, 2004

Stripers and Menhaden

Maybe it's not the commercial harvesters after all. Maybe it's the weather.

Normally, fishery managers rely on traditional indicators of a population's health, such as its spawning stock biomass—a measure of the reproductive potential of a population—to predict reproductive success.

Yet the relationship of spawning stock biomass for many species, such as menhaden, to recruitment is weak. That suggests that environmental factors play an important, if not dominant, factor in the reproduction for many species.

In fact, Wood said, almost half of the variation in Atlantic menhaden recruitment since 1966 can be explained by the number of days the Azores-Bermuda High dominates the region during the month of March—a remarkably strong correlation for fishery management.

Posted by Bigwig at 07:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Food stuff & cooking

I plan on doing some "shore lunch" cooking as in the past. Therefore, I'll be bringing my cast iron stuff as well as the fish fry/steam combo w/LP tank. I know this past June on our cobia trip, I ended up cooking some "Old Bay Ribeyes" on my cast iron on an open fire on the beach. We looked like a bunch of cavemen out eating with our hands, etc. Fun stuff though. If that sounds like something anyone wants to do, plan ahead and bring it(steak,chops,smoked sausage, etc) down w/you as I think that meats would be rather expensive on Ocracoke. I know last year we grilled out on the beach and that was pretty awesome as well. I don't have a grill however. I'll bring the spices and stuff needed to handle beach cooking via open-pit fire or fry. If anybody has a camp stove or portable grill you might want to bring it and we'll have every possibility covered for beach cooking. I wish we could get oysters on Ocracoke and have a oyster roast one night. I think I'll post on Tradewinds and see if we can find a source.

Posted by Mason at 12:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


So I was putting together my shopping list for the fishing trip this morning and thought I might share what I had with the rest of you guys. I need to know if I left anything out. I left out the SPAM and Vienna sausages on purpose.

Sleeping Bag
Fishing Poles
*Hot Chocolate
*Diet Pepsi
*Peanut Butter
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
Bathing Suit
Tennis Shoes
Rain Coat
Warm Socks
Long Johns
School Stuff
Fishing Gear

What else was popular as far as foodstuffs went last year?

Posted by Kehaar at 11:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 12, 2004

The Chesapeake

Man, it's bad up north, and getting worse.

Chesapeake Bay blue crabs may be in worse trouble than previously imagined, according to Virginia Institute of Marine Science research into the survival rate of female crabs. But the data collected on crabs in the estuary do not all agree.

The institute's study of mature female crabs between November 2001 and October 2002 estimated that only two out of 100 survived the study year.

"This is one of the first times I'm seriously, seriously concerned with the spawning stock," said Rom Lipcius, a VIMS biologist and a principal investigator in the survey.

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

The Inlet

Might be time to go to the Lumber Yard

Something that can help you if you do get caught in the light overwash at the inlet is park your truck on 4 boards.I have 2 by 12's about 2 foot long.I drive the truck up on them & it will not sink in the light tidal overwash from the sound.I swear by them.I learned this on portsmouth Is. a few years ago where overwash happens all the time.One truck was on the boards & when the tide went back out he drove off the boards,everything fine while the truck next to him was sunk to the frame.I always park mine on the boards when I go out to vera cruz just in case I don't get back as planned & some nights when I'm not sure if the tide will be high.

Update: Figured I would call Tradewinds about this before I made a trip to the lumber yard. Spoke to Bob, who said that unless there is a major weather event the South Point is NOT getting overwashed. It's not even as bad as last year, when the overwash would come in between the inlet and the rest of the island.

So, it appears all lights are go. That was a bit of news to brighten the morning. I would have bought the 2x12s and parked on them, but I imagine I would have smoked a whole pack of cigarettes during that first high tide.

Posted by Bigwig at 07:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Just dropped $1000 on the Explorer. Oil valve covers, two new tires and the electric motor that engages the four wheel drive. The wife was not happy.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Fall fishing the Outer Banks honey holes.

One of the fundamental rules regarding honey holes is that you never reveal their exact locations. Exceptions can be made, however, for spots like Bear Island where access is limited or those places that everyone knows about anyway. One of the latter is about thirty miles east of Bear Island. It's the Cape Lookout rock jetty.

A groin-type structure made of Buick-size granite blocks, the jetty extends several hundred meters into the Atlantic just north of Cape Point. Depending on the time of year, nearly anything that swims in the ocean will be attracted to the baitfish that are attracted to the aquatic vegetation that is attracted to the stable environment created by the rocks. In the spring and then again in the fall, bluefish rip through schools of finger mullet and menhaden swirling through the shallows surrounding the jetty. Speckled trout prowl the holes adjacent to the rocks nearly year around while flounder, sometimes massive ones, carpet the bottom like doormats.

What was it we caught so much at the jetty on that first trip to Lookout? Gray, or speckled trout?

Posted by Bigwig at 02:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Circle Hooks

From a story on catfishing in Kinston.

His biggest catch is 52-pounds, that he caught in the Kinston section of the Neuse River.

I have personally seen one that weighed 72-pounds, that was caught in the North/East Cape Fear.

It's hard to explain verbally what a fish this size looks like. Imagine a fish with a head the size of a basketball, you can get the general idea.

There are several ways to rig up for these giants. The best is a fish finder, or as bass fisherman called carolina rig.

It is a fairly simple rig using an oblong barrel sinker with a hole in the middle, an in line swivel, one bead, and of course a hook fastened to a 24-inch leader. The choice of hook among most anglers is a 5/0 Circle Hook.

If this is using a 5/0 Circle Hook for 50 plus pound catfish, do we really need to be using the bigger sizes on our drum rigs?

Posted by Bigwig at 02:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


This is a shame.

A SOLDIER who created www.beerforsoldiers.com, a Web site that lets people buy a beer online for a US soldier, has been ordered by the top brass to stop running his site.

According to Stars and Stripes, Sgt Dale Rogers, in Iraq with Company C, 1st Battalion (air assault), 503rd Infantry Regiment was ordered to retreat from the site after the regimental briefs said it was unethical.

A regimental spokesman said that whatever his intentions, the Web site was illegal as Rogers seems to be using his association with the Army as a way to solicit funds for beer.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Beer technology is getting more and more advanced.

Now, the nation's largest brewers use technology throughout the beer-making process.

Many employ advanced packaging and temperature control technology to make the exact same beer repeatedly, ensuring that each can or bottle of beer looks and tastes the same.

They use expensive high-tech machines to churn out thousands of cans and bottles of beer each minute and limit the amount of oxygen in each one.

They use precise measurement systems to reduce costs and boost efficiency.

And most of the big brewers are ready to move forward with radio frequency identification technology, which uses radio waves and computer chips to track inventory once the beer is ready to be sold.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Two beers a day keeps the osteoporosis away.

Dr. Tucker told Medscape that the findings from the study of 1,631 women and 1,295 men suggest that "beer and wine really do have some nutritional value." She theorized that beer may benefit bones because it contains silicon, which has been shown to promote bone health. Wine, on the other hand, is rich in phytochemicals, which also may benefit bones.

In the study, men who consumed one to two cans of beer per day increased BMD(bone mineral density) measured at the hip trochanter by as much as 7%; in women, one to two glasses of wine per day increased hip BMD by up to 5%, Dr. Tucker said.

Asked if the beer-wine findings suggest some essential difference between the sexes, Dr. Tucker said, "This is more a case of numbers. In this group of people we didn't have enough men who were wine drinkers or women who were beer drinkers to determine if men and women could benefit from either drink." But she said that it is possible that two glasses of wine could benefit men, while women might benefit from one to two cans of beer daily.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Try not to park below the high tide line.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Anheuser-Busch has finally bowed to the intense market pressures brought about by the drinkers who prefer their Bud with a little Coca-Cola mixed in.

B(E) infuses beer with caffeine, guarana and ginseng, along with berry aromas for a sweeter, yet more tart taste at 6.6 percent alcohol by volume, said company brewmaster Nathaniel Davis.

Alcohol and caffiene. That'll be a fun hangover the next day.

Update: Here you go, Mason. What happens when you mix alcohol and energy drinks?

The results: One hour after imbibing, the men performed the same on the bikes after drinking Red Bull with vodka as after drinking the straight vodka. Blood alcohol levels also were the same.

Energy mixers may make people feel they're more alert, says researcher Maria Lucia Souza-Formigoni, but the alcohol has an impact on their motor skills.

"One will feel better, less sleepy, but one's performance may be as bad as if only alcohol was ingested," she said in an e-mail.

"If people believe they will be better under the energy drink's influence, this belief really will affect his or her feeling of intoxication."

Posted by Bigwig at 12:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 11, 2004

Southern Flounder

The Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan appears to be leaning, yet again, on the side of the commercial fishermen.

The draft taken to public hearing this summer called for increasing the commercial size limit on flounder taken in inshore waters from 13 to 14 inches and implementing a commercial season closure from Nov. 8 to Dec. 31 each year.

State officials had estimated the combination of the two measures would cut by one-third the commercial catches of southern flounder, one of the most economically valuable finfish in North Carolina.

But the season closure met opposition from pound net fishermen who said that losing most of their November catches would take all the profit from the fishery so that it would not be economically feasible for them to set their nets in early fall.

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


Menhaden may be rarer in the Chesapeake, say the factory harvestors, but if so, it's not our fault.

Reedville, at the gateway to Maryland's portion of the bay, is one of two remaining menhaden plants on the East Coast. According to Jennifer Winkler, of Omega Protein, the 2002 coastal menhaden harvest was 174,000 metric tons, but had dropped from 400,000 metric tons in 1990, due in part to consolidation of the industry. Those figures comprise bait fisheries as well as Omega Protein.

The numbers sound good, but they don't mean a thing unless one knows what the total number of menhaden in the Chesapeake is. If there were--and I'm just making up numbers as an example, here-- 4 million metric tons of menhaden swimming around in the Chesapeake in 1993, then 10% of them wound up as cat food that year, with 90% (3.6 million metric tons) left over for the game species to eat

But if overharvesting has reduced the total numbers of menhaden--let's say down to around 1 million metric tons, then almost 20% of the total this year goes to the factiries, and only 80% is left for the stripers--and that 80% represents a much smaller actual number of fish (.8 million metric tons) than it did ten years ago. No wonder the striper are starving.

This is not to say the comercial menhaden harvesters are lying. I hope they're not, actually, and they have a point about pollution. But the fact is that year to year harvest numbers don't mean a damn thing unless we have a good estimate on what the total numbers of fish are, and we don't know that right now. Plus, is the 174,000 metric tons all the harvestors wanted to catch, or all they were able to catch?

The fate of the Chesapeake striped bass lies in the answer to those questions. I just hope someone in the AMFC thinks to ask them.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Man, the upcoming weather week looks damn sweet.

Posted by Bigwig at 08:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Drinkin' Supplies

1 bottle Glenfiddich Special Reserve 12 -year-old single malt whisky

Carolina Pale Ale
Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted
Avery Old Jubilation
Bamberger Spezial Rauchbier
Privatebrauerei Hoss Sonthofen Hefeweiss
Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout
Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen
Murphy's Red Beer
Arapahoe Amber Ale - Yes, I got it for the name.
Allagash Summer Ale
Duchess De Bourgogne
Strongarm Ruby Red Ale
Brooklyner Weisse Beer
The Duck-Rabbit Amber Ale - Proudly brewed in Farmville!
Adnam's Suffolk Special Bitter
Adnam's Broadside Ale
Tuppers Hop Pocket

Scrumpy Jack
Woodchuck Draft Cider

Posted by Bigwig at 08:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


What I've got so far;
6 cans of Pringles
Big can of coffee
Coffee Filters
two loaves of Bread
60 slices of pre-cooked bacon
Pound of Turkey
Pound of Ham
Pound of Butter
2.5 pounds of Provolone
12 fruit pies
24 Dunking Sticks
Oatmeal Creme Pies
Microwave Popcorn
3 pounds of smoked almonds
Case of bottled water
Alcoholic beverages will appear in a separate post

What we still need
Paper Towels
Plastic Cups
Toilet Paper
Garbage Bags
Sandwich vegetables: Tomato, Lettuce, Pickles
Condiments: Mayo, Honey Mustard
Dish detergent
Clothes detergent

If you can think of anything else, leave it in the comments.

Posted by Bigwig at 08:35 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Another bullet dodged--Subtropical storm Nichole.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 10, 2004

Outer Banks

More on the sooner rather than later disappearance of the Outer Banks.

"If nothing changes ... sea level in North Carolina will rise 1- to 1-and-a-half-foot per century by 2100," said Riggs, "assuming there's no change in response to global warming. If (triggers) increase the rate of the melting of the ice caps, this, then, could rise almost as much as 3 feet, and, if it does, the consequences to Eastern North Carolina will be quite severe."

Global warming, said Riggs, triggers a complex series of changes. Among those changes are increasing periods of storms, of crucial interest to coastal dwellers.

"Storms change the sea level," said Riggs. "Storm surge is a sea-level-changing event, and that's when the work on the coast is done. So this becomes really important to our understanding this."

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


Fall fishing in the Chesapeake. It sucks this year.

Baynard is at a loss to explain why his fishing has declined so sharply. He thinks it may have something to do with the continued plunder of bunkers (menhaden) by the purse seine reduction fishery in Virginia, which takes millions of pounds of the bait fish annually to grind up for oil and cat food. The fish we caught were skinny and the two I cleaned had a grand total of one, dime-sized blue crab in their stomachs. Are these fish starving?

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

October 08, 2004

Fishing sucks?

Now time for a post regarding very practical and useful information. This comes via the SSF site and is something I really can't wait to try.
"Try this: I like to use 5' pvc rod holders with a 45 degree angle cut on the end. I like at least 18" in the sand, preferably 24". The best way I have found to get a rod holder in the sand is this:
1. Go to waterline and work the pvc into the sand about 4-6" or so (make sure the waterline in the sand is above the 45 degree cut).
2. Put your mouth over the exposed end of the rod holder (making sure to make a complete seal)
3. Suck the air out of the tube. Thus, a vaccum is created and the rod holder will sink rapidly.
*If you hit some shells or rough sand, it will stop the sinking but just wiggle and twist it a little and you can continue. Stop when you get it to the depth you want. You may look funny doing it but you can sink multiple rod holders in under a minute this way. The guys with the hammers pounding their holders into the sand were looking at me funny when they saw me doing it but when they saw how fast they were set, I saw lots of guys sucking on their rod holders!"

Posted by Mason at 04:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

5 Good Reasons to fish @ Ocracoke

In case you need a reason to go to Ocracoke for FDS 2004, here's 5 reasons. Some of you will be there by now this time next week!

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

1 more week!!

The Final Countdown is here! Tomorrow morning @ 5am will officially mark one week to go!! For some, today started the clock. Man are things looking good or what? Last 2 nights have been nice and cold. Should spur some more drum to leave the sounds and go hang around the inlets. If we don't have too much on the weather side(winds/stormy seas), we should also have some very clear water to fish in and lots of finger mullet. When are the exact best times to first according to solunar tables?

Posted by Mason at 09:25 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 07, 2004

Citation Speck

Just confirmed that Curt caught a citation speckled trout last night. Of all places, fishing right in the mouth of Gatlin Creek at CDL. Using live finger mullet on a flounder rig. Weighed him this morning at Roy's Marine and it still weighed 5.5 pounds and was 25 inches long. Last night was probably 26 inches long and close to 6 pounds. Damn his luck! Probably had a bourbon in the other hand. I still look at this as a good sign for FDS though. Someone's already caught a citation fish and we are still over a week away!

Posted by Mason at 12:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 06, 2004

live bait

does anybody have a live bait bucket or the like to keep all the finger mullet we net? i have no problem using a 5 gallon bucket but i thought i remember somebody talking about bringing a minnow bucket and a length of rope, throwing the bucket out and staking it to the shore. i have no live well bucket but i will be bringing a 5 gallon bucket.

Posted by Kevin at 06:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Another reason not to drink Anheuser-Busch products--or to drink them, depending on your political affiliation.

American beer drinkers might be interested in learning that August A. Busch IV, Budweiser heir and John Kerry supporter, signed a full-page ad for the Democratic National Committee that ran Sept. 23rd in The New York Times.

I suspect many Bud drinkers may not have seen it.

As for myself, there's no endorsement the man can issue that would cause me to drink his products--at least not with any regularity. I might have a Natural Light for old time's sake in a week or so.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A More Efficient Way To Wipe Out Fish Stocks

Another reason to oppose oil industry drilling off the coast of NC--liquid natural gas terminals.

The problem occurs when LNG is heated back into gaseous form with a process that sucks in gulf water containing potentially millions of fish and crustacean eggs and larvae. Natural gas is cooled to minus-260 degrees to turn it into a liquid that can be shipped in huge tankers from wells around the world to the gulf.
If the organisms are not killed by the temperature drop, they will not survive being banged around by the pump machinery or the harsh chemicals used to keep the inside of the pipes clean, said scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.
NOAA officials acknowledge a lack of basic information about the population sizes of various commercial and noncommercial fish and crustacean species in the gulf, and a limited understanding of how killing millions or even billions of eggs or larvae could affect those species.

I'd imagine that the industrial killing of countless millions of fish larvae on top of the countless millions eaten by other fish is bound to significantly reduce the number of fish in the sea, but perhaps that's what NOAA means by a "limited understanding."

Posted by Bigwig at 01:30 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Ferry Reservations

Okay, gang. It's time to turn this thing back into a blog for the fishing trip. Remember the build-up and excitement that we experienced last year regarding the fishing trip and the blog? We need to get that started again. Enough of this extraneous stuff. Remember what we came here for!

Speaking of the fishing trip, I just made reservations on the 4:00 p.m. Swan Quarter Ferry on the 15th, returning on the 12:30 from Ocracoke on Tuesday the 19th. Let me know if that fits anyone else's schedule that may want to carpool. I plan on bringing just myself at this point.

I'm glad things have worked out for me to be able to make the trip this year. I almost had to ditch this year. See you guys on the island.

UPDATE: Sid talked me into it. I switched from the 4:00 p.m. Swan Quarter Ferry to the Noon Cedar Island on the 15th. I'll see you guys on the ferry.

Posted by Kehaar at 11:25 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Things starting to happen...

Thanks to the CCA and our wonderful legislature, we finally have a recreational saltwater fishing license. I support the license and this is one reason.

Posted by Mason at 11:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 05, 2004


Circle hooks are being touted as a solution to collapsing Swordfish stocks.

Last week Oceana proposed a raft of measures for reducing catches of juvenile swordfish and unwanted by-catches such as turtles. Besides traditional measures such as smaller quotas, closed seasons and protected zones, the organisation also wants authorities to allow the use of larger hooks and encourage the use of G-shaped hooks rather than J-shaped ones.

I barely have any J-hooks left. If it wasn't for bottom rigs, I wouldn't be using any at all.

Posted by Bigwig at 03:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Dipshits On Parade

What not to do when pulled over for a possible DUI.

First, and possibly most obviously: do not de-pants yourself and urinate next to your Suburban while the deputy talks to your kids. Second, try not to threaten the deputy with a tennis racket while insisting that his flashing emergency lights be shut off. Third, do not under any circumstances kick the deputy in his genitals. Finally, as tempting as it may be after having put foot to groin, do not kick out the window of the patrol car.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Coming soon to Indiana University--the beer major.

I can go back to school. I'm willing to bet I could even get advanced placement credits.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Swifter, Higher, Stronger, Blander.

The 2004 Olympics are just completed and Anheuser-Busch Cos. has already agreed to sponsor the 2008 Games, the company said Tuesday.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 04, 2004


Gigantic Spot!

Now, if Tradewinds is handing certificates for one pound spot then I need soemthing to weigh me some spot out at the inlet. Then I can endlessly yap about my record spot like some people do about pompano--assuming I catch one, at least.

But the thought springs to mind, were I to catch a citation fish other than spot, how would I know?

So, guess I should print out the The Official North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament Minimum Weights.

Angler or mate must touch the fish or the leader. Application must be completed with exception of length and weight (amberjack, bluefin tuna, cobia, king mackerel, striped bass and red drum must have the length recorded). A witness must sign application.

The citation size for Red Drum, btw, is 40 inches.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:30 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Whisky Galore!

And Duncan maintains that hundreds, if not thousands, of bottles still lie buried on the island where he was born back in 1925.

He recalls: 'They were stashed everywhere. They were buried in gardens and flower beds. They were put under stones or in tiny caves.

'Someone told me they were put down rabbit holes - but I don't recall many rabbits on Eriskay in my day.

'I'd say the majority were dumped in peat bogs, to be recovered when matters with the police and Customs had calmed down.

'But the owners forgot about them - or forgot where they'd hidden them. Remember, there was a lot of whisky being drunk at the time.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 03, 2004


Stripers are already in the Oregon Inlet.

Fishing with Capt. Reese Stecher, our party made two excursions to the bridge and returned with gray trout, flounder to 4.5 pounds and rockfish (stripers) to 31 inches. The speckled trout were also biting, but we spent most of our time trying to coax those big stripers from beneath the bridge pilings. I bet we lost 10 pounds of sinkers and snapped off several dozen circle hooks in the process.

With the change in weather, the water temperature dropped down into the mid 60’s and that apparently triggered the big stripers into action. In the ocean, you can keep two stripers per man (28 inches or better) per day throughout the year, but until our party set up beneath the bridge, no one had caught any keeper fish to talk about.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Better than Stren?

If you're not looking for a record, Momoi's super strong Diamond brand, which was designed for extreme fishing conditions, breaks well above its rated strength. Drouet put a piece of 130-pound in the line strength machine and it broke at 240 pounds. He then put in another piece of 130-pound in which he tied a granny knot and that broke at the knot at 150.7 pounds.

Those tests are backed up by angler testimonials.

Drouet told of Luke Sweeney, who caught an IGFA all-tackle world record 1,221-pound mako shark on 100-pound Momoi Diamond line.

"The guy was upset," Drouet said, "because his line wouldn't break and he had to fight that shark."

Posted by Bigwig at 10:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fish Heads

It's from an article on catfishing rather than surf casting, but here's a possible clue on why so many people use mullet heads when going after the red drum.

Mash the head of whole dead fish so natural juices leak into the water.

It's been my assumption that one just threw out the head--though that has never really worked for us. Maybe we need to beat it up a bit

Posted by Bigwig at 10:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A survey of juvenile fish in the Chesapeake supports the idea that menhaden are being overfished.

It appears the completed survey gives credence to anecdotal evidence from bay anglers that menhaden, the primary food source for striped bass, are decreasing.

"We did not see a large year-class. It was below average," Durell said.

Some studies show that menhaden, once 80 percent of the diet of striped bass, are now just 20 percent. The fear among groups such as the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association is that striped bass will starve.

Posted by Bigwig at 09:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Better enjoy Ocracoke while we can--if global warming keeps up its pace it'll be underwater in a few years.

Stanley Riggs, a geology professor at East Carolina University in Greenville, said rising water will drown low-lying areas, especially along the northern coast, and increase erosion. About 120 miles of North Carolina beaches now need additional sand, he said, and 25 miles of the Outer Banks are collapsing or succumbing to the sea.

"We're seeing a war between human civilization and natural dynamics," Riggs said. "We know who is going to win."

Riggs predicted that if the sea level continues to rise and hurricane activity is intense, the Outer Banks will begin to break up in a couple of decades. Large sections of Hatteras, Ocracoke and Portsmouth islands will be under water, he said.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

We better lock it up!

Been reading many posts about the increase in theft and think we should perhaps follow suit and start locking things up in the evening. Last year we were spared, but I don't know how long our luck will hold. The big rods are the only problem, having to be broken down, but the small ones can be left in the trucks or taken inside. Sure hate that things have degenerated to this point, but too many of us have too much money invested in gear to lose it.

Posted by Kevin at 06:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 01, 2004

Preliminary New Rankings

All this is based on the assumption that I now know who is coming on this year's trip, and who is not.

Bull Drum: Kevin Mangum, Sid Stafford
Chopper Blues: Charlie Stafford, Kevin Mason,
Specks: Tommy Calisto, James Evans, Curt Hendrix, Clif Ferrell
Black Drum: Colin Riddell
Puppy Drum: Andy Humer, John Turner, Scott Glass
Croakers: Dallas Romanowski, John Grey, Travis Green, Greg Robison, Mr. Humer, John Wnek*
Cut Bait: Adam Stockwell, Jason White, Rev. Stafford, Greg Kowalski, Nathan Wright, Carl Stafford*

*Paid for a trip, thus earning seniority, but were unable to make it.

Posted by Bigwig at 03:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yes, I've got it bad!

Ok, Time to start the wonderful and real countdown! Mine starts 5am tomorrow morning. Officially two weeks to go! FDS VII 2004!! The only thing that we'll need is luck! I am sure, there is not anything one of us will not have this year. More gear than ever. Sid will have something "cool" that he ordered online. Thought that we should have some ground rules for landing big fishes. Don't grab the rod or leader UNLESS the angler asks you to. And be prepared to let go real quick is the waves aren't coming in with you & the fish. Always stay at right angles, even and behind the "hooked up" angler.

***If all of the above fails, Angler may at some point yell "DIVE ON EM!!!" Then no rules apply and hope for the best!! Also no rules apply to rays, Ray Diving permitted at will!!

Posted by Mason at 03:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A short introduction to the beer style of the serious beer geek, the barleywine.

In short, barley wines are the opposite of light and low-carb beers.

Most beer is best when consumed as soon as possible after it's made.

Not barley wine. This is a beer that ages. A good barley wine actually improves over time. The hard part is not opening the bottle once you have it in your house.

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

Endangered Fish

The Marine Fish Conservation Network has published a list of the top ten missing fish market fish--i.e. fish that we've eaten in the past whose populations have fallen to such low levels that they are no longer available to us.

None are species one would expect to hook up with from the shore--which is to be expected. If they frequented shallow enough waters, the trawlers couldn't get to them all the time.

Here's the list, since the MFCN has stupicly chosen to make it available only via a pdf download.

1. Yellowtail Flounder
2. Atlantic Halibut
3. Speckled Hind
4. Red Snapper
5. Warsaw Grouper
6. Atlantic Cod
7. Cowcod
8. Bocaccio
9. Canary Rockfish
10. (tie) The Snowy and Black Groupers

Posted by Bigwig at 01:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Which beer is best for you?

Guinness, of course.

"It's lower in carbohydrates and calories than regular Budweiser ... it helps prevent cataracts and helps prevent impotence in men," Hegarty says. "There are B vitamins in Guinness, and it's lower in alcohol content than other beers so it is better for you."

According to CalorieKing.com, Guinness has fewer carbohydrates, calories and less alcohol than Heineken, Budweiser, Samuel Adams and most other major labels.

A study by John D. Folts, director of the coronary thrombosis research laboratory and professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin, found that Guinness is packed with flavonoids, which are antioxidants that are better than vitamins C and E. These antioxidants keep low-density "bad" cholesterol from clogging arteries.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Gay Liquor

The best vodka in the world is handmade--in Texas.

The critics are nigh unanimous: award after award came pouring in from the competitions, including a double gold medal, first time out, at the 2001 World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. That was the year Beveridge produced 6,000 cases of vodka after building a 16-gallon still, tasting all the competitors, working with different grains and potatoes and sugars, tasting his results and probably pouring a fair bit down the sink. When he figured he had it right he mortgaged the house, bought a hundred boxes of glass, and printed a thousand labels. Friends were called in to taste-test and help with bottling, packing, labelling

It's very nice, I'm sure, but it's a girly drink. Who the hell chooses an alcohol because it's tasteless?

If it wasn't convinced of that fact before the beer festival, I was afterwards. The importer for Tinov, Alex also imports vokda, and he gave me a buch of marketing literature for his main brand. One of the pullouts showed all the magazine covers from the magazines where a vodka ad of their's had appeared, and every single one was either Cosmo or some magazine desperately trying to be Cosmo.

I don't think changing the color is going to work, either.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Trip Administration

I've booked the house for Friday the 15th as well. It took a largish chunk out of the group money to do so, but it gives us an extra day, and allows Tommy and Charlie to make the trip.

I'm taking the Cedar Island ferry over at noon on Friday, which should allow me to catch Friday's 7 pm Solunar Major with no problem.

At this point I know Mangum, Charlie and Tommy are planning on arriving Friday as well. Who else is in for Friday night?

Also, as a courtesy for the people coming for the latter half of the week, they now have bedspace priority on Tuesday night over anyone who shows up on Friday. Shouldn't be much of a problem. There's not a lot of overflow. Also, I'll have an Aero-bed and a cot.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fish Fear Me!! Part II

I'm back a day early from week in Charlotte. Two weeks to go. No more trips to Charlotte again for 4 weeks! Stopped @ Bass Pro Shops on way home yesterday. Total spent $31 for following: 4 packs/6 hooks per pack for bottom rigs, 1 pk of wire snelled bottom rig hooks for the citation bluefish, 2 wire 3/4 oz egg rigs for live finger mullets, 50 yards of 100 lb test leader material, box of four 5 ounce pyramid weights, 1 pk Diachi 13/0 "bleeding red" circle, 1 pk Gamakatsu 8/0 circle, and 2 pks Delta 9/0 circle. Enough to tie 15 or 20 various rigs. Everything covered for all types of surf fishing. Just add bait!! Time for some practice casting and rig tying. See everyone in 15 days!! Woo! Woo! Shake the weiner!

Posted by Mason at 09:34 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack